This month's Gather&See Girl is the brilliant blogger and champion of sustainable brands, Karen Maurice aka N4Mummy. Read all about Karen's fashion and lifestyle tips and her top G&S picks, just in time for Mothers Day!
What or who inspires you?
I love good design and something executed well. It might be a beautifully curated store, or an artisan with an incredible skill. When that’s linked with a company ethos that has a heart for people and for our planet, then I just have to tell people about it. Creatively I’m inspired by London, as it’s such a crazy city with a wealth of different cultures and people. Though I equally love getting out into the countryside and seeing nature, as it reminds me that Someone greater is in control.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Be honest. My mum is a stickler for honesty, and she drummed this into me as a child. It’s amazing how often we want to tell a lie just to avoid a difficult situation. But she’s right, because in the long run life is more straight forward if you just tell the truth.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Don’t be controlled by the opinion of others. What makes you angry? When people don’t teach their children the difference between right and wrong. For example, that it isn’t ok to hit someone if you don’t get your own way. I always think those kids don’t stand a chance.
What makes you happy?
A weekend with my husband and kids, doing simple things like going for walks and eating pancakes for breakfast. As my husband is a doctor, weekends together are rare.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Pizzeria Pappagone, in Finsbury Park. I’ve been going there for over 10 years. It’s great classic Italian food at a good price with an electric atmosphere. Plus they always greet you like a member of their family with kisses all round, even if it’s your first visit. Just don’t go there for a quiet date!
Where’s your go to place to relax?
Relax? I have two children under 3, so generally relaxing involves a glass of wine on the sofa or a hot bubble bath. If we’re really tired we run off back to the West Country to our parents houses and hand the kids over to them.
Latest discovery at home or abroad?
We’ve just moved house and our new local store does these amazing Lebanese flat breads. I find any excuse to go and buy them.
Where is on your travel hit list for 2017?
We don’t have any grand plans, just a couple of trips to the South of France for our dose of vitamin D. But I would really like to take the kids glamping, I can see my daughter loving it.
Which city in the world would you love to live in for just 1 year?
Paris, as I’d love to properly learn French.
What are your favourite pieces on the G&S website at the moment?
The building block dress by Kowtow; it is such a good wardrobe staple for the summer and one I’d pull out year after year. I’d wear it with the Gold Crescent Luna necklace from Kind Jewellery. I love the hammered finish on one side and the fact that the chain is so delicate.
What is your personal style?
Clean lines and minimalist, with the occasional burst of print & colour.
Who is your fashion hero / style icon?
Having spent ten years working in the fashion industry and studiously following every catwalk, there are several designers I love. For aesthetic alone it has to be Celine. But for innovation, I love Christopher Raeburn’s approach, repurposing army surplus fabrics for his REMADE line.
Which item of clothing do you most treasure?
My Alfie Douglas bag, it was made in London by a family run business. Designed to last a lifetime, it is beautiful.
What is your 'can't live without' beauty product?
Lavender oil, I put a few drops on my pillow every night to help me sleep. Plus I have an amazing silk eye mask filled with dried lavender.
Why is shopping ethical important to you?
Because people matter, and only by shopping ethically are we ever going to make a difference to the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. A fair wage enables them to support their families which gives them dignity.