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Meet our Founder:
Megan Ziems

Bride and groom sitting on garden chair.

Meet Megan Ziems, the Founder and Creative Director of Grace Loves Lace and an agent of change in the bridal industry. We sat down with Megan to chat about her strong sense of family connection, her creative inspiration and the design process behind your favourite Grace Loves Lace gowns.

Meet Megan Ziems, the Founder and Creative Director of Grace Loves Lace and an agent of change in the bridal industry. We sat down with Megan to chat about her strong sense of family connection, her creative inspiration and the design process behind your favourite Grace Loves Lace gowns.

 

Since launching Grace Loves Lace in 2010 in Queensland, you’ve expanded the business to the global stage, what do you see as the keys to your success?

I come from a family of artisans and entrepreneurs. My mother was a designer, and her grandmother instilled a passion and respect for French laces. From the age of seven I was laying fabric and helping studio cutters and pattern makers.

I grew up in a family of loud, opinionated, determined people where an idea is encouraged, and I always had confidence that anything was possible. That has served me well and continues to because I believe in what I’m doing, and I love what I do.

I didn’t have any history in the bridal world. I also wasn’t the little girl who dreamt of her dream wedding dress. Grace Loves Lace was born as a solution to a problem I had when I was wedding dress shopping.

I saw a gap in the market for how women were represented as brides. There weren’t many options for women who didn’t want a traditional dress, so my priority back then was to create a collection that was based on quality, comfort and natural beauty.

Megan Ziems

Since launching Grace Loves Lace in 2010 in Queensland, you’ve expanded the business to the global stage, what do you see as the keys to your success?

I come from a family of artisans and entrepreneurs. My mother was a designer, and her grandmother instilled a passion and respect for French laces. From the age of seven I was laying fabric and helping studio cutters and pattern makers.

I grew up in a family of loud, opinionated, determined people where an idea is encouraged, and I always had confidence that anything was possible. That has served me well and continues to because I believe in what I’m doing, and I love what I do.

I didn’t have any history in the bridal world. I also wasn’t the little girl who dreamt of her dream wedding dress. Grace Loves Lace was born as a solution to a problem I had when I was wedding dress shopping.

I saw a gap in the market for how women were represented as brides. There weren’t many options for women who didn’t want a traditional dress, so my priority back then was to create a collection that was based on quality, comfort and natural beauty.

This has been key to our success; we've always been driven by an authentic desire to provide brides with gowns that make them feel good.

I really focused on moving away from the concept of women having to wear a gown that felt uncomfortable, heavy and didn’t suit their body shape or size. I had experience in quality fabrics, to it was clear to me that the bridal industry was missing the mark in terms of quality. That translated to stretch elements we still use in our design process today, they’re so important for function and fit and it really built the foundation for our collections.

My thought process was quite simple back then, I vividly remember thinking “I can’t be the only one wanting a beautiful dress that is effortless and luxurious, that is different to everything on the market.”

Almost 15 years later and the drive remains the same, we design gowns for women that want a luxury wedding gown without the couture price tag.

 

What were the early days of Grace Loves Lace like for you?

The start-up phase was fun, exciting, albeit hard, I was working long hours and had an endless to-do list. The thing with wanting to fill a gap in the market is that no one else has done it, you’re in unchartered territory and most people won’t “get it”, it’s a lonely time. You need to be steadfast in your vision and 100% confident with the what, the why and the how. At first, I juggled my existing job and dedicated every spare minute to Grace, which ultimately meant that I was exhausted and running on adrenaline – for years!

Those early years are invaluable, you learn how to do everything yourself, so you know your customer and you know how your business operates from the ground up. The hard part is transitioning from being a start-up and doing everything yourself, to growing into a global business where you need to trust everyone to have the same passion you do. I’m proud to say my passion and drive is still there 14 years in.

Bride in Grace gown

This has been key to our success; we've always been driven by an authentic desire to provide brides with gowns that make them feel good.

I really focused on moving away from the concept of women having to wear a gown that felt uncomfortable, heavy and didn’t suit their body shape or size. I had experience in quality fabrics, to it was clear to me that the bridal industry was missing the mark in terms of quality. That translated to stretch elements we still use in our design process today, they’re so important for function and fit and it really built the foundation for our collections.

My thought process was quite simple back then, I vividly remember thinking “I can’t be the only one wanting a beautiful dress that is effortless and luxurious, that is different to everything on the market.”

Almost 15 years later and the drive remains the same, we design gowns for women that want a luxury wedding gown without the couture price tag.

 

What were the early days of Grace Loves Lace like for you?

The start-up phase was fun, exciting, albeit hard, I was working long hours and had an endless to-do list. The thing with wanting to fill a gap in the market is that no one else has done it, you’re in unchartered territory and most people won’t “get it”, it’s a lonely time. You need to be steadfast in your vision and 100% confident with the what, the why and the how. At first, I juggled my existing job and dedicated every spare minute to Grace, which ultimately meant that I was exhausted and running on adrenaline – for years!

Those early years are invaluable, you learn how to do everything yourself, so you know your customer and you know how your business operates from the ground up. The hard part is transitioning from being a start-up and doing everything yourself, to growing into a global business where you need to trust everyone to have the same passion you do. I’m proud to say my passion and drive is still there 14 years in.

"Success- in whatever form- doesn't come from being in your comfort zone."

"Success- in whatever form- doesn't come from being in your comfort zone."

books on floor
travel books on a table
vintage gold mirror and chair

Where do you source your inspiration from?

Nothing inspires me more than travel. Just being in my favourite cities, being in new environments and being around other creatives is just the best.

I’m heavily inspired by music, art, muses, architecture and photography. I think the world today can easily overstimulate a creative mind so it’s important to know who your brand is and pinpoint what is authentic to you and know how to draw on that.

For me, something that has always been very important is authenticity and a deep sense of emotion and substance being our brand and designs. I love the saying “Beauty is entertaining, but depth is impressive.” I don’t want a Grace gown to just look beautiful, I want it to make you feel something and know that the process and intention behind it is just as important to us.

Sometimes a design can come to me by simply focusing on the lines of the body and thinking of it as a map. I love to simplify it and focus on what would feel good, look good, celebrate the woman.

A wedding dress is the most meaningful dress a woman will buy, so I’m inspired by the significance of that purchase to our brides, and it drives me to design with integrity and passion.

Bridal vision board with wedding dresses

You mentioned architecture being a huge source of inspiration for you, tell us about your side project.

I got back from a trip to Europe in July last year, and I’ve mentally designed two more homes already – it’s just way too inspiring over there when your weakness is Portuguese architecture.

I have a huge passion for homes and buildings. Similarly to how I approach design, I want a house to be a home. It needs to feel good and translate into something that feels quintessentially good to you. It needs to look good, but remain functional, and you want it to feel like a peaceful haven where you can be inspired.

I’m currently working on a project that will be finished by the end of the year, with a focus around a nod to traditional Fincas. Working with the land and building sustainably is so important to me, so it’s largely constructed from rammed earth and stone. I’ve named the project Finca Talluca – a combination of my two kids names (Tallow and Luca), corny I know, but that’s what mums do.

 

How would you describe your personal style?

I lean toward comfort, function and high quality, much like my design ethos. I love a great pant, tank and blazer, and even though I’m little I wear flats or sneakers most days. My non-negotiable is my jewellery, which I wear every day and feel naked without. I have my grandmother’s necklaces, rings and earrings along with pieces from my mum and pieces I’ve invested in over the year. Accessories are my weakness but particularly jewellery.

I have a very low maintenance approach to everything I wear, including my hair and makeup, I prefer a natural look. My wardrobe staples would be a great lightweight blazer, tailored high-waist pant, high quality basic tanks, easy-to-wear silk or cotton print dresses and denim.

house constructed from rammed earth and stone

You mentioned architecture being a huge source of inspiration for you, tell us about your side project.

I got back from a trip to Europe in July last year, and I’ve mentally designed two more homes already – it’s just way too inspiring over there when your weakness is Portuguese architecture.

I have a huge passion for homes and buildings. Similarly to how I approach design, I want a house to be a home. It needs to feel good and translate into something that feels quintessentially good to you. It needs to look good, but remain functional, and you want it to feel like a peaceful haven where you can be inspired.

I’m currently working on a project that will be finished by the end of the year, with a focus around a nod to traditional Fincas. Working with the land and building sustainably is so important to me, so it’s largely constructed from rammed earth and stone. I’ve named the project Finca Talluca – a combination of my two kids names (Tallow and Luca), corny I know, but that’s what mums do.

 

How would you describe your personal style?

I lean toward comfort, function and high quality, much like my design ethos. I love a great pant, tank and blazer, and even though I’m little I wear flats or sneakers most days. My non-negotiable is my jewellery, which I wear every day and feel naked without. I have my grandmother’s necklaces, rings and earrings along with pieces from my mum and pieces I’ve invested in over the year. Accessories are my weakness but particularly jewellery.

I have a very low maintenance approach to everything I wear, including my hair and makeup, I prefer a natural look. My wardrobe staples would be a great lightweight blazer, tailored high-waist pant, high quality basic tanks, easy-to-wear silk or cotton print dresses and denim.

house constructed from rammed earth and stone

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your journey with Grace Loves Lace? What guidance did you receive in the early years that helped you?

I’ve had, and needed, periods of mentoring over the last fourteen years. Even before being in business, I was very sporty and so grew up with mentors in coaches and teachers at school that had huge impact on me. Mentoring is something I would love to be able to do in a more formal capacity, I know how much it helped me and how valuable it was for me professionally and personally.

The reality of being a woman in business, with the added layer of being a mother, is that it’s very hard – sometimes it can feel impossible. One key learning for me was being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Success – in whatever form – doesn't come from being in your comfort zone. Being clear on what your mission and main objectives are is key, everything works back from that. We are all so busy that being able to establish what is priority – or holds the most value in that moment – is how you keep moving forward without getting overwhelmed.

I’m big on keeping it simple and my job leading the company as the Founder and Creative Director is always to maintain perspective. I have to be consistent and reliable in maintaining strong direction and objectives, with clear values that are walked, not just talked. That is where authenticity is so important because when you genuinely believe in what you are doing it’s natural to keep doing it well.

It’s all a journey and I have learnt so much, including to be unapologetically true to myself and having no problem in saying no to things. Being a very hands-on mum has meant that I have said no to some incredible opportunities because it just wouldn’t have suited my children, and that’s more than ok.

"Beauty is entertaining but depth is impressive"

"Beauty is entertaining but depth is impressive"

Megan Ziem
Goldie gown with Megan Ziems

 

Which of the Grace gowns is a personal favourite of yours, and what was the driving inspiration behind it?

It often changes but some of my all-time favourite gowns are Solstice, Goldie and Grace. With the Pierlot veil. I think it’s simply guided by what would suit my shape and style and what I know I would feel confident and beautiful in. Our design and development process is so incredibly detailed and time-consuming that any gown that makes the final cut is one that I absolutely love. Nothing happens quickly when you’re designing in such a traditional way - creating patterns, designing and developing fabrics, working by hand on every design takes at least 12-18 months. For us to invest that time, energy and skill from each of our team members in our design and development studio means that we love it. I’m notorious for knowing and calling it if a gown is a “NO” early on and also at final edit. We have hundreds of gowns in our design studio that have never been released, and even more that we can sketched and not developed past initial stages.

 

What is something we wouldn’t know about you?

I’m very superstitious. I’ve never had a coffee. I would love to study photography, gemology and learn how to grade gold. My parents and I sailed on a little 35-foot sailing yacht to Australia and my middle name means “from the ocean.”

Which of the Grace gowns is a personal favourite of yours, and what was the driving inspiration behind it?

It often changes but some of my all-time favourite gowns are Solstice, Goldie and Grace. With the Pierlot veil. I think it’s simply guided by what would suit my shape and style and what I know I would feel confident and beautiful in. Our design and development process is so incredibly detailed and time-consuming that any gown that makes the final cut is one that I absolutely love. Nothing happens quickly when you’re designing in such a traditional way - creating patterns, designing and developing fabrics, working by hand on every design takes at least 12-18 months. For us to invest that time, energy and skill from each of our team members in our design and development studio means that we love it. I’m notorious for knowing and calling it if a gown is a “NO” early on and also at final edit. We have hundreds of gowns in our design studio that have never been released, and even more that we can sketched and not developed past initial stages.

Goldie gown with Megan Ziems

What’s next?

I have a big year ahead! We’re launching some incredible new collections- one of which is another industry first. We love to innovate and push ourselves and it’s always a proud moment to put so much time, skill and investment behind committing to creating something different. We were the first to create a 98% GRS certified wedding gown and this latest project has involved a similar amount of time and technical skill to get right. I’ve got a fair bit of travel between the US, UK and Europe this year to see our team and have family time in Spain, Wales and Portugal. I really want my sons to grow up spending time in places that my family roots are. I’ll also be working on completing Finca Talluca which I’m excited to share.

What is something we wouldn’t know about you?

I’m very superstitious. I’ve never had a coffee. I would love to study photography, gemology and learn how to grade gold. My parents and I sailed on a little 35-foot sailing yacht to Australia and my middle name means “from the ocean.”

 

What’s next?

I have a big year ahead! We’re launching some incredible new collections- one of which is another industry first. We love to innovate and push ourselves and it’s always a proud moment to put so much time, skill and investment behind committing to creating something different. We were the first to create a 98% GRS certified wedding gown and this latest project has involved a similar amount of time and technical skill to get right. I’ve got a fair bit of travel between the US, UK and Europe this year to see our team and have family time in Spain, Wales and Portugal. I really want my sons to grow up spending time in places that my family roots are. I’ll also be working on completing Finca Talluca which I’m excited to share.