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A Golden Moment with Model and Activist Grace Mahary

Grace Mahary wears, at left, Bold Hoops, Double Curb Chain Necklace, Gemini Necklace, Garnet Heirloom Ring, Boyfriend Stacker, Curb Bracelet and Thin Bangle. At right she wears Oversized Thin Hoops, Pavé Diamond Round Necklace, Bold Herringbone Chain Necklace, Bold Stacker and Charlotte Ring.

As part of our campaign Golden Together, we’re introducing “Golden Moments”: a seven-part interview series highlighting women who are barrier-breakers empowering others to do the same.

Grace Mahary is a barrier breaker in many ways, but it's her refusal to be defined by any one thing—or occupation—that really makes her stand apart. The model has been a fixture in the fashion scene for over 15 years, and on top of training as a sommelier, she's recently started the non-profit Project Tsehigh, an organization bringing clean renewable energy to communities around the world starting with Eritrea and Tanzania. Here, she talks to us about how she makes it all happen.

Grace wears Oversized Thin Hoops, Pavé Diamond Round Necklace, Bold Herringbone Chain Necklace, Diamond Tennis Bracelet, Bold Stacker and Charlotte Ring.

How did Project Tsehigh come to life? How did you know you were the person to do it?

On my first trip back to my parent’s homeland, I was instantly moved by the people and wanted to give back. Electricity was something I’d taken for granted growing up in Canada, and during my time in Eritrea I had experienced infrequent and unreliable electricity access. On follow up trips in 2014 and 2016, I started drawing up clean energy solutions and that was when Project Tsehigh was conceived. I didn’t know of any nonprofit organizations providing these types of solutions so it was less of knowing I was the person to do it and more of “I just gotta do it!”

You’re a model, an activist, an entrepreneur, a sommelier—how do all of your projects and interests influence and inspire one another?

They all come from the same goal: to equal out the playing field and highlight the work and talent of minorities. I leverage my platform in modeling to shine light on sustainable or BIPOC designers and wine producers as well as green movements around the world.

Grace wears the Diamond Tennis Bracelet, Bold Stacker, Charlotte Ring, Diamonds Open Ring and Pavé Diamond Thin Dôme Ring.

How would you describe your Golden Moment?

If I had to choose one, it was when I realized sharing your dreams lights a fire to get them going! At least for me, when I started verbalizing that I would start a nonprofit company in the renewable energy space, it pushed me to learn, build, connect and deliver. Years later, the moment became more clear when it showed up again at a different crossroad; it's a continued marker in my life that forces me to stop living out of fear and start living more bravely.

On the topic of bravery, how do you derive strength and resilience to continue doing the work you're doing?

My mother is my greatest reminder of strength and resilience. There were so many circumstances life threw at her that most people would be shattered by but she fought through it. Her strength is something I always look to when life gets rough. And generally speaking, I am eternally inspired by the resilience of Black people.

Grace wears Dôme Hoops and Bold Link Chain Necklace.

A lot of your work is built on the idea of giving back to communities worldwide. How do you relate to the idea of women supporting women for mutual advancement?

In my personal and professional life, I’ve always made it a point to support other women. Society has made it seem like there isn’t enough room for us to thrive, creating hostility between women. I don’t subscribe to that mentality: I choose to share my resources, advice, and love with other women everyday because there is in fact enough room for us to advance.

Grace wears Oversized Thin Hoops, Pavé Diamond Round Necklace, Bold Herringbone Chain Necklace, Diamond Tennis Bracelet and Pavé Diamond Thin Dôme Ring.

As someone with a lot of influence, what are the things you want to help with or communicate?

Although the amount of people one reaches may vary, I think every human being has a lot of influence and power in their relationships. I hope my message of supporting other women and defining yourselves without boundaries is communicated through my actions and platform.

Are there particular areas and things that you still go to others for in support?

Of course! As they say, it takes a village and that doesn’t stop as an adult. Know your strengths, but it doesn’t make you less than to ask for help or guidance.

On the table the Flat Curb Chain, Charlotte Ring, Bold Hoops and Garnet Heirloom Ring.

When it comes to progress, equity and equality, what are the biggest opportunities you see?

I see an opportunity to increase sustainability within BIPOC communities around the world. Building sustainable infrastructure is a part of building progress, equity and equality.

As I continue to work in them, I also see an opportunity to encourage more women of color into both wine and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) professions.

“sharing your dreams lights a fire to get them going!”

Grace wears the Pavé Diamond Round Necklace, Bold Herringbone Chain Necklace, Bold Stacker and Charlotte Ring.

2020 was as heartbreaking as it was hopeful. What excites you most about 2021 and the next generation?

I’ve been so motivated by the next generation and how they simply aren’t taking NO for an answer. The consequences of climate change affect their generation the greatest and it shouldn’t be left upon their shoulders to reverse these effects. Especially when generations that came before are the reason why the planet is in the state it’s in. In 2021, I’m most excited about the expansion in creativity that will happen since we’ve all been forced to be still and go inward for most of 2020.

What is your biggest motivation?

My people, the sustainable movement, and a more equal world.

What does “Golden Together” mean to you?

Supporting each other for the greater good.


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