Meet Working mum and part-time student Gracie Southhall. In this Q&A, she talks about her favourite icon, ideal guests at a dinner party and Maya Angelou.

Tell us about you.

I’m a full time working mum of a three-year-old who is also attempting to go to university part-time to study to be a Breastfeeding Counsellor and Postnatal tutor. I have an incredibly supportive wife who I’ve been married to for 5 years now. I love all things sparkly and I am constantly buying books to add to my never-ending reading pile.

Who is your favourite living icon?

There are so many incredible women in the world doing amazing things to improve things for the future but I would have to say Shonda Rhimes: the creator of some of my favourite TV shows. Shonda’s award-winning TV shows represent the world we live in today with a diverse cast. The characters in her shows are people of colour and part of the LGBT community. She’s also a working mum of three and is now one of the highest-paid in her field after securing an amazing deal with Netflix.

How did you meet your wife?

We met one night in our local pub but exchanging the wrong telephone numbers ( and some mistaken identities) meant we almost never made it on our first date. Luckily, we figured it out with some help from our friends and we were engaged 6 months later.

Gracie in our bestselling Ring Ring Skirt

What is your favourite TV show that is currently on?

There are so many to choose from that I enjoy at the moment! I just finished binge-watching The Witcher on Netflix which may fill a Game of Thrones shaped hole in my life. I love an epic story with a complex plot and interesting characters.

What book have you read that positively shaped you?

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I read this book as a teenager and it has always stuck with me on how Maya Angelou reinvented herself when she needed to. Also, as life threw her huge problems she found ways to overcome them.

What is the coolest thing about you?

Probably, I am not afraid to speak my mind and tell the truth when it needs to be said.

Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram all the way!! I follow some incredible women and they inspire me every day.

What is your favourite food?

Chicken and Vegetable Risotto covered in Parmesan… I could eat it all day!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Never wait until you think you are ready to move onto the next step because you will never will. Just take the leap now and go for it.

Name five people you would invite to your dream dinner party?

My best friend Sarah as we never have enough time together, Maya Angelou as she had the most incredible life, Ru Paul as he would entertain us all with his humour, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as I’d love to discuss feminism and her writing with her and George RR Martin so I could ask him when Winds of Winter is finally being released!

What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?

You will have some tough choices to make but listen to your instincts and remember that you don’t have to put up with toxic people in your life even if they are your family. Family is what you make it and you’ll end up with your own wonderful family in the future.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is not being the best mother that I could be to my Little Monster and that I’ll repeat the mistakes my own mother made.

What is your best quote?

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” — Maya Angelou

What are you most proud of?

Keeping a feral toddler alive? Haha! Also, studying part-time for a degree while working and having a family. I’ve had to take a year off while I started a new job, but I can’t wait to get back into it when life settles down.

What has age taught you?

Age has taught me to worry less and be honest more.

If your life was a song, what would the title be?

The Mother by Brandi Carlile, this song for me sums up motherhood perfectly.

If you had a tattoo where would it be?

It would be somewhere I could cover it up. In my weekend job when I was at Uni, (providing spray-on tattoos in nightclubs ) I discovered that I’m too indecisive to ever decide on something permanent like a tattoo.

 Connect with Grace on Instagram here

January 25, 2020 — Yvonne Telford