Meet Michaela Da Costa, Perth based fashion blogger, content creator and founder of Grace & Coy. Since reverting to Islam in 2013 and always having had a knack for fashion, Michaela struggled to find a way to dress stylish whilst staying modest. She saw a gap in the social world and found that there weren't many or any Australian modest fashion bloggers to help inspire fellow local modest dressers like herself to find the creativity in modest dressing whilst staying on trend.
We caught up with Michaela and chatted about her professional journey, how she manages to juggle creating and motherhood and the important factors she considers when looking for brands or clothes to wear. We hope you enjoy our conversation with Michaela and highly recommend giving her a follow on instagram here and checking out her wonderful youtube videos here.
Tell us a little bit about yourself - who you are and what your day to day looks like?
Hello! I’m Michaela and I am a full time, second time mama and wife, and part time content creator at Grace and Coy. I’m a huge introvert and can be awkward at times but I think I’m a little bubbly and goofy too. I love Friends, I’ve probably watched the whole series more than I can count on two hands. I was born and bred in Darwin Northern Territory but now live in Perth Western Australia, but I’ve also lived in ACT and VIC too. I love taking photos, and I know you should live in the moment but if you have photos then you can relive those moments whenever you want. I need coffee every morning, and now that the weather is getting warmer, I love having iced lattes, and brunch is my favorite meal of the day.
My day to day looks a lot like a hot mess at the moment, I am still trying to find the balance with being a mother of 2. It’s been tough trying to juggle a demanding toddler and a needy newborn, so it’s really hard to tell what my day looks like but my day always has to start with coffee. Then from there my day goes with trying to keep two babies happy, fed and hydrated haha
Can you share a little bit about your professional journey so far - how did you get into this creative field?
I’ve always had a niche for fashion but living in a small town (Darwin, NT) I was always too shy to start blogging and taking photos. Once I moved to Canberra, that’s when I made the jump and started Grace & Coy. Winston and Willow and Miss Gunner were the two bloggers that really inspired me to just start so I can’t thank them enough.
While I was living in Canberra, I did meet a lot of Canberra bloggers and was slowly starting to make a name for myself there. I was even named Canberras most stylish instagramers to follow in 2017 so that was really cool. That same year I moved to Melbourne to study at Melbourne Fashion Institute for a year and once I completed the year and obtained a Diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising I moved to Perth where I currently live now. I intended to get back to work and start building my brand again in a new city but then I fell pregnant with Aleena so things got put on hold for a while.
I still continue to share my style on Instagram and now I’ve also started to grow an audience on Youtube. I do weekly vlogs and a random video once a week which is anything from motherhood to fashion and styling.
My husband and I have also been talking about starting our own little business so hopefully that will happen in the next year or so.
You are an amazing video content creator - how do you find inspiration to create such engaging content?
Aww thank you! I’ve been making videos since 2015 I think but I’ve really improved this year actually and have become more confident when talking to the camera. I still struggle to vlog in public though.
I think it’s important to never stop learning. Watch other video content creators for inspiration and absolutely watch tutorials on creating videos because honestly that’s how I learned. I still continue to learn and further enhance my video skills. I wouldn’t say my skills are amazing but I am very proud with how far I have come in the last few years. My huge inspiration on youtube at the moment is Loeppkyslife – I love her video style and aesthetic as well as Jess Conte !
You love fashion and expressing your personal style. What is important to you when looking for brands or clothes to wear?
Quality 100% followed by will the item fit with the rest of my clothes. I use to always buy what is on trend and fast fashion but in the last few years I’ve realized how much wastage and damage that is doing to the environment. Now before I buy anything I always try and think long term and make sure it’s something that I see myself wearing for all seasons. I also wear a lot of my husband’s clothes too. I’ve also started taking a liking to minimal styling and neutrals so I look forward to experimenting with that style and combining it with my current style.
Your hijab is a large part of who you are - how do you find this has translated to your community through your style?
It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I started wearing the hijab mid 2017 when I was living in Melbourne and by then I had already started to dress modestly and established my personal style. Prior to starting to wear the hijab I was already searching for fellow Muslim fashionistas on social media for inspiration and came across @dinatokio and @ascia_akf. They really inspired me a lot when it came to styling modestly.
You have two beautiful children as well as being a creator. How do you juggle creating and motherhood?
It’s really hard, I’m not going to lie, to this day I still struggle to find the time to create content for social media. When it was just Aleena, I could use the time when she was napping and even when she was awake I was able to get things done. However now with Zayd, it’s been challenging because we are still in the fourth trimester so he prefers to be held and we still haven’t established a routine where Aleena and Zayds naps coincides as I’m still following Zayds lead. But basically naps is everything and if Aleena is awake I let her join me, she finds it fun sometimes. Otherwise I wait until my husband has finished work and he will occupy Aleena while I go off and do some work. More than likely, Zayd is asleep.
You have just had a new baby - how has this time around been different to the first and you have any advice for soon to be mothers?
Idrus and I talk about this frequently but we honestly don’t remember Aleena being this extra needy and wanting to be held, to be honest. Zayd just wants to be held constantly and we just don’t remember Aleena ever being that needy. So I think that’s what’s been different this time around. Oh and have two kiddos really does change the dynamic but in a good way of course.
My advice is to leave the mess, don’t worry about it if you have dishes or laundry piling up, let it pile up for one more day and just cuddle your kids and relax. Those are moments that you won’t get back, oh and take pictures you guys, heaps of them.
What would be your ultimate wardrobe must haves?
It’s a denim jacket and white sneakers for me!
If you could go back and give your younger self advice what would it be?
You can do anything if you put your mind to it!
Michaela also put together a beautiful video of how she would style the Club shirt Dress in Sand, and it even includes her gorgeous daughter Aleena! You can check it out here