We have news! Our first ever printed edition of GRACE Magazine has launched...
Today, we launched our first printed edition of GRACE magazine. 180 pages of Grace Tales, rolled into one gorgeous, glossy magazine. We celebrated in Sydney surrounded by a group of incredible women.
For those of you who I know, you’ll know my background. I spent many years working in print magazines as an editor. Before I became a mother, I worked at VOGUE, where I was the deputy editor and fashion features director. Running my own business was never part of my plan. As far as I was concerned, I’d work in magazines for the rest of my career. But as we all know, motherhood has a funny way of throwing a spanner in the works. When I launched The Grace Tales, my now seven-year-old daughter Arabella wasn’t even one. It was six years ago. At the time, my goal wasn’t to turn it into a business – it was simply to create a platform for mothers which inspired community and conversation. I wondered why there weren’t any aspirational platforms out there for mothers – every website I went to made me feel like the minute I became a mother, I’d be destined to tracksuit pants and cardigans for the rest of my life. And while I still spend a lot of time in both of those, I also like the stuff I used to like before I became a mother. I might be a mother, but I’m still me inside.
But back to goals – I’ve never been one who writes my goals down and looks at them every day or every week. I’ve tried it before but the piece of paper always got lost or I forgot to look at it. I guess I keep my goals and my dreams inside my head. Turning The Grace Tales into a business became a goal when I realised my days in corporate were numbered – I craved more flexibility and found I needed more creativity too. Slowly, day by day, The Grace Tales turned into a business. I’ve put one foot in front of the other for six years now, and here we are.
This year has been our best yet. We launched our first coffee table book, Grace Mothers. What was one of the most exciting parts of that launch – aside from actually publishing a book, a dream my young journalist self would never have believed would have happened – was that my favourite store in the world, Liberty London, decided to stock it. Being stocked in Liberty was a little goal I had in my mind and when I walked into the store in London with photographer Julie Adams, who I authored the book with, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
We’ve hosted events around the world with brands I adore – Bonpoint, Hatch, Anthropologie, Bally. Our GRACE Collective community has grown. It was a really bold move to switch to a subscription platform but I’m not afraid to admit that publishing is hard and while digital began as something that was free, it won’t be forever, because publications like ours – premium publications – who produce exclusive content from scratch, won’t survive.
And finally, the reason I’m writing to you today, the launch of our first printed edition of GRACE. GRACE began as a digital publication – it was another channel of our brand and a very important one. Magazines still have their place in the market and while we will never publish GRACE monthly, it will be a bi-annual print and digital product. As someone who loves print and started her career in print, I couldn’t be more excited to finish the year with this exciting launch.
Our cover star Zoë Foster Blake is someone you’ll all recognise and when we were brainstorming who we’d put on the cover, we knew we wanted someone real, funny and relatable. Having photographed Zoë before, she’s as funny in person as she is on her Instagram feed. And she’s an incredible go-getter and a big inspiration to me and our readers. The magazine is beautiful, but it’s also full of heart, which is so important to us.
Now before I stop rambling, I want to thank the women behind this issue. When you run your own business, there’s a lot of self-doubt. Is it good enough? Am I good enough? It’s sometimes hard to snap yourself out of negative self-talk. Which is why surrounding yourself with positive and talented women is so crucial to running any business.
Our editor-in-chief Amy Malpass Hahn. Amy returned to work when her son Henry – her third body – was three months old – he’s now around 5 months and I couldn’t have done what we’ve done this year without her. Now, before I met Amy, I thought I was quite an efficient person, but when Amy came along and I suddenly realised I needed to up my efficiency game. She is something else. And she’s always got a smile on her face (despite being severely sleep-deprived). This magazine and everything we’ve done would not have been possible without you. Also, thank you to Marisa Remond. I’ve lost count of how long we’ve worked together because I just love collaborating with you – you’re insanely talented and I am certain my wardrobe is in a much better state because of you. More than all the work stuff, you’re just a lot of fun to be around. And Jenny Guo. Jenny is the only member of our team who doesn’t have children and I just really hope we haven’t put her off them entirely – we do tend to say it how it is and a lot of mornings will start with a rundown of the shit show that went down at home before we arrived in the office.
Also to the photographers who shoot for the site: Julie Adams who shot our cover and most of our inside stories, Grace Kyo and Bridget wood. The site wouldn’t be what it is without your beautiful images.
Emily Armstrong who is based in Singapore. A dear friend to me, she’s an enormous part of the business and her creativity energy, drive and ambitious has helped to get us where we are today. Claire Brayford, who is based in London. I’ve worked with Claire for many, many years now and not only is she a fantastic writer, we always have a great giggle when we get together. And finally, the women who designed the magazine – Inga Campbell who is here and Racquel Thomas who is taking a much-needed break in Byron this week! Thank you for making the design process such a pleasure!
I hope you enjoy the magazine. It nearly caused both myself and Amy a nervous breakdown so even if you don’t like it, please just say you do. No, but seriously, I’m super proud and I don’t say that often. I hope you guys love it!
Georgie Abay, founder