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Being Grateful - Amanda Bransgrove

Model and photographer, Amanda Bransgrove, gives us a look at what she loves about life – and shares how giving back to her community keeps her healthy and happy.

With more than 30 years’ experience in New Zealand’s creative industry, Amanda Bransgrove started out in fashion as a model. She’s come full circle in front of the camera for her photo shoot with photographer Hannah Richards, where Amanda wears Bum Hugger undie designs by Ruby Jones and Misery to raise awareness about bowel cancer and to encourage people to stay healthy.

All profits from Bum Hugger sales goes to Bowel Cancer New Zealand. Having experienced the disastrous effects that bowel cancer can have on the lives of your family members, Amanda has also seen how getting an early diagnosis can be life-saving. Here, she shares her Great Full story.

Photographed at her Grey Lynn home, Amanda Bransgrove wears Misery's Zen Garden bum huggers supporting Bowel Cancer New Zealand..

We respect the land we live on. 

I live with my partner and our dog, Bronson, part-time up on a quiet beach in the winterless far north, Te Ngaere Bay. It’s a very special place in the country – a place where I wake up, walk around the bays with my dog; where I can lose myself, be inspired, and just be. No people, no phone, no reception (don’t need it!), where it’s just my camera, my man and my dog. I find inspiration in nature - it directly connects with my spirituality that flows through into my art practice with age. When I’m in Auckland, we have a small city lock-n-leave in Greylynn.

We are a community.

Community is like a family – it’s something people return to. Contributing your talents and time to help your community feels good while expanding your world. It has a positive butterfly effect! I’m a big supporter of buying locally – I get a real kick knowing my footprint is minimal and supporting small businesses, all that is handmade, artisan. It’s friendlier and in the process, you find like-minded, interesting people.

We acknowledge our uniqueness.

Having spent the past few decades focused on photography I’m now in my fifties and am enjoying building a property portfolio – a collection of short-stay accommodations and commercial properties around New Zealand. And Silverfox has risen like a phoenix on the modelling scene, so I’m modelling. Who says, ‘I’m too old’? Although I modelled when I was much younger as well, this round feels so much better – I love it! 

We embrace our families, both blood and created.

When I was on my own as a mum with three teens, I was at the bottom of despair. My mate, Danny, walked into my life and offered to mentor me in business. He picked me up and gave me the tools to run a business professionally, putting the wind back in my sails. We became business partners in Catwalk Studios. Years later when he needed financial support for his expanding business, my partner and I invested in him; I believed in him. Four years later he sold to a US company for millions. 

We are grateful.

I am incredibly grateful be alive today – both mentally and physically healthy, with a positive happy outlook to life. It’s part of my daily mantra to affirm my universe with gratitude and think kind words to myself. It takes mindfulness to think positively, just like getting fit physically, but you can do it anywhere any time.

Wearing Ruby Jones' bum huggers design to support Bowel Cancer NZ has personal significance to Amanda, as four of her uncles have survived bowel cancer.

We are aroha.

Unfortunately, most people have experienced cancer in their family. My beautiful sister in-law, Linda, gave my brother a wonderful life with six awesome children including a foster child, and was a very caring woman. Linda found out she had bowel cancer when she was pregnant and tragically passed 18 months after giving birth to her youngest son. It was intensely sad time for us all and we greatly miss her. Also, all of my mother’s four brothers were diagnosed with bowel cancer, but thankfully every single one of them found it early and survived. Seeing a doctor if you have any symptoms of disease, such as those with bowel cancer, can be a matter of life and death.

We celebrate our unity.

Great Full is very much aligned with my way of thinking and I’m a believer in “birds of a feather flock together.”  As I approach my mid 50s, I'm stepping forward towards projects that authentically resonate with my heart. Great Full’s goal – bringing creative people together to support important causes – sure does.