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Brisbane based mother-daughter duo Charlie and Mieke Proost – De Deyne

INSPIRING WOMEN TO CELEBRATE ON INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY

Every day is a great day to celebrate amazing women in life, but International Women’s Day gives us a particular reason to do just that with vigour. This year, International Women’s Day holds the #ChooseToChallenge theme to encourage everyone to actively choose to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, fight for accelerated and gender parity. It’s a talking point that motivated Wintergarden to showcase local female-run businesses or women on the importance of mentoring, work-life balance and how to move forward inequality.

On that theme, inspired Brisbane based mother-daughter duo Charlie and Mieke Proost – De Deyne have taken their Fine Arts degree’s and Masters and impacted the Brisbane creative scene with their artwork and special bond in business and life.

Their studio, Mas & Miek Ceramic House, arose through many days spent in the hinterland studio working together. The shared excitement of utilising handmade objects within their home resulted in their studio coming to life.

We asked more about their promise to their craft – always be supporting, aiding, celebrating, listening, caring, applauding one another!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you both?

For us, International Women’s Day is an important time to celebrate women, lift each other up and recognise the women who have overcome great obstacles to achieve what their goals, regardless of their gender. It also calls for a time to pause and reflect on the inequality that is still so painfully present between men and women.

What’s your favourite thing about being a woman?

The first thing that comes into mind is our mother/daughter bond. There is something very special in that, and I think we are really lucky to have our friendship.

Who are the most influential woman you know, the women who inspire you both?

For us, in our profession, we are in awe of the leading female potters in Australia. Not only do these women show immense dedication and perseverance in their craft, but they have also paved their own names in the fine art industry.

If you could have a meal with any woman in the world, past or present, who would it be & why?

Peggy Guggenheim. She just seems like a badass. I know she had the funds to back her, but she definitely did things her own way. She was true to her own, had phenomenal taste in art and amassed one of the best art collections the world has seen.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for women in 2021?

I think as a society, we have a tendency to undervalue female traits. Often, ‘masculine’ traits are aligned with strength and power whereas ‘feminine’ traits, such as empathy or kindness, can often get taken for granted or go unnoticed. All these traits need not belong to one gender or the other of course, but we need to work towards a society that values

what everyone can offer.

How important is it for us as women to be on the same team and lift each other up?

So important! We should always be supporting, aiding, celebrating, listening, caring, applauding one another!

What piece of advice would you give to women looking to follow a similar career to you?

If you are a young woman on the fence about opening a small business, do not let fear stand in the way. I remember how nervous I was before opening the studio, I didn’t think I could do it. Now, I’m so proud of the space I have created, and I couldn’t imagine anything else I would enjoy more. I always believe the regret of not taking the leap will outweigh the regret of giving it a shot and it

not working out.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would you say to her? 

Don’t let other people tell you who you are. You define the woman you want to be.

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