International Women's Day with our Founder, Julia Grayson

What is the significance of International Women’s Day to you?

I am incredibly grateful for the many women who I am blessed to have in my life. They inspire me, teach me, lead me and support me. They remind me every day to be a better person, a better woman, a better mother, a better daughter, a better friend.

Today allows us the opportunity to reach out to the women in our lives and express our thanks, our gratitude as well as offer support and hope to all women to be all that they can.

It is a day for all people, regardless of gender, to celebrate the amazing tapestry of women who make up this world and all that is in it.

3 Joys of Womanhood

  1. Engaging with and supporting other women.

  2. Having and raising my children.

  3. Being inspired by the women in my family who have come before me.

Who are some female founders who inspire you?

There are so many! In the world of design I've always admired Victoria Hagan. Gwyneth Paltrow is also someone I am inspired by. How she's been able to navigate a shift in careers all the while building a multi-million dollar business is an incredible feat. 

Many of the brands that we offer are female founded. From the amazing Ayurvedic products from Surya by Martha Soffer, luxurious candles of Amanda De Montal, to the gorgeous throws and pillows of Rosemary Hallgarten, to the incredibly rejuvenative skincare from Beth Gagnon at Gagnon Essentials, to our favorite clean skincare products from Margo Marrone at The Organic Pharmacy. Each of these women have forged ahead in separate fields in the luxury space and have been able to make names for themselves through their passion and hard work. It's so inspiring!

Martha Soffer of Surya
Amanda De Montal of Amanda De Montal
Rosemary Hallgarten of Rosemary Hallgarten
Beth Gagnon of Gagnon Essentials
Margo Marrone of The Organic Pharmacy

Who are your ultimate mentors and idols overall?

My mother has been my greatest mentor and my greatest cheerleader. But so have my daughters.

My closest girlfriends are also people that I look up to. Their wisdom, strength + grace are all attributes that I look to emulate. 

My idols are all women who are able to incorporate intelligence, compassion + humanity whether that is in the creative space (especially the wonderful female founded brands that we offer), in the medical or charitable spaces or as leaders. This can run the gamut between Katherine Hepburn and Ursula von der Leyen.

What are some of your favorite products with female founders behind them?

The Carrot Butter Cleanser from The Organic Pharmacy

Anyone who knows me knows that this product has been my go-to for 20 years. It was one of the first products from The Organic Pharmacy that I absolutely fell in love with. It's my favorite, gentle cleanser whether as a makeup remover or to subtly cleanse the skin. 

I'm so inspired by the simplicity and yet impactfulness of this stand-out product.

Rosemary Hallgarten Throws

I've always loved the luxurious texture of Rosemary Hallgarten's pieces. They're some of my favorite accessories to incorporate in my design projects. They inspire me to think differently about spaces: whether that be to add some pattern outdoors with the Eden fabric or to bring softness into a living space. From her throws to her pillows to her rugs and to her many varied textiles, she's an expert at what she curates + creates.

Amanda De Montal Luxury Candles

I'm so inspired by Amanda and all that she creates. I don't know how she does what she does! The depth and variance of her exceptional fragrances is unparalleled. Her attention to detail is palpable through every aspect of her pieces from the handmade glass and terracotta vessels, to the beautifully blended wax that burns seamlessly and evenly, to the striking packaging. Most importantly, her commitment to making an eco-conscious brand is even more admirable. As we head into warmer months, my go-to scents from her collections are Memoria Infantia or Citrus Basilicum.

Since creating Grayson De Vere, what have you learned from being a small business owner?

I learned just how challenging it is to create and run a business. It is so much more difficult than anyone ever tells you. If you are considering starting a business, make sure you are absolutely passionate about what you are doing as it truly is a labor of love. It also provides the ultimate reward in that it engages so many aspects of one’s intellect and gives so much opportunity for growth as a person.

What would be your ultimate dream project?

I love creating living spaces, whether it is designing a modern home near the water or redecorating a pre-War Park Avenue apartment or renovating a beautiful property in Europe. All styles of projects require solution based, collaborative design work between architect, designer, site manager and client. The thrill of working through the initial puzzle of structural options and discerning the outcome is in itself fulfilling. The icing is in designing the interior to optimize a wellness-based life and empowering it with the technology that enables a seamless way of living.

If you could give one piece of advice to other women looking to start a small business, what would it be?

Know your passion. Have clarity of intention. An ounce of planning is worth more than a pound of effort. But you will need both planning and effort! Know your strengths. Own your weaknesses. Hire people who are better than you. And don’t be afraid to be the boss!

What about for young women just starting their careers?

Make sure your path is one of your own choosing and not that of someone else’s. Once chosen, step onto that path fearlessly and find others who inspire you and can offer mentorship + opportunity.

What do you think it means to be a woman in 2024?

To me, being a woman in 2024 is all about being connected to our authentic selves and having a clear view of the many paths around us: where we have come from, those which are ahead, those which have been successful, those which have failed and those which are just now unfolding on the horizon. As women, we are often asked to walk on several paths simultaneously.

Life is never static.

As a modern woman, we have the great fortune to be able to empower ourselves through self awareness as well as the ability to connect to others within the broader global community: creatively, intellectually, inspirationally, empathically.

To feel strength and grace in the true confidence of being our most authentic selves with clear knowledge of self and total faith in our abilities to create, to grow, to share and to lead - that is what it means to be a modern woman.

Some Of Julia's Favorite Pieces From Our Female Founders