For our very first LADIES WE LOVE post I caught up with one of my favourite humans, Stacey Morlang Sullivan. I am lucky enough to have played lacrosse with Stacey for many years – that’s the beauty of such a small and concentrated sport, you get to play with athletes of the highest calibre in your weekend club games – but this super talented lady is now making a name for herself as a key part of the burgeoning lifestyle website SHOW+TELL.
Read on to hear all about the rise (and rise) of SHOW+TELL, plus Stacey’s views on motherhood, being an elite athlete and of course, her intense love of home wares.
You are currently Editor and Sales Director for the incredibly popular SHOW+TELL. Can you tell us a bit about how SHOW+TELL was born and the philosophy behind it? How did you get involved personally?
SHOW+TELL was born over many a discussion between two of the most incredible women in my life; Brooke Campbell and my bestie of over 19 years Katie ‘Monty’ Dimond. After deciding on the idea they approached me to do the Home Love section, which then rolled into MUCH much more and now we are partners in crime for every aspect of the site. They are both incredibly clever, well-connected and adored (most of the time! HA!) so it was the perfect opportunity for me to do something I was passionate about and to take control of my career and really invest in something that was ours. It is a liberating feeling working towards something that is your own.
We are all trying to find the ever-elusive balance of motherhood, career, love and friendship (as well as keeping up with reality telly)… And we figured there are plenty of other women trying to do the same thing. So we decided to create a forum for this ourselves. A place where we can have real conversations with real women. Nothing is off limits and it feels great to be able to be a support, give a laugh and an escape for the incredible women that follow our site. We are essentially about Showing + Telling the stories of real women, current topics and home and lifestyle ideas.
What exactly does your role entail?
Apart from the Home Love section of the site, which by the way is the least time consuming part of the site… HA! My role includes anything and everything that makes a site tick. We are all across everything which is nice. We each have some specific things to look after but mostly we discuss everything together always.
Where do you see SHOW+TELL going, what are your hopes for the future?
Our hopes for SHOW+TELL in the future would see us reaching more and more people. To offer a forum for women to be supported, inspired and perhaps have an “ah-ha” moment here and there – shout out Oprah! We are in love with the site and just want to see bigger better things happening in both content and reach for 2015.
SHOW+TELL has interviewed so many intriguing ladies for its On The Couch feature including Rebecca Gibney, Meshel Laurie, Kate Ceberano, Livinia Nixon, Mia Freedman to name a few, and most recently, Jessica Mauboy. Who was the most intriguing and which interview resonated with you the most?
Yowza, that’s like asking me to choose my fave kid (which I could probably do right now…did I say that out loud?) In all seriousness they are all incredible in their own special ways. But I have to say Georgie Gardner is seriously AH.MAZING. She is just very real and super genuine in her support of women. Her parenting style is also very inspiring. It was everything about her really… Not necessarily the interview, just her. Her aura is incredible.
Here is the link to the SHOW+TELL On The Couch interview with Georgie Gardner: http://www.showandtellonline.com.au/on-the-couch-with/georgie-gardner
Other interviews I loved were Jess Mauboy for her authenticity and self-belief, Chrissy Swan for her serious humour and personality, and Mary Coustas for her story and strength. All powerhouses in their own way.
If you could interview three people – living, dead or fiction – who would they be?
I have an unhealthy obsession with female singers, especially African-Americans. The amount of joy I get from American Idol, The Voice etc, is just embarrassing. My list goes something like this…
LIVING: Queen B, Beyonce… Of course. Do I really need to explain?
DEAD: Whitney Houston… Because I love her wayyyyy more than is normal, seriously.
FICTION: Not really my bag but if I had to choose I would say Katniss from The Hunger Games.
Beyond SHOW+TELL you are also mum to two gorgeous young boys, Raff and Jarvie. How did motherhood change you, and change your life?
I am still coming to terms with people calling me a mother of two, I feel like I’m 22 still and as you would know I mostly act like this too… Vagina vagina vagina. Motherhood has changed EVERYTHING! I never realized how much I could love or how annoyed I can get at the same time.
My family was always my number one priority and coming from a family that has many disabilities, it wasn’t a new thing for me to have to care and worry about another human being. I think the biggest adjustment is the fact that you NEVER get to relax again… There is no such time where you can just sit down and not think about something else you should be doing. Lucky I don’t like to sit down much…
What has been the best thing, what has been the hardest thing?
The best thing is of course seeing your mini-humans learn, thrive, laugh and become their own person. The hardest thing is making sure you are supporting them while still allowing them to learn, have their own voice, and become independent of you. Along with juggling everything you personally still want to achieve in your life. (Oh and I did I mention the constant need for my kids to say “MUMMMMMMMM” – God help me). It is the hardest but most AMAZING thing you will ever do.
Do you have any advice for new mothers?
Ask for advice, but do it your way. No one will know you or your baby as well you can, so trust your instincts. Teach your baby how to sleep, it will make it WAY more enjoyable. Don’t judge other women for how they parent. Everyone is doing the best they can. And support is ALWAYS the best approach. Women need other women, so be kind.
They say that working mothers are the most productive. How do you balance your role at SHOW+TELL with looking after two energetic young boys?
Ummmm… Not sure I am. HA! I have my boys home with me in the day so I do most of my work at night and on the weekends when my ‘Baby Daddy’ is home. It works for me at the moment. It certainly makes you focused when you have minimal time.
Do you get much ‘me’ time and what are your favourite things to do?
I have zero ‘me’ time but I am such a control freak that I prefer not to miss a thing when it comes to the kids, so it’s my choice. What a dork! I love my boys and SHOW+TELL so much that not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for being able to do both at the same time.
My fave things to do include spending time with my people, my family, girlfriends, and teammates. I have so many incredible people in my life so I live it up most days. Other than that, as annoying as it sounds to say, I like to run. It is a stress relief for me… Don’t judge!
You are a decorated athlete having playing college lacrosse for NCAA Division 1 school Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds, before going on to coach at the same school, as well as having played in three World Cups including the 2005 Australian team which one the gold medal, AND being named to several All World teams. You lady, are a powerhouse!
Can you tell us about the role sport played in your life, some of the most important things you learnt, memories you have, and most importantly, any advice for young women chasing their sporting dreams?
It has only been since I’ve gotten old (yes, old….) that I have reflected on the role sports have played in my life and by George, I’m bloody lucky. Having left home when I was 17-years-old to go to America I was unaware of how much it would shape my life. (Stacey spent four years at college, then stayed on for several years to coach).
Sports gave me confidence, life-long friendships, my hubba-hubba husband (Mike is from Philly) and an understanding of how to support other people.
Nothing comes without hard work… Real hard work. My motto has always been ‘focus on the small things’. If you do all the little things the big things just fall into place. If you want something bad enough you will do the work and usually the end result is what you wanted. It sounds cliché but the journey really is the most fun part. I remember the locker room parts wayyyy more than I remember the wins and losses. If you’re a good teammate you are a success in my book. If you can look outside yourself to better the people around you, and help others meet their potential whether it be by example or your words you have already won (can you tell I’m on the ‘retiring’ end of my career much?)
The real indicator of how successful you will be in performance is how you train when you’re alone, when no one is watching. This determines the difference between good and great! It also determines who you want standing beside you when you go into battle.
You wrote a really moving piece about the untimely death of cricket star Phillip Hughes. Why did this resonate with you so much?
I still think about this all the time. It resonated with me for so many reasons but mostly because you’re supposed to be safe when you’re playing sports. Sports is a safe haven for us as kids and as adults. These tragedies aren’t supposed to happen when you’re on the field with your mates. I thought about my teammates but mostly I thought about his family, thinking he was in the safest place on earth at that time. Just so awful…
Read Stacey’s post about Phillip Hughes here: http://www.showandtellonline.com.au/whats-on-our-mind-today/phillip-hughes-for-the-last-two-days-this-is-all-ive-thought-about
So, you’re big on home wares and the resident Home Love guru at SHOW+TELL. How would you describe your personal home style?
My style, not sure I really have one… But the best advice I was ever given was ‘buy the things you love and you will always find a spot for them’. This is what I live by. I buy whatever I love and yes, I do always find a spot for them. I loveeeee old homes with character. I am sure my friends would say I am not into ‘modern’ much at all. I just love beautiful, cozy, lovely things…and I can never get enough. It’s killing my bank account. Literally…
SHOW+TELL often feature celebrity homes – which has been your favourite so far?
Who doesn’t love a good home snoop? Ummmm… My fave celebrity homes would be Kirsten Dunst and Ellen Pompeo.
Check out the SHOW+TELL post on Kirsten Dunst’s New York Home here: http://www.showandtellonline.com.au/home-love/kirsten-dunst-home-check-out-the-stylish-new-york-home-of-the-actress
Check out the SHOW+TELL post on Ellen Pompeo’s Los Angeles Home here: http://www.showandtellonline.com.au/home-love/ellen-pomep-home-take-a-look-inside-the-actresses-los-angeles-home
What are your go-to stores, online stores, blogs?
I have a realllll love for many home ware stores but mostly I just adore a lot of awesome brands. Some stores I love are: The Woodsfolk, The Assembly Hall, Weylandts. Some brands I love are: Lumiere Art&Co, Blacklist Studio Prints, Hux&Co, Bonnie and Neil, Pony Rider, Loom rugs, Armadillo and Co… Just to name a few. I could go on for days.
What about Instagram accounts?
It’s funny you should ask about my fave Instagram accounts, I just did a post on the best home interior Instagram accounts to follow. What did we ever do without Insta?
Check out Stacey’s recent post here: http://www.showandtellonline.com.au/home-love/the-best-of-interior-instagram-accounts-right-now-we-list-the-top-15
And here are the top 10 accounts to follow for all you mums out there: http://www.showandtellonline.com.au/home-love/instagram-accounts-for-mums-we-give-you-our-fave-top-15-instagrammers
Last questions… What are 5 things every home should have?
Good rugs: rugs set the tone for the room and you can decorate based on the palette and style you choose. There are some cheaper options out there now so do your homework. But try and start your room with the rug first. It always helps.
Gorgeous cushions: I am a real sucker for cushions and it is the cheapest easiest way to revamp your space. Well, maybe not the cheapest but that’s what I tell the husband.
Artwork: Let’s be honest it’s hard to afford the real deal but it doesn’t matter these days, there are tons of places to get super rad prints to frame.
Beautiful bed linen: there is nothing better than a beautifully styled bed!
A bloody good couch: don’t underestimate the importance of testing and searching for that perfect couch. I never spend as much as I really want to but it’s because you really don’t have to these days. Get a plain colour and use your cushions to bring it life.
Be sure to follow SHOW+TELL on social media to get their daily fix of celebrity gossip and good things for the soul: www.showandtellonline.com.au