UNIK MUSE : Carly Mcdonagh

Busy mother of 2 boys, Carly McDonagh is doing it all, and in style! She wears our UNIK pieces so well, often capturing precious moments of her life with her beautiful boys in nature.

We were intrigued and wanted to know more about this gorgeous UNIK muse and how she's navigating family life, relationships and being a conscious consumer in our digital age. 

Carly is wearing the Natalie wrap dress in White and the Valdis dress in White, captured with her beautiful boys by Amanda Hibbard and Danielle Webster. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from, where you live and what some of your passions in life are?

I grew up in Northern N.S.W in a beachside town called Kingscliff. I now live in Currumbin with my husband and our two boys. We love the lifestyle here, we live so close to the beach and spend most of our time there. I love photography and capturing family moments and love travelling (really missing it at the moment) my favourite place is Aspen and can’t wait to go back again one day (hopefully) soon. 

As a mother of two boys we can imagine it’s hard to find time for yourself, and often very much needed self-care. What do you do to look after yourself (body and mind) and how do you fit it in? 

To be honest, the last few years have been so busy with the boys I have not invested enough time for myself and my health, however this year I am prioritizing myself more. Sonny has started school and Conor has just started day care two days a week so I am looking forward to making some time to myself. I am going to start some yoga and pilates classes, along with a few gym sessions with my husband each week.  I occasionally do Fluidform Pilates from home which is great and easy with the boys.

Did you become more eco-conscious after having kids, and what is your top tips on where to start for people wanting to make positive changes in their everyday life. 

Yes I certainly did. My top tip would be just to start somewhere. Make small changes and keep making small changes If we all do this we can make an impact.

It’s a big life change having a baby and can feel overwhelming at times, did you find yourself feeling different with baby number two? 

I definitely felt more comfortable and confident as a mother second time around. First babies are hard at the time because you’re thrown into the world of unknown but the second time you realise how easy the newborn stage is and you really cherish those days because they are so fleeting. It can become overwhelming trying to juggle two kids while being sleep deprived but I just slowed down, spent a lot of time at home just soaking up those precious days.     

What is your biggest advice to new mothers? 

Don’t put any expectations on yourself, and slow down. Soak up those beautiful newborn days.

How did you and your husband meet, and how do you nurture your relationship after having kids? 

We met through a mutual friend, one day she messaged me and said ‘hey there’s a guy I know you might like, he’s single, a fireman and a really nice guy’ we added each other on facebook and started chatting, went on our first date a week later and never looked back.

It hasn’t been the easiest to nurture our relationship since having children, but we have always kept open communication and we are looking forward to some more time together this year. We went on our first dinner out together since I was pregnant with Conor just the other week for our anniversary.

Our ethos is to slow down the fashion consumer mind. Buy less, buy well and invest in pieces you can wear a lot, for a long time. What’s your top tips on being a conscious consumer, if you love fashion and shopping? 

I buy a lot of white and styles I know I can wear again and change accessories. I tend to stay away from high fashion pieces and just buy clothes I am comfortable in, 90% of my wardrobe is flowy white dresses now.

We live in such a digital age, with your work being woven into instagram and social media, how do you make sure to stay present with your boys? 

 I try to only have my phone out around them if I am taking a photo of video of them and then I work on my editing etc while they are asleep. If I need to work I make sure I tell them that I need to do my work and I set them up with an activity to occupy them. I’m definitely not perfect though and am guilty of the occasional mindless scroll and as soon as I realise I’m doing it I put my phone straight down.

What values would you like to teach your boys that takes them through life?

I just hope they are always kind and respectful. I always try to make sure they are kind and respectful to each other.

Which one is your favourite UNIK piece? 

I absolutely adore the natalie wrap dress! It’s so feminine and beautiful!