When you’re hotel room is bigger than your entire house, you know you’re onto something special.  The five-star William Inglis MGallery by Sofitel Hotel opened in January and I was lucky enough to stay there in The Black Caviar Presidential Suite. The equine-themed hotel, overlooking Warwick Farm racecourse, features rooms that are named after horses that the Inglis family have owned.

Last month AccorHotels group brought me to Sydney ahead of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, to speak on the Inspired by Her program and why it is so important to cater to the needs of travelling women. I am so honoured to named as the Inspired by Her ambassador, to speak about how womens needs should be valued – a topic I am very passionate about –  and for the opportunity to stay in another fantastic MGallery by Sofitel property in Sydney.

Whilst staying in the William Inglis hotel the gorgeous Sigourney Cantelo from the beauty site BEAUTICATE, came over to discuss all things family, travelling and beauty.

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“Modelling was the amazing vehicle that got me into photography…

I had always wanted to go to art school when I was younger, although somehow I ended up studying law. A couple of years into it, I fell into modelling and everything else went out the window.  I met the most extraordinary people and experienced things I never would have had access to otherwise.  It taught me accelerated life lessons. On a shoot for Harpers Bazaar a few years into it all, I asked the photographer if I could assist him on his next shoot. That was how I began transitioning to the other side of the camera, while gaining my Fine Arts Bachelor degree.

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Having children and wanting to enjoy that precious, limited time with them, while also being in the middle of building my brand, is incredibly challenging.

I found balancing the two aspects of my life very conflicting, both personally and professionally.  In my son’s first year he travelled everywhere with me so that we were never separated, and I only took on jobs that were really important to me.  At the time it really was difficult, but it ended up being a positive experience that helped me to assess my professional direction.

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My career has had some incredible highlights…

As a model, some of them include  seeing my first Ralph Lauren and Versace campaigns when I was starting out, working with Alberta Ferretti to make my wedding dress and having this process covered in US Vogue, and walking in the first ever Fashion Rocks show at the Royal Albert Hall with all the supers. As a photographer, some of  my most special achievements have been having my university graduate exhibition covered in Vogue and shooting campaigns for brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Jimmy Choo.

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Finding work/life balance is really hard, and having help is key.

For the first year of my son’s life, I tried to do everything (including working and travelling) by myself with no help, and I found I was constantly conflicted and felt overwhelmed Now, my main aim is that whatever I am putting my energy into, I am giving it 100%. So we have a wonderful nanny now, which means that I can focus completely on my career during the day, and then when I am with my children they have my full and undivided attention. I realised after that first year of trying to do it all that it’s ultimately about quality and not quantity of time together. Once I accepted this, our family life was a lot richer.

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he most important lesson I have learned professionally is to always do what you’re afraid to do.

If something seems easy, it means you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Ultimately, to create something out of nothing is incredibly difficult. When people say to me ‘your job is amazing’… I don’t think they necessarily realise the insane amount of work that goes into it. Being your own brand is the most empowering thing, but it is an incredible amount of work.

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When it comes to beauty I am pretty much a minimalist…

although I am becoming more obsessed with skincare as I get older. My skin is incredibly dry and my biggest issue is hydration (possibly because of my raging coffee addiction!)  I try to use as many organic products as possible, which was something I started really thinking about when I was first pregnant. I’d say 50% of what I use at the moment is organic, though I’d like to shift that number higher.

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You can see the full story

http://www.beauticate.com/who/candice-lake-photographer-blogger-model

Story by Zoe Briggs, photography by Alice Mahran. Shot on location at William Inglis Hotel M Gallery by Sofitel.