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International Women's Day
Meet the Aje Muses

In ode to International Women’s Day, Aje reached out to the inspiring women in our community, to share stories of the women who have had a positive butterfly effect on their lives.

 

Captivated by the idea that the smallest of actions can have monumental impacts, Edwina Forest and Adrian Norris were inspired by ‘The Butterfly Effect’ when designing the current Sequence collection, and believe that positive change can start with the most minute of actions - a text, an opportunity or even a vote of confidence.

 

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women accelerating the pace of positive change, whose support has inspired and empowered the extraordinary women of the Aje community.

 

Today, we encourage you to spread positivity by sharing a photograph of a woman who has created a positive ripple effect in your life.

Athena Calderone, Author, Interior Designer, Culinary Storyteller and Entertaining Expert

While I can think of several women whose small actions have had a monumental impact on my life and career, there’s one that stands out: Julia Childs. She was a vocal advocate for women’s rights and a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood when it was considered taboo, even held cooking classes to raise money and awareness around freedom of choice. She was also a vocal supporter of the AIDS movement, helping to coordinate one of the first large-scale food benefits at a time when celebrities weren't. In addition to her advocacy, Childs was also a late bloomer, becoming a household name at 49 when Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published. I was well into my 30s when I discovered my passion, too, and like Childs, food was also the conduit to finding my direction and purpose which ultimately led to a career path.

 

This quote of hers really sums it up for me: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Her devotion to cooking made her an icon, and to think it all started as a hobby while she lived in France! This is yet another parallel to my own career because I too developed a love affair for the culinary arts as a humble home cook experimenting in my kitchen. Childs said ”you can never learn enough about the things you love” and I really do live by that mantra.

Edwina Forest, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Aje

The little human whose actions have had a monumental and positively impactful change on my life is my daughter, Freia Moon Forest. Like a mirror to my soul, I am constantly in awe of how commanding her presence is with the use of only minimal words. It reminds me that it isn’t always the person who speaks the loudest who is heard the strongest. One can be gentle and quiet in demeanour, and loud in actions.'

Yvonne Weldon, First Aboriginal Aboriginal Councillor elected in the City of Sydney Council

My life has been impacted, supported and guided by many incredible women, they have set the pathway for me & for all. It's now my calling to continue to walk in their footsteps to create pathways for others too.

 

I am involved in many roles such as a Manager in the NSW Dept of Communities & Justice, the first Aboriginal Councillor of the City of Sydney Council, Deputy Chairperson of the Metropolitan LALC and the Australia Day Council of NSW, board member of DVNSW and Redfern Jarjum College. My time is spent very busily and my greatest gift is spending precious time with my grandson Tailan, my children, parents and Elders.

Eleanor Pendleton, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Gritty Pretty

At just 29, my mother left her home country of the Philippines and emigrated to Australia. She left her family behind for a country she'd never visited and knew no one. As a full-time mother, she sacrificed everything for my younger sister and I – her career pursuits and her passions – to raise us to become strong, independent women. It's only now that I'm a mother myself that I truly understand the depth and magnitude of her selflessness. I'm forever grateful and in awe of her strength.

Annie Brown, Contributing Editor at Vogue.com.au and Freelance Fashion and Lifestyle Journalist

A woman who has had an indelible impact on my life is my very dear friend Ali. Not only do we share a lot of the same values (and appreciation for French champagne!) but our children are just about the exact same age. Navigating parenting and the monumental identity and life shift of becoming a mother together has been such a balm and a joy. It's not just about sharing parenting hacks or an excellent podcast about handling toddler tantrums, but Ali is someone who has buoyed me when I've needed it, and given me a firm but fair talking to when I've needed that also. Her kindness, toughness, cleverness, and sense of fun impacts my life every day. I love too how we can gossip intensely, and over several platforms at once, and also sit in companionable, exhausted silence. I actually don't think I could navigate motherhood without her!'

Nat Buchanan, Model and Co-Founder of Hung Supply

I'm forever grateful to the community of talented women I get to work with! From photographers and MUA’s, to agents and fellow models, these women have made me feel valued and enriched my life on a personal and career level. However, nothing represents the greatest impact of a woman on my life than my mum. This is us side by side.

Rebecca Khoury, Creative Director and Editor

The most monumental woman figure in my life is my mother. Growing up, she was like a guidance counsellor, not just for our family, but anyone who walked through the door - and there were many. Her kindness and compassion were relentless. Her work ethic, her resilience, her strength. She'd never deny anything asked of her. The small daily acts of kindness and the grace in which she delivers them inspires me everyday. She reminds me that anything is possible and to practise compassion above all. I am grateful for her very existence.

Melanie Jarnson, Actress

Fin is this hearty, poetic powerhouse of humanity at its finest. When faced with adversity, she holds her head up high and says “Game On”. She displays with such powerful grit how raw empathy and vulnerability don’t make you weak - they’re signs of strength. How being dealt with a bad card can make you a better player. And most of all - how beautiful it is to care. Even if the pressure of the world is on her shoulders, she deeply cares. Since moving to Australia on my own, I’ve felt this overwhelming need to shrink myself. But Fin is completely and unapologetically herself. She taught me something I so desperately needed: to give myself permission to take up space. Finny, I adore you - my sweet, talented, pasta crazed dancing queen.'

Jessica Picton-Warlow, Model and Environmental Science and Management Student

When I first went overseas for modelling, I was 16 years old, and I’d just dropped out of high school. I was terrified, crying on the bed in the model house in an absolute state thinking I’d completely ruined my life. An experienced model 10 years my senior sat down with me and explained everything you could ever know about the industry and the job. More so, she framed it as an opportunity for an amazing experience in life. From that point, I knew what to expect, I changed my attitude and created a goal to model for a decade like she had. Next year, I will reach that goal! I truly think I owe much of my career to her kindness and wisdom.

 

Backstage, models bring each other up and support one another. I think there is a misconception that all women need to constantly compete against other women. This image represents to me the positive impact working with other models has had on me.

Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Actress, Writer and Director

My mother is my best friend and a constant inspiration to me. She taught me to be brave and constantly encourages me to reach higher.

Lissy Graham, Content Creator and Ballet Dancer

Robyn Mustey was my children's primary school teacher. Her patience, kindness and love of youth had such a huge impact on my children and their love of learning. We still keep In touch, I call her the patron saint of education. This image is of my daughters who inspire me everyday to be kind and set an example they would be proud of.

Gabrielle Penfold, Artist

The women in my family have all worked hard to get an education. They are strong, opinionated and fun. They combined motherhood with their career aspirations with good grace and humour. They taught me the value of a strong work ethic and self reliance. They are my role models. I've included an image of Grace Tame here, as she's been such an icon of positive change for women nationwide over the last year, continually pushing conversations forward regarding our rights to not just be heard, but to create real change.

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