I'm Nat the creator of Grass Roots Boutique.
Grass Roots sprouted as a result of my life experiences, passions, my upbringing and my sheer belief that change is possible at a Grass Roots level.
I started this blog to tell you a little about myself and it ended up sounding so polished, business like and a bit wanky to be honest and I nearly posted that version but that isn't me.
That post can wait for another time or you can just read our "Behind the Clothes".
I decided I will tell you honestly about me and the three major influences that lead me to Grass Roots.
The first thing you should know about me is I overshare in every regard, I am going to try and not incorporate anything gross or inappropriate in this blog (which is normally what I'm oversharing) but there is a good chance of oversharing in general.
A giant part of why I started Grass Roots has to do with my passion for human welfare and a giant part of my beliefs has to do with my first influence which was my upbringing and my family. I was born on the Sunshine Coast and raised between the Sunshine Coast and a tiny place called 1770/Agnes Water. I come from a financially poor family, who are for lack of a better description hippies. Hippies who are generally to my mortification mostly naked (first definite overshare). There was a short period in my life where I was embarrassed of my upbringing, we spent years living in tents and caravans travelling the east coast of Australia, surfing camping and surviving on the very basics, there was no budget for luxury. It was at times a definite struggle, my mum is physically disabled and has been for the majority of her life but she is one of the strongest people I know, and it was through their "struggles" that they taught me so much, more than I could ever express or show gratitude for.
My parents are people who don't have a lot of money but would go without so I could have, my mum budgets to put money aside to save the Bears in Russia, donates to every charity who calls her and cries at David Attenborough (a trait I annoyingly inherited).
They taught me that it doesn't matter how much money or how many possessions you have because love and kindness are the greatest skill you can possess and the greatest gift you can share with someone.
The second biggest influence that lead me to Grass Roots was travelling the world for the last ten years, I have been so fortunate to travel with people who are very special to me and sometimes work in countries/continents such as Mexico, the Middle East, Sth Africa, Thailand, Sth America, India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia to name a few. My adventures have lead me to Middle Eastern prisons, shitting myself on Indian trains (I went to the gross overshare, I'm sorry), working with orphans in Mexico, experiencing Wonders of the World, shitting myself in Indonesia (I'M SORRY!), making life long friends, throwing up on myself while diving in the Caribbean (I'm not really sorry but I am sorry to those who were in the water at the time).
I have also witnessed slave labour in the Middle East, slave camps in Africa and the Middle East, old Concentration Camps in Europe, severe poverty EVERYWHERE, slums beyond belief in Brazil and Sth Africa, sweat shops in India and China, child abuse EVERYWHERE, animal cruelty in Indonesia and Thailand and poverty in our regional and remote communities right here in Australia.
I have seen and experienced some of the most incredible, life changing moments of my life, some of which have filled me with so much joy my heart could burst and some which have left me with tears streaming down my face and broken hearted. It was these moments of human, animal and environmental cruelty that woke me up.
The third biggest influence has been my long career in Human welfare, in which I question my ability and skill in every day (probably another overshare). My belief in human rights is deep and passionate, locally and globally. I have worked with foster children for years in regional and remote communities in Australia, orphans in Mexico, international children and families in the Middle East, the vulnerable, homeless and sufferers of mental illness right here on the Sunshine Coast. And it has been through this work that I have learnt that every single person no matter race, status, sex, age whatever it may be deserves an opportunity at human rights and kindness. Everybody deserves to be treated fairly and humanely without question, or a second thought, this should not even be a question and yet here we are. My experiences have also educated me on the importance of putting money back into our own communities and the significant difference that can have on local families and our local economies.
I am also a giant fashion fiend, especially Australian Summer fashion. I live at the beach generally in swimwear all day, I have been known to say that "swimming counts as washing your bikinis, right" (it's ok I know that is gross, doesn't mean I'll change) And then literally I woke up in the middle of night with an idea to open a Fashion Boutique that only stocks ethically manufactured, locally owned labels and 9 long rollercoaster months later it opened. My business baby.
I am not preaching perfection, as you can tell by my naked parents, my seemingly habit of shitting myself, my inability to not cry when the Cheetah is chasing the baby EVERYTHING (Damn you Attenborough), and my chronic oversharing. Perfect doesn't exist nor is perfection important or helpful, what is important is trying.
So that is me and my journey to Grass Roots in a basic, not too gross I hope nutshell.