about weargrace
Karen Joyce, Founder

I grew up outside of NYC. The youngest of six children in an Irish-Italian family. Catholic, middle class, striving to get ahead, to achieve, to be the best that we could be. “Shoot for the moon and if you fall short you’ll be in the stars!” Dad would always say. Values, ethics, discipline, honesty, right and wrong. Life was black and white at our house.
“My yoga practice
became an analogy for life”

I attended Providence College and Rhode Island School of Design and my first jobs were in publishing and the arts as a graphic and product designer. A fluke meeting with a girl on a bus changed my life. She told me about an internship in Venice, Italy (a dream). I applied, was accepted for a three month program and never came back. I had a guardian angel. The museum (The Peggy Guggenheim Collection) hired me as a consultant for another year.

 

Afterwards I went to Milan in search of design work and found Gucci at a very crucial and opportune moment - before Dawn Mello, before Tom Ford. It was 1989 and I was in the right place at the right time.
My journey evolved… Gucci graphic designer, then art director. I met my husband in the Gucci world and a few months after our wedding I was relocated to London (alone) as Director of Image for the Gucci Group, running an in house creative agency for all of the brands. Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Saint Laurent Beaute’, Sergio Rossi, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Alexander Mcqueen, Stella Mcartney, Balenciaga, Bedat.

 

My team of 5 soon became 50 in Florence, London, Milan and Paris. Exciting, demanding, rewarding, exhausting. Perfection, performance, I lived for the company. I never saw my husband. I never had children. Three events in my life helped me to wake up: a torn disc in my back, a separation from my husband and my father’s death. I started to realize just how fragile life is. How one minute I was happy and healthy, running around in a very glamourous life and the next minute I couldn’t walk, and the two most important men in my life weren’t there anymore.

I discovered yoga. My practice on the mat helped me understand who I was off the mat, in real life. I approached yoga in the same way as life. Rigid, pushing, perfectionist. Not flexible, not feminine, not aware. I was compassionate with others but not with myself. I learned that by breathing into the difficult positions without fear and surrendering to grace, they came easier.

My yoga practice became an analogy for life.

 
 

“Wear Grace
  to live life”

 

inspiration

"Happiness is your nature. 

It is not wrong to desire it. 

What is wrong is seeking it outside  

when it is inside" 

Sri Ramana Maharshi

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