A mother’s love is beyond any words, it can be felt in her loving embrace, her caring smile, her nurturing touch and her healing hands. This Mother’s Day we celebrate this love, we show our gratitude for mother's past, present and future - and most importantly the mother that we all share, Mother Earth. It is on this day that we acknowledge mother’s in every sense of the word, aware that we don’t always find them in the most traditional circumstances. They can be step-mothers, adoptive mothers, caregivers, trans-parents, aunties, sisters - today we give thanks to each and every one of you, the people that made us who we are.
We have chosen to highlight some of the women, nearest and dearest to our hearts, who inspire us every day - not only as mothers but simply as people. Let us introduce you to five incredible women wearing our Mother’s Day capsule.
Jesse Arifien is a dear friend of Auguste, she is an incredible stylist, creative director and mother to her son Leo and daughter Freja.
‘A mother’s work is never done’… So the saying goes, what are some of the life lessons you hope to instil in your children that they may then instil in their children one day?
Wow, that’s a tough question. So many things…I guess a few things that come to mind are: building resilience and emotional intelligence. I'm always trying to seek out opportunities to help them better understand themselves and guide them to just feel comfortable with who they are. Freja and Leo's spirit and humour are so unique and they just keep on giving, we just love witnessing this.
You were previously based in Los Angeles; what did you love about living there, and how did it feel to arrive in Byron Bay with your beautiful young family?
L.A was such a fun chapter and I was lucky enough to work with some amazing creative teams over there. We also had endless adventures as a family. We loved how you could travel to see snow, ocean, mountains and desert all on the road, sometimes in 1 day. Landing in Byron after living there for 4.5 years couldn't have felt more perfect. It is the ideal home if you can make it work, you have the ability to tap out and immerse yourself in nature. There really is no other place like it where there is such a melting pot of creativity coupled with the best lifestyle you could possibly imagine.
Meet the incredibly strong Katya Sheil - mother of two and founder of Small Wonder, a Byron based children’s store that specialises in sourcing ethically made children's products.
Your children's products are thoughtfully made and high-quality designs, created to be cherished forever; which is something we really strive for here at Auguste - sustainable creations. Tell us about some of the non-negotiable when you are sourcing products?
I feel so passionate about supporting businesses that share the same values as mine. Having 2 children myself, I have seen the amount of junk that accumulates without even knowing it. My daughter will collect and save any piece of plastic she can find, like a bird taking it to her room and making a nest. When buying for Frankie and Teddy I always think, will it last? Can it be passed on? Has it been consciously made? Quality over quantity. I ask the same questions when buying for the store. I truly feel if we buy better quality for our children now, we can reduce the amount that ends up in landfill. I also joke that I should work in quality control. I am so fussy, it must be the virgo in me.
There is a saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ Who are some of the incredible people that raised you and supported you throughout your life? Ahhhh, this is a tough one. Unfortunately, my mum passed away when I was 18 months old, so I guess my dad and brother loosely raised me until my dad passed when I was 10. I went into foster care for a while but that didn’t work out. I moved from Noosa to Sydney just before I was 11 to live with my aunt who I didn’t know. This was the most stable environment I had ever lived in. Lot’s of love, laughter and happiness. I was so lucky to have met so many amazing women through her, she had lots of amazing female friends that all had a huge impact on my life. She also had an older daughter Michele who had just had her first child and I spent most weekends with her and her family. Michele was more like an older sister than a cousin and I call on her and her husband all the time for advice and guidance. I’m not sure where my life would have taken me if it wasn’t for my aunt, she really saved me.
Meet our musical muse Mylee Grace. Mother to her daughter Goldie and son Rocky, Mylee recently released her debut album, Whiplash in the Moshpit and it’s unreal!
You have always had a love for music, when you decided to go from listening, to playing, to performing, how did you set about making that dream come true?
Is it surreal releasing your very own (might we add, successful) album? Sitting in my room at the age of 11 writing songs, I definitely didn’t think I’d be sharing them with the world. Being a shy human - putting myself out there and backing my art doesn't come very naturally. That’s why key people throughout my life have been essential to the process. Growing up, we were inspired by the garage, anti-folk and punk movement that was all about minimal skill and maximum fun. This casual approach definitely assisted with the organic process of skipping onto a stage and blindly giving it a go. The album I recently recorded was long overdue. I arrived at a point where I was busting to get the songs out of my head. It felt like I couldn't move forward until I had physically documented the creations in a structured way. I’m grateful everything aligned to make the record happen and now I can turn a page and create something new. The songs from the album titled “Whiplash In The Moshpit“ were written over the last seven years, so it feels like a “best of album“ even though it’s technically a “debut album“.
We love the idea that our lives are full of chapters, what were some of the chapters you closed when you became a mother, and what was it like opening the new chapters of motherhood and music?
The concept of chapters is something I think about a lot. It seems the essence of who we are stays with us from childhood to twilight years yet so much happens in between. I had my children when I was very young and I felt a strong sense of responsibility when it came to stepping up to the challenge. I didn’t know what I was doing and the fear of getting it wrong weighed on me. On the flip side, I also found that the purity and magic of new life also brought fertility to my creative soul. The infinite love I had for my new baby felt like the only thing holding me up at times. I look back on that period as the chapter in which I poured absolutely everything into motherhood. Most of my peers were partying all around me but I surrendered to going underground for a couple of years and immersed myself in the bubble. It was a hazy time and I certainly lost my identity a little but also learned a lot and grew stronger for it. We travelled overseas with our family band a few times (Mother Maria Stratton on lead guitar and partner Ozzie Wright on Bass). I continued writing at my own pace and tried not to lose sight of my hopes and dreams despite feeling stifled creatively for long periods of time. Watching my children grow and not need me as much anymore, I feel myself sliding into another chapter. I currently feel the support of the universe and people around me more than ever.
The warm-hearted and talented, Cisco Tschurtschenthaler. Mother to Wolfgang and Cisco, owner of Balinese homestay, The Slow and founder of beautiful natural ceramics company Cisco & The Sun.
When becoming a mother you spent a lot of time educating yourself on conscious parenting.
For those who don’t know, can you explain what it means to be a conscious parent and what you hope to achieve for your child through this process?
Well I’m usually too tired to read books at night, so I got really into audiobooks, the child education ones caught my interest and then I kinda got hooked and listened to a whole bunch and a lot of them share the same message. Children want our attention and to receive our love and approval. Kids get bored of hearing no, don’t do that etc all day long, so praising positive behaviour is essential….because they will seek to hear the approval so keep behaving good – that’s the idea behind it. Definitely takes some practice that is for sure. A good friend of mine told me this, saying NO out of love and that really stuck with me. Kids need boundaries, it makes them feel safe. My favourite book is the 7 spiritual laws to parenting by Deepak Chopra – very inspiring. We know our mother figures, throughout our lives, teach us a million invaluable life lessons. What was one that your mother figure taught you that has always stuck with you; that you will pass down to Wolfgang & Cisco? I am the youngest of 4 daughters and my mother had us in 4 years, twins in the middle. It was a very busy household. My mother always put us first. She stood by our side no matter what. And there were a bunch of incidents growing up that we are not proud of being silly teenage girls. We never got punished, my mum would just say she is disappointed in us and that hurt way more than punishment. My mum is cool because she was flexible with us, she said come home at a sensible time and she let us discover our own boundaries which in retrospective I think was wise (I'm sure not always easy), because if you are a told as a teenager you can’t do this or that, you will do it 100% more. We never felt like we had to lie to our mum and that is something I'm proud of and I hope I can establish that relationship with my boys. Open mindedness and flexibility.
Our amazing founder and head designer Ebony Eagles. Mother of her two gorgeous daughters Coco & Frankie, Ebony is the first in the office and last to leave everyday - she makes Auguste possible.
You have built Auguste, largely on the foundation of philanthropy and conscious creativity. How did you approach creating Auguste? Where does your love for nature and your need to create a better future stem from? Haha, I've planned very few things in my life. I always tend to jump first, find the wings later. I've now been a business owner for close to 20 years, so, with this time and experience comes more of a conscious, strategic approach to things. In the beginning I just believed I could do it, I put my head down, dug my heels in and felt my way through.. dusting the dirt off from time to time but never giving up. I've always been a huge earth and animal lover, it's the truest thing that exists to my core. When I created Auguste, from the beginning I wanted to get to a point where I was able to give back and raise funds and awareness for the people out there who are making real change… my life didn’t take me to the front line of these initiatives, so the best way that I can help is through awareness and charitable donations.
What is something that your mother figure passed down to you, that you look forward to sharing with your daughters? A lesson, piece of knowledge or even a sentimental item etc.
My mother is incredible. Throughout our fair share of adversity my mum worked so hard for the four of us, she gave us everything she had. She displayed strength, vulnerability and a wicked sense of humour, teaching us to prioritise what actually matters. She’s a very spiritual, brutally honest, and genuine woman with a massive green thumb so is very connected to the earth, I suppose if there were a trait that i'd like to know that my children have taken on it would be that - to be genuine, speak your truth, stay connected to earth and laugh! Because sometimes that is honestly all you can do.