Issue 3:
Editor’s Letter

Welcome, welcome to Issue 3 of Everly magazine! I’m so glad you’re here. To have your continued support of this small business means the world to me. I promise your eyes and imaginations are in for a treat, as we roll out the good news, positivity and stories that will make your heart sing!

Gracing the cover, this time around, we have the supremely talented sisters of Cungelella Art. Hailing from Kalkadoon country, these proud First Nations artists are creating a legacy through art and their pieces are finding new homes across Australia and around the world. If you’re not already familiar with their work, I’m so excited you’ll soon get to meet these inspiring women, mothers, sisters, partners, artists, creatives and entrepreneurs behind the name. Our interview with Glenda (who started it all) talks about the early days of Cungelella Art and how she roped in her other sisters. Not only do they create beautiful artworks together, inspired by their Kalkadoon surroundings, the sisters have also launched their own clothing label this year! Turn to page 54 to read the full story, check out some of their collaborations and revel in the stunning photography from Sarah Conlan and Renee Johnstone (whose work is also on the cover). So much gratitude to everyone who made this cover story possible!

It was such an honour getting to talk to much-loved Aussie journo and author Trent Dalton about his latest book Love Stories. I’ve always admired the way Trent writes and how he conveys so much emotion, detail and heart in his feature articles and books. Trent opens up about creativity, pushing through self-doubt and how one simple question ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’ led to his latest masterpiece. If you haven’t read Love Stories yet, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. It’s a heart-on-sleeve look at all the different types of love in the world. A million thanks to Trent for being so generous with his time and for his encouraging, kind words about Everly. I’ll never forget it! (Special thanks also go to Fiona Franzmann and David Kelly for their photographic contributions in this piece!)

Are you a fan of Hamilton the Musical? You might have been lucky enough to see it on Broadway back before the pandemic, or maybe you’ve streamed the original featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hamilton down under kicked off in 2021 when most other theatres around the world were still closed due to COVID-19. The show has recently finished up in Sydney and is now starting its Melbourne run. We talk to New Zealand performer Akina Edmonds about playing the role of Angelica Schuyler, being part of a brilliantly diverse cast and the all-important ending of Hamilton. Huge thanks to Akina for taking us behind the curtain!

If you’re craving some armchair travel, flip to page 20 and escape to the glorious Greek Islands with Paula Hagiefremidis, who is behind the wonderful journal Mediterranean Wanderer. I count myself lucky to know Paula. She’s like a human sunbeam. Greece is her anchor, companion and solace. We’re so fortunate she was able to share her travel insights and photos in Issue 3.

For style and fashion enthusiasts, we take a closer look at the stunning Elie Saab Spring-Summer 2022 collection from Paris Fashion Week, and we have an interview with the dedicated and inspiring force behind Apéro label, Rachel Mellers-Smith. I love how she has made her childhood dreams come true!

Speaking of inspiring women, a very special shout-out goes to all the wonderful women in our lady startups feature. They’re passionate, innovative and prove anything is possible for mums who also balance a business. I encourage you to check out the fab products from New Day Skin, Marvell Lane, Goldn Wares, Little Black Duck, Hey Polly, and Bonnie and Kind because so much thought, effort and love has gone into creating each and every one of them. We also have a discount code from New Day Skin AND a giveaway from Bonnie and Kind in the lady startup section, so be sure to jump on them!

There were a lot of creatives that helped bring Everly Issue 3 to life and I need to thank them too. Maggie Stephenson provided illustrations that were perfect for the lady startup feature, while NZ author Emma Heaphy shared some beautifully honest poetry about motherhood. I’m big fans of both ladies and I find I’m always hitting ‘like’ on their Instagram posts.

Thank you, dear reader, for letting me indulge in the topic of motherhood for Issue 3. It was very close to my heart and I found it fascinating hearing from others about their journeys. But I’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge that the topic of babies and motherhood can be tough for some (sending hugs your way if that’s you) and that there’s not just one way to be a mother in life. There are so many amazing mother figures out there who demonstrate grace, patience, resilience, strength, love and hope on a daily basis and I take my hat off to them.

A million thanks to New Day Skin, Marvell Lane and Goldn Wares for their extra support of Everly and helping to make Issue 3 a reality. It means a lot! Special shout-outs to all the other key players as well… Marie (what a gem!), Sharon and Hazie (true superwomen!) and to family and friends who’ve been there along the way, BIG hugs and gratitude! But… I’d have to say the one getting the most hugs these days is the newest member of the Everly team (pictured). Thanks for letting me juggle both you and the mag, my little love.

A baby lies on a bed yawning while holding his mother's pinky finger and dad looks on

While being a mum has opened up my eyes to even more magic in this world (and I wouldn’t trade it for a second), I also don’t want to gloss over how tricky it can be to juggle all the balls in the air. Whether or not you’re a mum, as women we take on a lot. Sometimes it can get very overwhelming and it’s okay to admit that. It was pretty challenging putting this issue together and it feels like a mammoth effort to finally get there… but we did. It’s been a big learning curve and I’ve had to reframe my perspective on what I’d call a ‘productive’ day in this stage of life. But that’s okay. It’s a new pace. And it’s a chance to grow, both as a human and as a business owner. Trying to balance a small biz and bub life has its moments and what I’ve slowly come to realise is that added perspective, keeping it real and being kind to yourself can go a long way. Plus, you’ve got to celebrate your wins when they happen!

Lastly, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has bought a copy of Everly, told a friend about us, photographed their mag, or sent love, encouragement and kindness on the socials. You are what keeps this magazine going. I hope you all enjoy Issue 3 and find inspiration, motivation and illumination in these stories. Thank you for supporting storytelling and this love letter to style, travel, the arts and life.

Love and light,
Lesley xo
Editor + Founder
A mother nurses her baby over one shoulder

(Family photos by We Are Twine)