Fashion Designer + Singer/Songwriter
My sister, Paula Punch has a rich experience in fashion and retail, along with her singer songwriting skills. Her passion for music has led to her recently launching an album and regularly gigging in Sydney and in the US. In this episode, Paula shares her ‘Mum Remedies’ and then we both share the ‘Mum Remedies’ from our Mother.
Founder Punch Park & Singer/Songwriter
Founder of Fashion label Punch Park, Paula has been working in retail for over 20 years working with iconic brands as a fashion buyer and finally started her own brand Punch Park.
She has now also just released her first Album with original music with her band the Fireflys. She has become a regular at the Django at Camelot venue with her band, The Fireflys. Live appearances often spotlight a local showcase for other local artists she has dubbed The Punch Sessions, with special guests including such popular acts as Abi Tucker, Tania Bowra, Glenn Bidmead, Dan Mullins, Lisa Schouw, and Tania Sparke. 2019 saw Punch opening the stage with Russell Morris, Karise Eden and Renee Geyer at the Camelot Lounge to widespread fan and critical acclaim.
MRS V: 00:00:00 We are AGERICH because we create remedies for life made by life. I’m Scarlet Vespa, a.k.a. MRS V, and founder of AGERICH.Co your go-to place for AGERICH remedies to help you find love, get rich, awaken your intuition, and feel free. So now let’s open the remedy kit and discover why we’re all AGERICH.
MRS V: 00:00:20 Welcome to a special edition of age rich because it is all about mothers today. And I thought, what better person I can discuss my mom with? And that is my sister. So, she’ll be joining us shortly to discuss the remedies as mothers that we have found in our own life. And also, the remedies that we’ve learned from our own mom because this is our first Mother’s Day without our mom who passed five months ago. So, what I have learnt about being a mother and I think the most important remedy was really discovering unconditional love.
MRS V: 00:01:01 What was just phenomenal is, to really feel such a deep connection that is not of self. Like you don’t worry about yourself. Like I’ve never felt that unconditional love, towards another being. And I think that really taught me the huge capacity for love and healing and gives you resilience and so many amazing, strengths that you gain from getting unconditional love. Number two is I learned so much about how children reflect on our own stuff. And I just have so many stories where my son Henry was behaving in a certain way or was ill about something. And when I tuned into the projection about what was happening for me, he was just kind of reflecting that back. And that was such great learning for me because it’s everything in life, but I learned it from him. So that was amazing, to really see how children reflect so much of our own stuff.
MRS V: 00:02:07 And the last one really is about to let go and let grow. You know, I was so attached to my son. He created such a big change in who I was as a person, and I felt very attached and very protective as we all do, but I had to learn to let go. And I think it’s such a balance as, you know, as a parent, you know, to balance, giving them advice and guidance, but at the same time, letting them do their own thing because it’s how they learn and grow. So, where’s the place that you must sit. And, I’ve just learnt, you know, I’m still learning because I can feel myself sometimes going, I don’t say that, but I say it. So, I found it just super important to stay present to what’s my motivation behind the guidance.
MRS V: 00:03:00 And I try to control him, is it because I don’t trust him? And that was a big realization I had is the more that I try to help him. I was disempowering him. So that was a big shift for me to come into that. And I’m still learning as we all do about attachment and letting go. So without any further ado, I’d love to introduce my sister Paula Punch, and we’re going to find out her remedies for being a mom. And we’re going to talk about what we learnt together. And in fact, we discovered that they were all the same. So we’re going to share, in turn what we both learned from our own mom. So this is a very special episode because my sister’s joining me today. She is an amazing fashionista and has been in the fashion industry for years and years. And now, well actually always is a singer-songwriter and she has her album, which you happen to have the cover there, Paula, bring it up.
MRS V: 00:04:00 There, it is Song to the Trees. There she is. Look at that rock chick. I love it. And she’s perfect. And in terms of AGERICH, because you have totally stepped into what you wanted to do because you’re in corporate for a long time and then you thought, no, I’m going to do it. I don’t care what age I am. That’s right. So, would you like to, that’s it, and this is the whole thing. I mean, Paula, you know, knows everything that we’re doing in AGERICH and is very much involved. She’s my sounding board on many subjects. And you know, I think it’s funny because even starting from 2016, when I started investigating the ageism, thinking God, there’s, where’s all the women in magazines or the stock shops, and I’m still feeling like that and it’s still prevalent.
MRS V: 00:04:50 So anyway, so this is Paula. Our mom passed five months ago. This is our first mother’s day without her today. Of course, I got a bit teary this morning. I got some flowers here. You can see these beautiful flowers and, I didn’t know, because I never got the colour right with mums. So I got all the different colours.
PAULA: 00:05: 21 I think she likes yellow.
MRS V: 00:05:23 What did you say? She likes yellow. So I’d get a yellow because I kept hearing yellow, but it was funny because I think I did a reading. I don’t know if I told you that she was going to show me red and yellow or red and pink together. And I saw these. She’s here with us in spirit. She’d be very proud of us, I think. I just have briefly talked about, my remedies, that I, as a mom has found. Firstly, I want to ask you, what’s your life remedy? Do you have a life remedy that brought you where you are now? What’s the one thing where you go, “Oh wow! Everything I’ve gone through has brought me to this.”
PAULA: 00:06:05 Everything that I’ve gone through has brought me to this. Well, I think it’s just being, not worried about what people think. I think that much of my life, I’m very empathetic and I really can read people and I feel a room and I take on a lot of stuff. So when I feel something from others, I’m a bit of a comedian I can actually sort of, I know what they want. So that’s a handy thing to have, but, on the flip side, the bad thing is that you may be sort of affected by what they’re thinking of you and what you are doing, so as I’ve got older, I’ve learned a little better to just focus on the things that matter around you and what, how you feel and get on with it rather than sort of second-guessing other people.
MRS V: 00:07:07 I’m a little bit like that too. I’ll, I’ll adapt to a room or, you know, maybe it’s part of our makeup and I think it’s hard because you do lose yourself. It’s been hard to go, well, who am I like when I started doing work on camera. I was like, who am I? No, no, no. I’m about making other people feel good as a director. So that was a big journey to go. Without your ego, you kind of don’t want your ego in, in kind of playing out. But at the same time, you want to have a healthy ego and a good sense of self. Now, I love that you’ve said that because I agree. So let’s talk about your three remedies as a mum.
PAULA: 00:07:47 Well, resilience would be my first one. As a mother, you have to have resilience, and the children, I think, look to you for that solidarity that’s, that assurity. I think that’s the best thing that you can give them. I think that every mother must go through so much. You must really sort of having that in resilience and sometimes you sort of think, “How am I and what am I going to be like as a mother?” it’s amazing how that resilience just naturally comes out in mothers when they are faced with this. You look back and you go, “How did I do that? How did I do that?”
MRS V: 00:08:40 I know, I know.
PAULA: 00:08:41 Number two sort of links with that. I think you have the resilience and showing the way for children leads to the next one, which is about responsibility. We love our children so much and a lot of us need our children. We love and have that unconditional love, but as they get older, they don’t really rely on you as much. I think it’s good to just change the dial back a little bit so that you show them, “Well, I have a life on my own. I’m okay by myself. I love you. And I will always be there for you”, but you don’t depend on them for the reflection of love, and it frees them, I think in many ways that you are not depending on them for your own happiness.
PAULA: 00:09:53 And the third one Is also linked to resilience, which is being ready. Be ready for whatever is thrown at you. We all have things that come up in our lives and especially when we have children. Whatever happens to them sort of impacts you, what happens to your husband, and so just showing, being an example of being able to pivot, when things sort of change and how you adapt to it. You can’t stop things that are going to happen, inevitably you can’t. You really need to focus on the things that you can change and how you adapt to the things that have happened to you is what makes the difference in your lives.
MRS V: 00:10:51 Yeah. Beautiful. I love those remedies. You’re a good mom. You had the whole thing about going from corporate, that we always give birth to guilt. I think we feel guilty because we’re at work or whatever. So, then you had the flip when you work from home.
PAULA: 00:11:25 When the boys arrived, I did have that. I was lucky enough to have the early years where I was flexible. I did freelance work until Michael was five. So I value that. But then after that, I was traveling many times a year, for two weeks at a time, so my husband had to look after the boys and in retail, it was anything up to 60-hour weeks. We really did work very hard and beyond.
MRS V: 00:11:59 You were beyond. You worked hard work.
PAULA: 00:12:03 So about seven years ago I sort of left David Jones, I really had the choice. Do I go back to a corporate or not? And I decided no, I’m going to do my own thing. I did the online business, I thought at that time, my boys would’ve moved out.
MRS V: 00:12:31 It’s a new world now, Paula, they don’t leave.
PAULA: 00:12:37 But what it’s done is it’s given me more time with them, which has been really lovely, which I didn’t have before. It gave me time with mom before she passed away which is so wonderful. Being home more – the guitar was there. That’s where the pivot, the change happened for me. I reconnected with my music in a big way.
MRS V: 00:13:10 I’ve been so jealous of you always because I do so many different types of things. Paula has always been music. It’s so clear for you. A lot of people do have those different things, “what do I focus on?”. I love what you’ve done. So let’s talk about Mama. She was quite a force in our life at the end of this podcast, I’m going to play a video that I took a few years ago. She was still 92, I think, in the video.An amazing woman. It was just very impromptu, I just said, “Hey, we just had coffee. Tell me about your secrets of life…” And you know, she shares it.
PAULA: 00:13:56 She didn’t like going on camera.
MRS V: 00:14:01 She hated it. And she said to me, in the end, “you’re not going to share this, are you?” <laugh> So one of the things she’s been a very big force in our life – I’ve certainly had my moments where we would like to fight like cat and dog because she was very strong and I was strong and stubborn, but we became very good friends, which was lovely because I think she’s so sharp and so intelligent. She was very graceful. So what are the things that we learned?
MRS V: 00:14:49 We’re, we, we are doing it today,
PAULA: 00:14:52 The north shore.
MRS V: 00:14:55 That Maggio
PAULA: 00:14:56 Yep. That’s our Mother’s Day, such a little tribute.
MRS V: 00:15:01 That’s our Mother’s Day tribute. So here is number one, Paula.
PAULA: 00:15:06 Mum always said love will come naturally. Respect is number one, you can’t have love without respect. I think the line she used to say. I think that a lot of good marriages are built on the respect that both partners have for each other. And it’s great for the children to see respect.
MRS V: 00:15:41 It’s everything. I mean, if you don’t have respect for another person like it’s just everything, even the whole thing around AGERICH and our elders. Love is about respect for your elders. I think, goodness, she certainly not demanded that, but she lived it truly because she had that, and it was a respect that was very quiet. It wasn’t a demanding one. It was just her being confident in herself and still feeling very much. She had a lot of empathy, but she had good boundaries which she taught us. So, number two is, that quality is better than quantity <laugh>. We learned that mainly through our clothing.
PAULA: 00:16:26 We won’t go there.
MRS V: 00:16:32 Yes. Let’s not go there. <laugh> So, quality always taught you must buy well, of course, that justified us spending on expensive brands, which she does the longevity in everything, the food – the quality was the most important thing rather than most of it.
PAULA: 00:16:53 Number three, manage your own money, plus manage the small things, be mindful of how you are spending your money every day. I was amazed, still, at 93, she’d say, ” Paula, get my pad in the study…” and I’d sort of go and get the pad pen and she would like to keep a record of what she’s spending and how much she’s spending so she can actually budget in the months to come. I mean, that is so far from what I do.
MRS V: 00:17:33 I have a bit of my mother and me on that one.
PAULA: 00:17:39 I respect her so much for the way she managed her money. She always said, “have your own money, have your own career”. Both our parents really felt strongly about that. Back in the time when more and more women had their own careers, it wasn’t a period where it was just given, but they made us feel, it was a given that you had to have your own career.
MRS V: 00:18:18 It’s interesting. She’s like that because our grandmother, her mom, didn’t work or anything. She’d play bridge and she did the charity things. Our grandfather was an accountant. So, I think she learned a lot from him because he was very much training her to be independent. So that was passed down to us. Dad just truly trusted her with everything.
MRS V: 00:18:50 Number four is every day look your best. She always looked like she was going out somewhere expensive and because you never know who you run into and also just a sense of self because she’d buy something. And I remember someone saying, “but no one’s going to see it…” She goes, “I’ll see it. I don’t care. It’s how I feel about myself.” So, I love that from a personal brand point of view, that completely resonates.
PAULA: 00:19:18 I think it’s interesting every day to sort of coordinate as being in fashion. I love being able to go to the wardrobe in the morning, “what mood am I in? how, what am I going to dress today?” You can be lazy some days and just put the easy thing on. But I think that she’s an inspiration in that regard because I know that she always sorts of, liked to look her best.
MRS V: 00:19:50 Absolutely amazing.
PAULA: 00:19:52 Her hair done
MRS V: 00:19:53 Hair done, always looked good, had facial. She looked incredible, oh my goodness, her skin. When you see her at the end…
PAULA: 00:20:15 Number four is the code of behaviour. As a child, she was taught very well on manners and the way to behave, and she really showed that to us and our children. It didn’t matter who you were speaking to, you treat everybody the same. I also think the code of behaviour that she taught us was very important to her. It shows respect for other people.
MRS V: 00:20:53 It was interesting because she went to Rosebay Convent and then she went to finishing school. She had a particular code of ethics and behaviour from that experience and who she was as a person and brought up. But you know, the wonderful thing about her is she was not like all of us. She had her judgmental bits of her, but she was always so empathetic and very kind. She had a very good balance. She was very spiritual. Our mother was very Catholic and loved Mary MacKillop and she totally relied on her. We had our moments because I’m not a practicing Catholic. So there were a lot of times of, “you’re going to… if you don’t be a Catholic…”, but where we got to, later on, she just respected the fact that I have a very deep, rich spiritual life.
MRS V: 00:21:55 And so that’s where the balance she got to, where she didn’t have that kind of ridiculous staunch kind of judgment. She was very open and she learned, and she evolved up until the day she passed. She was quite extraordinary on that front. I think regardless of whatever, religion you’re brought up with, to be brought up on a spiritual sense, opens your mind to possibility. And I think, that’s been a blessing to have that. And so hence, which is number six, spirituality is where you’ll find peace and success. That’s what we certainly all agreed on. I certainly did with her that as I get older, my spiritual life is more important because it’s all about my mental health. When you realize that money doesn’t buy happiness. Yes, you need it. But if you don’t have a general heart sense of who you are, your spiritual self and your soul, and how you fit into the community, you’re not going to be fulfilled. That’s why there’s a lot of people, I believe who are wealthy and you know, aren’t happy because it’s not giving them what they think it is. So, I think that was a great tip we both learned from her.
MRS V: 00:23:15 Number seven. Nicely illustrated there, Paula <laugh>. That was a big one because when we were children, you were very good at it, but I wasn’t. I just had to tell everyone everything <laugh> I wanted them all to know, and I felt there was an element of being truthful. If I say how I’m feeling like there’s truthfulness and a connection, but obviously, I got that one a little bit wrong, but at the same time, it’s had its benefits on other levels.
PAULA: 00:23:53 I think mom was like that too. But I think over time she valued being able to listen more and step back. So, she always tried to teach that.
MRS V: 00:24:14 She always tried.
PAULA: 00:24:16 She did start talking more.
MRS V: 00:24:21 She didn’t care so much. It was quite funny.
PAULA: 00:24:27 What did she say? Never? What was it?
MRS V: 00:24:29 Never eat when you walk? I was thinking the other day as I was going along and someone was eating and I thought, “Oh, it was terrible when you’re eating and walking…” And I went, “Oh, there’s another tip that she told me which is never eat and walk.”
PAULA: 00:24:46 She also did from a safety point of view, “Never hold something while you are running…” as well. She just wouldn’t let her young children hold something while they were running around because they could fall and hurt themselves. And so being a nurse, she was very conscious of safety. So never eat when you walk and never hold something while you are walking <laugh>
MRS V: 00:25:11 She was always funny about wild brass.
PAULA: 00:25:15 Yes and I didn’t really know that.
MRS V: 00:25:21 I thought it was the wire was the metal was bad like put rays out or something, but I completely misunderstood. Is it the wire that can come out of your bra?
PAULA: 00:25:30 I missed that one. I missed that one. <laugh>
MRS V: 00:25:34 Never heard of that before. So make sure there are no holes in your underwear.
PAULA: 00:25:39 She said that to me. Now I have actually sorted the new ones I’ve bought without a mark.
MRS V: 00:25:45 Is that interesting?
MRS V: 00:25:53 If you’re going to invest in a property because our mother did very well with property and investment. She had a very, very good business sense, and we moved a bit because she’d renovate. She loved renovating and art design and she was an interior designer as well. The main thing she said is if you invest somewhere, make sure you would live in it, and don’t buy an investment property that you wouldn’t live in. I always remember her saying that.
PAULA: 00:26:23 Father, who always said buy something in an area you don’t know, which I think was very true.
MRS V: 00:26:38 Very good advice. Very good advice. And yes. And we’ve touched on that already which always brought up food.
PAULA: 00:26:45 I know this now, cause having done her shopping in the last couple of years, she always wanted to have fresh food. She wouldn’t have things in the freezer, and she’d love fresh celery and make celery juice. She would have fresh vegetables and fresh poultry. She was very keen on having everything fresh. I think that I tend to do that. I think you do too.
MRS V: 00:27:22 We both do that daily.
PAULA: 00:27:24 …daily basis rather than do the big shop. It’s totally inefficient, but <laugh> being it’s becoming healthy.
PAULA: 00:27:33 And it gets you out. There you go, gets you out walking.
MRS V: 00:27:38 But we had that when we were kids as well. I remember we’d always go get we’d get some fresh meats, then I’d be in trouble. Cause I ate all of them, you know, but it was always fresh. That’s right. Amazing. Oh, there’s our gorgeous mother. Well, I’m sure she’s listening. In fact, my ear was ringing very loudly before we started. It says to me it was her ping she’s around. I’ve had lights go on and off. So, she’s very much around us and we are happy about that. It is funny since she’s passed, I do feel I have a new relationship with her, which is in spirit and she’s around me. So is there anything else you’d like to share?
PAULA: 00:28:21 I’m missing her. Look after your mother, if your mother is still alive, look after your mother. Mothers look after those children but let them go, let them go.
MRS V: 00:28:35 And let them go. <laugh> yes. As Luna’s just about to go into a barking frenzy. So very good notes to finish. Thank you so much. I love you so much. You’re amazing mom. She’s been incredible. I have to say with everything, looking after my mommy, you’re just like a little Godsend. So, happy Mother’s Day to everybody. Enjoy the day, enjoy your moms, enjoy your children. And we’ll see you soon. Bye.
MRS V: 00:29:03 So I’m here with my mother. Fab Over 80, just in case you’re looking for her Instagram account. So tell me, Hi,
MUM: 00:29:15 Tell you what darling?
MRS V: 00:29:16 Tell me. From where you are in your life, what are your three tips for having a healthy, happy life?
MUM: 00:29:27 Finding peace of mind with a great friend, even if it’s your husband or a partner, and having another interest besides making money.
MRS V: 00:29:29 So true.
MUM: 00:29:42 And that is first of all your children. And then when you feel there beyond you, then concentrate on your hobby, be it golf or in my case, artistry.
MRS V: 00:29:51 Beautiful.
MRS V: 00:29:52 And can you just show everyone your gorgeous smile and shirt we love? Can you <laugh>
MUM: 00:29:56 I can’t …
MRS V: 00:29:58 What is your best beauty secret?
MUM: 00:30:01 My best beauty secret is I noticed when people were getting old, that they had wrinkles at each side of their eyes and also on their top lip. And that upset me. So I thought, right, I spoke to this Japanese girl who used to sell me things at Shiseido and she said, eye cream is the thing. And you put that on your top lip and I have done that for 20, no 30 years. Yeah.
MRS V: 00:30:22 That looks amazing to me.
MUM: 00:30:23 And it has, it has been very good, but nevertheless, you know, I could do with a miracle for the rest of the cream for the face, but I can’t, you only look so wonderful thing after your 80, the way has stay tranquil is to be accepting. You look and do your best and then you close the mirror and then off you go, that’s it.
MRS V: 00:30:46 Acceptance is really important.
MUM: 00:30:47 It is. It’s very important.
MRS V: 00:30:48 Did you just tell me the eye cream you used to put on your top lip, you still put it on the top lip, which is a fantastic tip.
MUM: 00:30:54 Shiseido eye cream. Yes.
MRS V: 00:30:55 You put whatever eye cream. Puts on her. Yes. You put here. Yes. See, never would’ve thought of that.
MUM: 00:30:56 I wouldn’t have either if the Japanese girl hadn’t told me…
MRS V: 00:31:03 And anything else you’d like to share about life, tips in life?
MUM: 00:31:07 Yes. Well, I think one should have some spiritual interest as well, even perhaps made not sure that my daughter appears that just
MRS V: 00:31:14 Skip out that section. So, what’s …?
MUM: 00:31:17 Know what? I need it. I do. Mother makes you…
MRS V: 00:31:19 My mother’s very Catholic and I’m um,
MUM: 00:31:21 And I’m also a great believer in the power of Mother MacKillop from the north city where I have when my husband was dying of cancer for nine years, I went there every day to say a little prayer in her chapel.
MRS V: 00:31:35 She does.
MUM: 00:31:36 And I felt that that gave me strength to go on for another day.
MRS V: 00:31:39 So that is the thing I think for people and what I’ve learned. Cause we’ve had our own moments around, you know, Catholic versus I do my practice, spiritual own spiritual practice, the Shamanism. And I’ve been practicing Buddhism, but I know that spiritual life is very important life. And I mean you are very important.
MUM: 00:31:57 Oh yes.
MRS V: 00:31:58: Because it’s something bigger than yourself.
MUM: 00:31:59 It is. Yes. And I think too thinking of others, I’ve learned that if you, you concentrate very much on your own shortcomings, you are looking inward and therefore you sort of wizard up like a little nut
MUM: 00:32:15 And where, if you keep thinking and I have, you know, have thought, oh, well I’ve had three children to think about and that’s been enough. Let’s get busy enough for her.
MRS V: 00:32:24 Tell me if you wanted a superpower in your life, what would it have been? What superpower would you have liked to have had during your life?
MUM: 00:32:34 What superpower do you mean?
MRS. V: 00:32:35 I always wanted to fly
MUM: 00:32:38 Thank you.
MRS. V: 00:32:39 Super MRS. V!!!
MUM: 00:32:41 I like nice. Um, well a beautiful English sports car
MRS V: 00:32:46 There. That’s not a super pair you could have had that. What colour? Um, green.
MUM: 00:32:49 No, I couldn’t. Um, Black Aston Martin in black, in black. Shiny black.
MRS V: 00:32:56 Nice.
MRS V: 00:32:57 I love it. My mother’s the reason why I kept my stripes on my mini. I was going to take them off. She said, no, they’re much cooler to have your stripes on there. It’s like, oh my goodness. Yes. My mother knows. Well, thank you for sharing everything with everyone.
MUM: 00:33:13 Don’t keep fast cars though. You might end up rather pull. Like I did now. I don’t have a license.
MRS V: 00:33:17 I know she did, she actually was going …She didn’t die. Cause it had told us a bit later. She’s one of those who manages everything.
MUM: 00:33:21 BMW man said that he could now recommend my car to his wife. Cause it saved my life.
MRS V: 00:33:28 You go very important. Thank you for chatting with us.
MUM: 00:33:31 It’s right, dear.
MRS V: 00:33:31 I love you, Love …
MRS V: 00:33:32 You guys. I’m glad everyone could meet you and see how…
MUM: 00:33:38 Scarlett, if it goes on air, I shall kill you.