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“My business reminds me of my time at Western. I’m always learning."

Grace McClain (‘12) comes from a long line of entrepreneurs and now she has partnered with her mother to launch hygge | Habit — a minimal living consultancy. Together, McClain and her mother help clients organize and declutter their workspaces and homes with an eye toward sustainability and a lighter environmental footprint.

While at Western Colorado University, McClain majored in communications and minored in business. She’s always had a love for learning and adventure, and life at Western provided opportunities for both. During her years in Gunnison, she ran cross country, performed with the school theater troupe, took part in honors classes and was a Western ambassador.

“I loved being a Western ambassador because it gave me the opportunity to tell my favorite stories to people who were making one of the biggest decisions of their lives,” says McClain.

After graduation, McClain went to work as a marketing strategist for her father’s company. Today, she enjoys putting her marketing and business development skills to work in her own company. An element of her new work that she loves is the sense of instant gratification. When she rearranges furniture or declutters a room the space changes immediately and the progress is obvious. Her clients have reported benefits ranging from expanded creativity to improved relationships.

“My business reminds me of my time at Western. I’m always learning,” McClain says. “No two client situations are the same. It’s an entirely different canvas to work on in every situation.”

McClain credits Western for instilling a sense of self-confidence in her. She recalls Dean of Students, Gary Pierson, and Head of Residence Life, Shelley Jansen, positively impacting her experience. “When I was struggling or not, they always validated what I was doing,” says McClain, “and encouraged me to not back down on what I was working toward.”

McClain’s focus now is helping one person at a time respect their personal environment as well as the global environment. For many people, living a minimal waste life seems out of reach but McClain instructs her clients that small shifts are easy to incorporate.

Simple actions lead to a less cluttered, more organized personal space. On a bigger scale, the more people practicing a minimal waste lifestyle — even imperfectly — the less pollution we create. And as McClain says, “this leads to a domino effect of positive change.” Visit Grace McClain’s website at www.hyggehabit.com to find more tips and inspiration on how to change your own environment.

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