Meet Grace Mahary: Model, Activist, and Certified Sommelier

Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and stay tuned.

Grace Mahary was undoubtedly destined to achieve many diverse career accomplishments. At the young age of fifteen, Mahary embarked on her modeling career, rapidly rising to the top of the industry and impressively booking an exclusive her first fashion week with Givenchy. Since, Mahary has traveled worldwide, becoming a familiar face on the iconic runways and ad campaigns of top-tier designers like CHANEL, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, and Dior.

As Mahary’s modeling career took her around the world, her global perspective led her to her first major career pivot as she witnessed firsthand the many communities experiencing energy poverty. After an immersive, eye-opening trip to her parents’ hometown, Eritrea, Mahary made the decision to start the nonprofit organization Project Tsehighi, which translates to “sun” in Tigrinya, one of Eritrea’s national languages. Project Tsehighi provides sustainable solutions for communities with limited resources by decreasing inaccessibility and increasing sustainability by providing renewable energy solutions, like solar panels. Mahary’s mission is to use her voice to bring awareness to marginalized communities’ work and ultimately make a difference in their lives. “My whole approach to life and everything that I do has always been to equal out the playing field, and it’s always been important to me to leverage my platform to do that,” Mahary adds.

But Mahary’s work does not stop there; in addition to her admirable actions to ending poverty, her international travels also sparked another curiosity and passion of Mahary—a love for wine. In 2019, Mahary traded her rigorous fashion week schedule for a classroom to eventually obtain the highly revered certified sommelier certificate by the Internation Culinary Center in New York. Mahary has further evolved her sommelier career into curating a wine list at the LA restaurant, Chulita. 

Head to Apple PodcastsSpotify, or anywhere else you listen to subscribe to Second Life and to hear how Mahary has balanced these incredible career accomplishments throughout the years, found the courage to use her platform to create change, and take the time to fulfill one of her passions. 

Next up, Meet Rachel Drori: Founder of Daily Harvest & Changemaker in the Health Industry.