One of the most important relationships in a woman’s life is the one we share with our mum. Shaynna Blaze may be one of Australia’s most sought-after interior designers but she is a mother first and foremost.
Despite being separated by almost a thousand kilometres, the proud mother-of-two shares an unshakable bond with her daughter Carly Anne Kenneally.
Like Shaynna, Carly has an appreciative laugh, a zest for life and is no stranger to television. Working as an Assitant Editor, Carly has collaborated with mum Shaynna on a number of projects, including Selling Houses Australia.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we chatted to the vivacious duo about women, feminism and, of course, each other.
What’s it like being a mum?
Shaynna: Being a Mum is the most exhausting, exhilarating job in the world.
What’s your relationship like?
Shaynna: Carly and I have gone past the daughter-mother stage and we really have a 'best friend' relationship these days. That doesn't stop me playing the 'Mum' card when the situation calls for it though!
Carly: Mum and I are best friends. We speak almost every day and we are usually trying to call each other at the same time. Mum is able to be in the moment, whilst thinking two steps ahead, which can be exhausting but never boring and forever inspiring.
What do you admire most about each other?
Shaynna: I admire Carly's tenacity, her passion, her desire to push through, her thirst for knowledge and her divine personality.
Carly: Mum is a problem solver. No matter how difficult a situation or problem may be Mum will always find a solution.
What is something Carly has taught you?
Shaynna: She's taught me unconditional love, that a mother-daughter bond can never be broken, and patience!
Has Shaynna ever given you any great love advice?
Carly: Get over it!
What about great career advice?
Carly: Every day. Mum and I are always brainstorming ideas, some fly and some are left to fester. Then maybe two years later we will be like, oh remember that idea I had to do years ago? I think it’ll work now.
Who are the other important women in your life?
Shaynna: My aunty Joan, who was a great sounding board for things I couldn't tell my mother when I was growing up. She was always a place of wisdom along with a laugh and a good time. As a group, my girlfriends. No matter what you go through your girls will be there through the highs and lows. That's why girl time and nurturing those relationships is so important.
Carly: Oh so many. My wonderful step mum Julie and my step sister's Amanda and Carlee. My cousin Carmel. My aunties. Along with my numerous groups of girlfriends that I would be so lost without.
Do you think it is important for women to support other women?
Shaynna: I couldn't have got where I am now, or achieved what I have, without the support of other women. That's why it's so important to me that I 'pay it forward' and support other women when I have the opportunity. With the things that are happening in the world at the moment, I think women supporting women has never been more important.
Carly: For sure - without excluding others too, of course. I find women naturally think of others before themselves. So to have someone else looking out for you is always appreciated.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Carly: International Women’s day is a day we can reflect and appreciate all the wonderful qualities that represent being a woman. Like the nurturing, strength and grace, which is overlooked by power and success.
And finally, what is feminism to you?
Shaynna: Feminism is being comfortable in your own skin as a woman but also being strong enough to voice your opinion. Being a woman, but not being shy about being strong and speaking your mind. Feminism is about equality. It's saying we're just as powerful and vulnerable as the next person. And it's about standing side by side, not one in front and one behind. It's basic humanity really.
Carly: Feminism is the movement to create equality for all human beings.
All images are credited to Fernando Barraza.
For more stories about inspiring women, take a look at our International Women's Day hub.