My thirst to make this small business of mine amazing is never quenched. I’ve spent the past six years building TLC Interiors into the successful blog and home styling biz you see today, but it’s come at a cost.
Self care is something I had left by the wayside in recent years. “Me Time” was a concept for other people. I didn’t take time out for myself. I didn’t pamper or indulge. In fact, even on a holiday in Thailand I itched to get on the laptop, check emails, write a blog, update socials. I found it hard to sit still (I still do), out of fear I might miss an opportunity, or that someone else might get a gig I’ve been dying to secure.
There always seems to be a little underlying, niggling anxiety… bubbling away under the surface. Rush-achieve-repeat, rush-achieve-repeat. That’s been my formula, and it can often burn me out.
It’s taken a lot of self discipline to get to a point when I make self care a priority. To me, the notion involves time away from the ‘noise’ of everything. Step away from the phone and computer. Run a bath. Light a candle. Meditate. Something as simple as applying a beautiful hand lotion feels like self care to me. A moment when I feel like I’m treating myself. And God does it feel good.
Does any of this resonate with you?
Practicing Self Care with my new Fave Brand, Mary Grace
So I’ve recently discovered a brand that I feel encapsulates this wonderful notion of self care, and its name is Mary Grace. It’s funny how you come across people, stores or brands at certain periods in your life. They just seem to speak to you, know what I mean? Mary Grace certainly does, although calling it a ‘new brand’ is kinda not completely true.
Although the name of the brand has only been in effect for about eight weeks, the business has been going strong for over 15 years. And you probably know some of the products already.
“Mary Grace is fairly new, but we are not,” explains the leading lady behind the biz, Mary Gouganovski. “We first started our business in 2002; a small boutique gift shop in Picton, NSW. We had that shop until we lost it in the floods two years ago. We started manufacturing in 2010, and have slowly become one of the largest contract candle manufacturers in Australia. Our brand had always been there in the background but not something we’d been able to work on properly”.
Since the change from Endless Candles to Mary Grace, I’m told that business has instantly improved.
“Trading as Mary Grace has really opened up so many doors for us! In the four weeks after the change, I released four new product departments: skincare, cosmetics, sleepwear and women’s handbags,” Mary says.
Why Practicing Self Care is so Important
Mary is thankfully on the same page as me when it comes to the importance of practicing self care. It’s probably why I gravitate toward the products and find them so appealing. I mean, of course they look absolutely divine, but there is an ethos that underpins the entire range. It has a lot to do with taking care of your health – and I don’t just mean the physical.
Having lost members of my family to mental health issues, this idea of taking care of yourself – even in small ways – really resonates with me.
“I believe heavily in self care. The brand has a strong focus on mental health, body positivity and being completely raw with your emotions,” Mary explains. “Whilst we sell products, my Instagram stories heavily promote and encourage talking about your feelings. Whilst we’re a brand, we’re also a voice for the people”.
Mary also explains that in such a social media heavy world, people have – oddly enough – forgotten how to truly communicate with one another. It’s why the brand is so focused on the notion of looking after yourself and learning to feel great about the skin you’re in.
“I love to connect with my customers, with my followers; talk to them like I’ve known them for years and make them feel comfortable and at home amongst the pages of my social media,” she says. “The products are very much the same, if we can provide one small thing that makes you feel better about yourself that day, I’ve done my job”.
“People are looking for natural products that don’t break the bank. My motto is designer products at affordable prices, and they love that they have somewhere they can go and purchase the things they love without putting too much strain on the wallet”.
Practicing Self Care on Multiple Fronts: Home, Fashion, Beauty
I love a local biz that feels like a true lifestyle brand. You know; a destination where you can grab some candles, hand soaps and creams (the indulgent, homely stuff). But then it’s also a place you can get skincare and cosmetics for yourself too. Oh, and handbags and robes.
Selecting what goes into the evolving Mary Grace collection is a passion for Mary – and it shows! She’s not only responsible for everything from the website to the design, fragrance selection to production selection, but she’s steering the business toward her ultimate goal: a kind of world domination. But of course, with a very dreamy, self-care, indulgent twist.
“I have a vision of where I’d like to see the brand in the next one to five years and it’s huge,” Mary tells me. “My goal for it, is to become a department store style brand. A true one stop shop for women (or men!) to find all the things they love: cosmetics, perfume, skincare, lingerie, sleepwear, gifts, bags, jewellery, accessories, tableware and homewares”.
I have to say, this vision excites me to no end. Now I just have to encourage Mary to produce a men’s pamper collection and I’m set 😉
How I Practice Self Care that Might Help You
Life is crazy. And it can drive you bonkers if you don’t focus on practicing self care. As a person who has a tendency to get anxious, these are some ways I take care of myself that might help you too. Try them the next time you’re feeling stressed out.
- Go for a slow walk – no music. Just take in the scenery and sunshine
- Run a bath, pop on some chilled-out tunes and take some deep breaths
- Post-bath, indulge in moisturisers and lotions – it’s a nice way to reward yourself
- Get some flowers. The process of arranging gorg-smelling blooms is quite soothing
- Light candles. My fave scent is vanilla (Mary Grace has a few divine fragrances)
- Download the ‘Happy Minds’ mediation app – great for beginners and it works wonders
- Pop into a comfortable robe, have a herbal tea and count your blessings
The above are things I do often at home. They were things I never used to do. I’d file them away under “don’t have time for that”, but making the time is really important.
Self-care is something parents often don’t do either. You feel it’s selfish, I get it. But as they say on flights, you gotta take care of yourself before you help others. And having ‘you time’ is what makes you a better parent. You’ll be less stressed, more relaxed, and more grateful. And a mind full of gratitude changes your entire outlook on the world.
Alright, enough banging on from me. Let’s give you all the details on the pamper pack you can win below from Mary Grace.
Win one of two Pamper Packs from Mary Grace, worth $250
*Please note this comp is now closed. Winner was Carol Gillett.
The pack include all of the following goodies:
- 1 x Satin Robe in Navy
- 1 x Hand Wash of your choice
- 1 x Hand Lotion of your choice
- 1 x Diffuser of your choice
- 2x Wanderlust Jar Candles in your choice of fragrance
TO ENTER TO WIN:
Drop a comment below naming what you love about Mary Grace and why you need some self care.
Comp open to Aus residents only. Comp closes 11.59pm Weds August 29