Grace Changes Everything
Grace Barbers Baja, sole creator and curator of all things luxe and lovely that appear on her blog, thespoiledmummy.com, has this to say about what she loves about what she does:
“I like conceptualizing things, whether it’s a product or an event, and I love the whole research and development process that goes into it, and the marketing side that follows.”
With her discerning eye and passion for all things lovely, it’s no surprise that she is a busy woman: very particular about every single luxurious detail that goes into her blog, products, and events that she plans (for her events company, TSM Luxe Events) in and outside of her private life. TSM stands for “The Spoiled Mummy”, Baja’s personal blog that has been her online domain.
Type “thespoiledmummy.com” into your web browser and you will be greeted by clean lines, a color palette that is both inviting yet easy on the eyes, and a row of drop-down menus that list her many blog entries with topics ranging from food, to purpose (among others). The blog started off as a food & travel blog, which eventually blossomed to include other facets of her lifestyle (beauty, events, family life), all topics that her many readers enjoy reading about.
“With The Spoiled Mummy, it’s all about adding quality content. Everything that goes in there is always done by me and edited by me, to cater to the lifestyle market that we have. So I give a lot of my tips, I give a lot of my thoughts on topics like food, restaurants, travel, beauty, events, and all.”
It’s been four years since The Spoiled Mummy’s online debut, and Grace has even bigger plans for her brand’s future. It’s obvious from her blog that she has a clear knack and fondness for organizing events and entertaining guests of different tastes. Her TSM Luxe Events company plans events for small, intimate groups (groups of not more than 100 pax). These events could be private birthday/corporate parties, charity dinners, and other intimate gatherings. Most of these carefully curated events are documented on her blog, alongside (for example) her themed birthday parties for her children.
“For my events company, I put TSM there to differentiate it from other events companies. If you look at my site, you’ll feel that everything is done well and is more on the luxurious side. I could develop other kinds of candles but I stuck to beeswax. It’s the most natural; the packaging is also very luxurious. I’m very particular about those little things.”
A blog, an events company — what else could The Spoiled Mummy have under her sleeve? The answer: GRACE HOME. Already turning one year old this June, her verdant home accessory line first started off with a hand-poured candle (infused with a hand-picked mix of rose, talc, and basil fragrance oils), a room fragrance duo (a lightly scented olive & milk fragrance, and a delicately sweet talc & vanilla scent), a special Grace Home Paper & Stationery line (gold-stamped with two of Grace’s favorite things: strawberries and champagne!), and last but not the least, striking Turkish ceramic and glass wares (found and bought during a trip to Turkey). Don’t even bother finding the ceramics on her site now, it seems they sold out as quickly as they appeared on Grace Home Manila. However, she promises her Turkey finds won’t be the last to appear on the online store. Her followers can expect to find limited quantities of her one-of-a-kind finds from her travels every now and then.
“But aside from the things that I buy from my trips, I still want to focus on my candles and my room fragrances, because they’re my bestsellers.”
Locally sourced beeswax (which is the main ingredient of her candles) is a special trademark of GRACE HOME’s luxurious candles. She narrates that most local candles are made with soy wax, despite the little-known fact that most people are allergic to soy wax, or that a candles’ fragrance doesn’t last as long in soy wax as in beeswax, compromising a candle’s longevity. This, she asserts, is the advantage that her beeswax candles possess over others. She has since added a sibling to her first candle (in November 2015, also well-documented on the TSM blog), with a distinct scent (thanks to an earthy combination of blood orange, vetiver, and almond fragrance oils) to complement her first candle’s light, effeminate aroma.
Just this June 8 2016, she debuted eight throw pillow designs in pure TSM fashion, by throwing (pun intended) another intimate gathering for fellow mummy bloggers, aptly called “Pillow Talk”. Held at the Proscenium’s posh Kirov model unit in Rockwell Center, Grace decorated each room of the model unit with a pillow each, and spent the afternoon discussing the many façades of social media and how the medium has affected each of the mummy bloggers present (again, documented on TSM but this time, on video!). As our phone interview winds to an end, she mentions plans to launch more pillow designs and a third candle scent, and an out-of-country trip (where she is leaving the next day), all in the same breath. This moment is when I realize why Grace has been so successful with her blog (and her brands): her proud declaration of being a “spoiled mummy” and each of her blog posts are bent on encouraging her mummy (and non-mummy) readers to find time and creative ways to care for their nearest and dearest, while still allowing themselves to be spoiled by family or by making room to pursue their personal interests, the way she pursues hers. This message alone has helped erase any sort of negative connotation surrounding the word spoiled and turns it into something aspirational yet relatable, with emphasis on the positive, and inspired.