‘Follow your bliss’ is a beautiful and powerful phrase we hold close to our hearts at Mountain & Moon. To us it represents living life to the utmost; driven by love, travel, imagination & the freedom to do what makes us truly happy. We want to create & make a difference to other people’s lives, doing so in a mindful and ethical way, & forever follow a path that lights us up.
So in turn we would like to introduce Follow Your Bliss, a series to acknowledge and get to know some of the incredible women out there who inspire us, who are creating their own rules + following their own bliss.
If you are a Billie Edwards follower then we are sure you will agree that the combination of her bronzed skin, sun kissed locks and that sweet, humble, laid back personality truly encapsulates such a beautiful free spirit. And now, upon getting to know her a little bit more, we cannot possibly shout her praises any louder…This girl is true beauty, inside & out.
“Stay humble, and don’t take yourself too seriously…” A motto that you live by and something we truly admire about you as a creative of our generation. Share with us how growing upon the sun soaked shores of Cabarita with your beautiful & artistic family has shaped the woman you are today?
The town is small, sleepy and peaceful – and I think my personality kind of reflects this. It’s almost impossible to grow up in a town like Cabarita Beach and not develop a nonchalant attitude. It’s a slow and calm world… Cabarita has also made me develop a very strong connection to nature (I know some people may stick their nose up to a comment like that, but it’s true). Although I like to visit, I don’t feel myself in big cities. I’m definitely a lot calmer and happier when surrounded by the natural elements. Creativity tends to hit a large block when I’ve been spending too much time in a city – everything just seems to work better when there is green and blue around.
We have been fond followers of yours for a while now Billie, in the beginning you used an array of images and photography to express what stimulated and inspired your creativity, whilst over the last few years there has been a delightful addition of words… What made you want to speak out and share your thoughts with us? And what topic lies on the tip of your tongue these days?
That’s really lovely that you have noticed that! And very true. As I’ve grown older, I realised that it is okay to be opinionated. I’ve grown confidence in my views of the world – and I’m not afraid to speak about things that I once was. Unfortunately when I was younger I believed that ‘no one likes a girl who is over opinionated’. Which is horrifying, and completely incorrect. I think it is so important (and attractive) to have an opinion, and speak your mind on topics you are passionate about. There are so many elements of the world that are, in my opinion, not okay. And gosh, it is so important that we begin a conversation about them. Although I don’t attain a huge following on social media, there is a small audience there – so I guess that is part of the reason I have started speaking up. I feel that young women are bombarded with almost unbearable pressures today. I hope that I can at least do some good, and if young women are influenced by me, I can do it in a more positive way.
The main topic right now would be my journey of growing into a woman, and my new developed views on feminism. My largest disturbance is the unrealistic standards of beauty for females, particularly due to the toxic world of social media. It’s like we have developed a very unhealthy competition of beauty between all females on social media – filled with botox, lip ejections and ridiculous eating habits. It’s now become the norm, and it’s heartbreaking. I guess I want to help change this, even in a very small way.
Model, blogger, stylist and recent graduate in Fine Art Fashion and Business from the Queensland University of Technology – with an exciting 6 month exchange studying textile design in our beloved Mama India. Tell us, what was it that drew you to her spicy soils? How has her people, culture and history influenced not only your studies and creativity but your spirit as well?
She is like no other place I have ever experienced. The opportunity to study existed, so we just jumped on it. I had been living in Brisbane for two years by then (not exactly the most creatively inspiring environment for myself) – so I just needed something. And India was definitely that something. The people were gorgeous, the culture was fascinating and everything was a completely new adventure.
India influenced a better attitude in me. It was such an important reminder how easy our life in Australia is, and how our everyday ‘stresses’ are absolutely ridiculous in comparison to others. The people in India had such minimal possessions and little wealth, yet they were the happiest, most grateful and spiritual people I have met. I developed a new appreciation of how lucky I am to have a life, to have a healthy body, to have a loving family and to have a bright future. I woke up, and began to distance myself from all the unnecessary stresses and vain elements of my life.
Okay we’re not done with Mama Indian just yet! This country holds a very special place in our hearts at Mountain & Moon, so we absolutely love hearing the stories of our fellow travellers.Share 3 moments when this extraordinary land took your breath away.
Lame answer, but I loved every single day I spent in that country. I couldn’t just bracket my experience into three specific moments. It’s just a blend of memories now, and an overall fuzzy feeling. I remember sitting on my balcony and watching my neighbour, an old man always dressed in all white, pray every single morning when the sunlight hit his chair. I remember cheekily arguing with the vegetable cart man how much I will pay for my bok choy. I remember having a running race with the little boy down the road every time I walked home from uni… It was just the overall feeling that India gave me that made it so god dam special. Every city I visited was completely different – I saw temples, forests, deserts, oceans,lakes, forts, castles and everything in between. And I was lucky enough to experience all of this with three of my best mates, who I know refer to as my sisters.
You have worked with some wonderful brands such as Free People, Tree of Life, Auguste the Label and as well being an ambassador for Volcom. What are the ethics you look for when collaborating or aligning yourself with a brand? And what influence do these ethics have on the message you want to put out into the world?
I have always adored the aesthetics of Free People, Tree of Life and Auguste – and their achievement to create successful businesses through sustainable fashion. That’s a big deal today – when we are saturated with fast fashion. It’s hard to compete. I try to avoid alignment with fast fashion brands, as there are growing concerns in both human rights and environmental issues (for anyone interested watch a documentary called ‘The True Cost’). I also feel like these brand’s garments are designed for women to express their confidence, femininity and creativity -rather than for a man’s eyes.
As for Volcom – Volcom taught me so much and I’m so grateful for that period of my life. My old boss Kimberley is the Women’s Creative Director, who pointed out the unfair treatment and the sexualisation of women within the surf industry. Almost all women’s surf brands utilise a women’s boobs/butt in order to gain attention and sales. Using the sex sells theory… But Kimbo was passionate not to surrender to the standard – and carefully picked women to represent the brand that she could see more than just a vain aesthetic value in. The current Volcom ambassadors Gemma O’Brien and Rachel Urquhart, are incredibly talented and intelligent women –and its so refreshing to see a woman celebrated for her talents.
Travel plays a huge role in your life, what is it about these faraway lands that draws your curiosity? Where is your next journey taking you?
Ah, I think I like the change. The unknown seems fun, exciting. Whereas routine, although nice at times, can become dull. I have such an obsession with the beauty of nature – I am just so drawn to see more. It’s like a thirst I guess. Learning about new cultures and ways of life is also a big source of inspiration for me – and I think that is why I am always drawn to Eastern locations rather than the Western. I don’t want to jump on a flight to find people doing the same things I do at home. Culture shock is a fantastic thing isn’t it?
My next journey…Well, if all goes to plan. I will be heading off to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos& possibly The Philippines in a few weeks. I’ll then spend a month or two in Indonesia in order to avoid the Aussie winter. I will then head to Central America, undecided where exactly. But I will eventually end up at my best friend’s wedding in Puerto Rico. I’d also like Morocco to magically fit itself in there somewhere also please.
Billie, please share with us what “Follow Your Bliss” means to you?
I’m learning that although society tells us in order to be ‘successful’ and ‘happy’ we need an array of things, being: money/power/beauty/acceptance from others etc. – this is not necessarily true. Perhaps cliché – but to me, “following your bliss”would mean to find the aspects of life that make you truly happy, to pursue these and to eliminate the negative.
To follow Billie on her adventures head to Instagram @billiebillie
Billie wears pieces from our Vintage India collection.