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Claire Mossong

Where are you from? Tauranga, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Where do you live now? Matapihi, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Tell us about your life in small-town Aotearoa. I moved back to my hometown just over a year ago to renovate a 1920s headmaster’s cottage. It’s been a mix of work, renos and beach life. A much-needed chapter after a wild few years, to be somewhere familiar around family and friends. I’m not sure what’s next, but I’m grateful for the time spent here.

What is your favourite meal? I love garden dinners in summer. Walking out to the veggie patch in the golden light to pick a bowl of salad, herbs and cherry tomatoes, to be drizzled with fresh lemon, salt and balsamic – it feels so nourishing and fresh. Otherwise my favourite meal is my morning coffee brewed in the dawn light to the soundtrack of Nils Frahm or Brad Meldau, or a 3pm red under an olive tree with friends.

What do you do for ‘me time’? In summer I love going for a morning swim or sneaky longboard when the ocean is glassy to wake me up before starting my work day. I’ll usually take the dog and it always resets me. In winter I go for a lot of walks and love finding new trails or places to explore.

How would your friends or family describe you? Peaceful, kind, creative, maybe a bit haphazard at times.

What is your favourite section of Shepherdess, and what do you love about it? I love the Back Roads section – small town Aotearoa has my heart.

What makes you excited or proud to work for Shepherdess? I love how the team seek out stories of women doing interesting things, that you might not discover or hear about otherwise. There is some big glorious energy tucked away in rural New Zealand, and I’m inspired by these women carving out their wonderful stories and making things happen.

What is something readers would be surprised to know about you? Most of the Lovely Things pages are shot here in my home studio and backyard.

The Shepherdess team all work remotely. Tell us a bit about your ‘work from home’ set up. I have a little workspace out the back of the house in the garage that I work in with the doors open in summer or winter. I’d love to open it up, reclad the walls and add in a little Roaring Meg fireplace.