Welcome to our YCL Women's Series; a space created to share the stories & insight of women all around the world, whom inspire us.
We sat down with Byron-based model, engineer and artist, Montana Lower. Being a huge advocate for conscious living and self love, she inspires women around the world with her authentic and heartfelt posts promoting self love and positivity.
1. How did you get to where you are today? Tell us a little bit about your journey…
I was raised on the Coral Coast of Fiji before moving to a tiny little town in North Queensland to finish school. From there, I jumped on the opportunity of a scholarship to move to Brisbane to study Architecture - which then turned into Civil/Environmental Engineering. I bounced around trying my way in different aspects of Engineering, before randomly deciding that I’d give modelling a go. I walked into an agency just around the corner from the office I was working in at the time, and the next chapter of my life began! Since then I’ve modelled all around the world while finishing my degree, graduating last year and now working in Sustainability for an amazing company called ‘Outland Denim’.
And that pretty much brings us to now… Sitting by my laptop on a Wednesday night, drinking a cup of tea and packing my bags to finally go home to my little cottage in Byron Bay after a busy but lovely week of working interstate.. It all seems pretty surreal. And it’s only the beginning!
2. Who is your ultimate muse / inspiration?
Forever my mother. I think being born to a woman that showed that you could do absolutely anything you put your mind to definitely gave me a high bench mark for life.
3. You are based in Byron Bay. What are your local hangouts?
Surfing - The Pass.
Food - The General Store
Sunsets - My back yard, hehe.
And that’s pretty much all there is to do in Byron, haha!
4. What is your favourite piece of jewellery & what story does it hold?
I have a beautiful old native American turquoise ring that my best friend who runs @Chasing__Unicorns gave to me. I didn’t know it at the time, but turquoise is meant to ward off bad energy. Which completely makes sense! I love stones with meaning, and really old things that stand the test of time.
5. We know you are extremely passionate in your support for ethical fashion. Why do you think this is such an important issue? Take us through some steps our readers will be able to take to incorporate this into their own lives.
Consume less. We don’t need new things ALL the time.
- When you do purchase something, think deeply about where it’s from and how long you’ll have it for. Quality over quantity - always. There is a huge social impact behind the fashion industry - it makes an incredible difference when you invest in companies that look after their workers and the environment.
- I have a ‘swap’ rule. Every time I get something new, I try to swap it out for something old. I keep a bag(s) and fill it and when I have time I either pass on to friends, sell them on or donate to charities. I NEVER put clothing in the bin.
- Shop vintage! No one else will have the same as you, it doesn’t use any new resources AND it prevents ‘old’ clothes going to land fill!
6. Being an engineer & model, what ways do you choose to express yourself & constantly stay inspired? Do you have any daily practices that allow this creativity and energy to flow?
I really love to express myself through clothing, but it has nothing to do with what might be ‘stylish’ or look nice.. I have so many different ‘interests’ and with it comes different personality colours - haha!
Inspiration is far from constant for me, it’s always in ebbs and flows. For days I’ll have nothing - and then suddenly it will hit me like an overflowing river! So that I always feel like I’m doing something ‘tangible’, I love to journal. I try to do this every day either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I can’t wait to look back through them all when I’m old and see all of the ways I grew and experienced life.
7. YCL stands for Your Core Light, what does Your Core Light mean to you?
Find the things that make you sparkle, and chase them like crazy.
8. What advice would you impart on the next generation of women?
Believe in yourself. Believe in each other. Follow your intuition.