Makaila wears the Pru dress

Makaila is one of those friends you don't always see but when you do, it's always the same. Ever since we shared a room on Grade 5 Grampions camp, we had an immediate connection that has remained to this day. We went through our Spice/Girl/Hanson phase together (even when it wasn't viewed to be "cool"), plotting ways we would both somehow marry Zac Hanson. Had sleepovers where we tried to stay awake all night, Makaila was always better at this than me. Through the high school years we added parties, a healthy mix of rebellion and endless discussions about boys to the mix. Even as adults, our interests have remained similar and it is particularly special that we now have babies that are only four months apart. Some of my happiest memories are with Makaila because she is the type of friend who allows you to fully embrace who you are, to be unique and believe in yourself.
I am so thankful to Makaila for sharing her story so openly and honestly as she discusses balance, change and life with her miracle baby Louie after enduring the beyond heartbreaking loss of her partner Dan. Makaila is one of the bravest, most inspiring women I know.

- Lucy


Tell us about your background - what has led you to here?


I was born and raised in the riverside town of Echuca, Victoria and enjoyed a pretty normal childhood amongst the gum trees. I made the move to Melbourne at 18 unsure of what I really wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t long before I found myself taking on a floristry apprenticeship and quickly fell in love with the blooms. I was lucky enough to spend 10 crazy years working with some amazing florists across the city.

At the age of 28 I decided it was time to return to my roots (something I thought I’d never do!) and moved back to my hometown to open up my own florist studio. Little did I know at the time, the significance that this decision would hold. My story was changed uniquely from here on in.

All was going well with my business, I was so enjoying being back in the country and things got ever better when I met the love of my life, Dan. He strolled on in and it was like we had been together all along. The most laidback, kind, generous, funny and thoughtful soul I’d ever come across. I worshipped him and have never been happier than I was with him by side. I thanked my lucky stars every day that he had come along and couldn’t wait to see what the future had in store for us. My world was crushed when he committed suicide, leaving us at only 24 years old.

Words don’t come close to describing the devastation that followed and I don’t think I will ever truly get over losing him this way. But I count my blessings every day, as I squeeze our baby girl tight. Less than a week after the funeral I found out I was in fact pregnant. This news was as big of a shock as Dan’s death, but it was the best surprise I could have ever been gifted. Our baby has been my saving grace through the most difficult time in my life. Louie named after her daddy Daniel Louis Ferrier was born happy and healthy just 2 days shy of his own birthday.

She is now a busy little 15 month old and brings more love and light into the lives of our families than we could have ever anticipated. Both losing my love and becoming a single Mama has really woken me up to what’s important, where my values lie and the kind of life I want to create for my daughter and I. With that have come some changes, I decided to shut down my florist studio so I have more time to be a Mummy. In turn have commenced studies in early childhood education and care and I now have an online store, Claude and Clancy ( selling my own hand crafted aromatherapy blends and wellness products for Mums and Bubs. Between it all I’m just trying the best that I can to overcome my grief and be the best mother, role model and version of myself possible. It’s a work in progress…


Makaila wears the Pru dress


What is the best thing about being a Mother?


Oh all of it. I think you learn who you truly are when you become a mother and the lessons and gifts it brings are invaluable. But mostly the little moments in sharing meals together, bath time, dancing and singing around the house with Lou in my arms. Also watching her figuring out the world, how to do things for herself and seeing her darling personality come to life, it’s really wonderful.


You sell Doterra essential oils through Claude and Clancy, why these oils in particular?


I was introduced to doterra whist I was pregnant and have been obsessed ever since. Having a natural alternative to products usually rife with toxins is worth its weight in gold. I use essential oils for everything now, in my skin care, for all my cleaning, to help me sleep, for headaches, to calm and uplift my nervous system and so much more. I chose to use doterra because of the exceptional quality and the company’s philanthropic efforts, they are doing really amazing things in the world.


Any advice on running a business and being a Mother?


Something I’m still working on, it’s a juggling act that’s for sure. I suppose don’t get to caught up in it, just go with the flow and do what you can, when you can. Louie is a terrible day sleeper and I was finding it hard to get anything done at all so she now goes to day care two days a week so I can have a solid stint of productivity. Alternatively if your finding it difficult ask a family member of friend (if you have them available to you, I know not everyone does) to take bub for an hour here and there, its amazing how much you can achieve in a short time when your baby free! One great piece of advice that has helped me immensely is, rather than having loads on your to do list recognize the one most important task for the day and try to tick that off first, if you can achieve just that then you are winning.


Makaila wears the Pru dress


What advice would you give to anyone going through the same thing?


Whether you’ve lost a partner, gone through a break down of a relationship or found yourself a single mother for other reasons, it is all overwhelming to say the least. The biggest piece of advice I have is to take it one day at a time. Try to eat, try to sleep even when you think you can’t. Lean on those around you. Don’t feel bad about asking for help if you feel you need it because the important people will be so happy to be able do something/anything for you during a time of such difficulty. Cry, scream, hit a punching bag, do whatever ever you need to get those emotions out. Remember to breathe and know that things will get easier with time. Continue to surround yourself with the special people in your life, as they will be your saviors.


Is there anything that has helped you through the pain?


Louie. I’m so grateful of the uncanny timing of the two biggest events in my life. Finding out about my pregnancy so soon after Dan passed away really was a godsend. It gave me something good to focus on and I knew I needed to put my energy into remaining calm and healthy to nurture my growing baby. Then once she arrived, well I haven’t really taken a breath she’s been the perfect distraction. And more than that she lights up my world, literally beams sunshine, happiness and laughs into all of my days.

Also having such an incredible support network of family and friends, who have gone above and beyond has definitely made this journey that bit easier.

Meditation, mindfulness and gratitude have also been huge in keeping me sane through everything. Taking time to see beauty in the little things, finding small pockets of solitude in the day and taking a moment to think about all of the good things that I do have in my life when I am really missing Dan, has been extremely beneficial.


Anything that hasn't?


In saying the above, the fact that I have been so pre occupied has been a blessing but its also meant that I still haven’t really processed everything or felt the full brunt of Dan’s passing. I know there will eventually come a time when I need to deal with what’s happened and the brokenness of my heart.


Makaila wears the Pru dress


How would you describe your style?


Casual with a side of bohemian. During the week I basically wear black jeans, white t-shirt and my RM Williams. On the weekends I’m more likely to opt for a beautiful free flowing maxi dress with some strappy sandals. If I’m getting dressed up I cant go past a bold lip or a pair of statement earrings.


Has it changed since becoming a Mother?


I’m all about comfort and ease now. I spend lots of time on the floor and am forever bending down to pick up Louie so nothing to short, to tight or that I need to adjust whilst wearing it.


Who do you admire?


So many people! I’m lucky to have many amazing women in my life I especially admire those who have stood by me and shown me selflessness and generosity in the difficult moments. But generally just individuals who are kind, show determination and are uniquely and unapologetically themselves.


What makes you nervous?


I’m commonly an awkward person so I’d probably have to say meeting new people. Also heights and bees give me the urks. Oh and constantly thinking, did I actually reply to that text or email?


What is your all time favourite movie?


This is a hard one. Probably, Lost in Translation. Basically anything by Wes Anderson or with Bill Murray in it has my heart.


Makaila wears the Pru dress


What are you looking forward to?


My house being built, I’m beyond excited to curate a beautiful and loving home that Louie and I will share many fond memories in, a place that is our own. Completing my studies and hopefully pursuing my dream of creating a holistic daycare studio in the future. Of course nurturing Louie as she grows into her own little independent person. And whatever else comes our way, if I know one thing it’s that we never know what life might have in store for us and I’m excited to see what the future holds.


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