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Steph Carta on Motherhood, Modelling and Life in the Byron Bay Hinterlands

 

 

A mother of two children, an entrepreneur and a veteran in the modelling industry: Steph Carta is a force of nature.

 

Naturally, there was no one more fitting as the face for Aje’s ‘Forces of Nature’ Mother’s Day 22  campaign than the internationally renowned model, who appeared alongside her five-year-old daughter Richie in precious moments lensed against the scenic natural splendour of their Byron Bay Hinterlands home.


Photographed in the early days of autumn with both mother and daughter wearing pieces from the Mother’s Day Edit; Aje caught up with the Brisbane-born beauty to talk motherhood, life in one of Australia’s most beautiful locales, and the joy of raising children surrounded by nature.

You’ve lived and modelled in some of the world’s biggest cities. What prompted you to make the move out to the Byron Bay Hinterlands and what do you love most about it?

 

Yes, it’s quite the opposite lifestyle, and one I would have never have expected to be living several years ago. It was all intuition for me to first make the move here. I came back to Australia from Europe where I was based to have my son, and during his first year of life, I had the instinctive feeling that this is the area we need to be and for him to grow up in.

 

A lot of the motivation at the time was community and a natural upbringing, not having any other family in this area. What I love most about it is the peace, the people and the land.

 

You and your daughter Richie feature in Aje’s ‘Forces of Nature’ campaign for Mother’s Day. Tell us, what was it like to model alongside your child? What was your favourite memory of the day?

 

It was amazing to be able to model alongside Richie for the first time! She has lately become very into fashion of her own accord, which also makes it fun.

 

Highlights would include the opportunity to capture these special moments together at home, as well as how wowed she was by some of the looks she saw on me. I still don’t think my kids quite understand the work I have done for almost two decades now!

 

Which pieces from the ‘Forces of Nature’ campaign do you envision yourself and Richie wearing out and around the Byron Bay Hinterlands and where to?

 

The Serpentine Cut Out Knit Midi Dress is a perfect autumn piece for me with Richie in the Poppy Ribbon Logo Kids Tee. We are all pretty active, so I can imagine heading to Federal in this effortlessly where we can get some take away Japanese from Doma and have a picnic near the skate park.

 

The Aurora Belted Midi Dress, and the Dust Knot Puff Sleeve Mini Dress are both such gorgeous pieces for a special lunch at a local friends property, with Richie alongside in the Mia Kids Logo Jumper — this one is so cuddly and she loves all the pinks.

The journey of motherhood is a momentous one. How did becoming a mother change your views on the world?

 

Becoming a mother flipped my world completely. Everything else in my world literally stopped and transitioned into motherhood becoming my one and only focus for some time.

 

It was a very quick learning experience (that still continues) about prioritising selflessness, new values and intentions. As with each child, each experience is unique in itself, but the underlying force of love for doing everything that you can to be the anchor for them in the best way possible for them to blossom in this world becomes first instinct and never fades.


Nature and motherhood are two concepts that are often entwined; both seen as grounding influences that nurture and grow us. To what extent do you feel living in the abundant natural beauty of the Byron Bay Hinterlands has influenced your approach to motherhood?

 

You know I could never be here for more than short visits prior to becoming a mother. Now, I just can’t imagine raising my children in these early years in any other way. Slowing down from such a fast-paced life happens a lot more naturally being surrounded by nature and immersing in its natural rhythm.

 

It provides a grounded base for natural exploration to grow from as well, being able to get right back down to the basics of what I feel makes life important, and part of that is connection to nature. You do also sacrifice other conveniences by making this choice however I keep seeing proof that I have chosen this lifestyle for a reason. As a mother, my children’s education — especially through navigating such changing times — is a priority, so I was very pleasantly surprised that a progressive conscious K-13 school opened in this region in 2020.

 

All my values for my little family are really just enhanced by being here. It can feel isolating and community-rich simultaneously, so it has shaped me as a mother by creating even more resilience and drive, as well as a sense of harmony. It’s allowed me the sense of space for contemplation and even healing. Both are huge aspects of the journey into motherhood.

 

 

It’s a beautiful day in the Byron Bay Hinterlands and your schedule is clear. Describe your perfect day: where would you eat/shop/play/visit?

 

I would firstly be taking a brisk walk through the peaceful local hilly roads surrounded by trees to get in some movement and immersion as well as ‘me’ time.

 

Then, meet up with a friend to take on the ride. Perhaps grab a warm beverage and a few supplies at the local Clunes store or The Old Shed. Then, go to either Newrybar or Bangalow to browse the shops and get a bite to eat. Maybe even discover somewhere I haven’t been, like Frieda’s Field. Anywhere serving fresh local produce is a must in terms of food when I’m not cooking it myself!

 

Ideally, next would be finding a local waterfall to completely refresh under, once again bringing it back to utilising the amazing natural beauty that this region has to offer. So many enjoyable evenings here have been spent with our community and our friends at Il Carretto’s local woodfired pizza nights. If it’s one of those nights, I would grab some local natural vino and head there to top it off!

What’s something you wish more people knew about living in the Byron Bay Hinterlands?

 

Tread lightly and respectfully. The region is still recovering from the trauma of the recent floods, so if you’re thinking about visiting, then thoroughly enjoy as well as consider ways you could directly give back to supporting the community of a region that is often the canvas for a lot of advertisement.

 

Also, drive safely. The roads are notoriously unkept, especially at the moment. Sometimes, it’s the land here that decides how long you should stay. The Earth power is strong in these parts. Apparently, there are crystal gridlines underground throughout the land, naturally shaping it to be a very healing place.


Lastly, if you could give new mothers and mother-figures one piece of advice, what would it be?

Get ready for the ride of your life. The children in this time are forces of nature! Remember that they are also here to teach us. Always remember how amazing you are and honor yourself for all that you do. This includes making sure you find ways to fill up your own cup in order to hold the biggest job in the world. Connect with nature frequently, and watch how much the children love it, too.

 

Shop the ‘Forces of Nature’ Mother’s Day Edit, as seen on Steph Carta and her daughter Richie at their Byron Bay Hinterlands home.

Model: Steph Carta @ Silverfox Mgmt Group

Photographer: David Blake

Hair & Make Up: Amanda Reardon

Styling: Steph Carta

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