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From darknesss, to brilliant renaissance.

Take ONE magical step into your business dreams, TODAY!

From darkness, to brilliant renaissance. 

Take ONE magical step into your business dreams, TODAY!

Waking up in Paris helps dancers, performing artists & creatives ribbon business & branding to illuminate their craft & still ZING with PURPOSE when the curtain falls.

You DON’T have to stay stuck in trial and error, or fumbling around in the dark — exhausting yourself even before your business has barely begun. We empower, nay, ENFORCE women to get out of their own way and give their business dreams the space to breathe, grow and BLOOM. We work on behalf of your dream, and on behalf of the people who need the gold you have.

We won’t stand by while that dream of yours shrivels up and dies.


Clarissa Grace

Founder, business mentor, design expert, fashion designer, stylist and fan of flamingos, musicals, ballet and brie.

Keeley Rees

Creative director, branding expert, writer, filmmaker, actress and adult ballet student. {She’s a ballerina on the inside.}

What’s with the name?


What could be better than waking up in Paris? It’s the dream, right? Clarissa studied haute couture in France at the Paris American Academy and was LITERALLY waking up in Paris for an UNFAIRLY long time.

But the Waking up in Paris we’re talking about? It’s the symbol of a perfectly wondrous, joy-filled life — the definition of TRUE prosperity. It’s the dream honeybee. Where business isn’t just about making masses of money, but is what enables us to have more INCOME, IMPACT and FREEDOM in our lives.

What does that look like? This: Having the money for both the pretty stuff AND the important stuff – including extra finances for the things you care deeply about. It looks like working with people who delight and inspire you. It looks like having the freedom and the flexibility to be there for the people you love – to work from anywhere in the world at the hours YOU choose. But most importantly, it looks like waking up every day with the zinging energy that ONLY comes from creating work that you were put on this planet to create, and confidently living out the purpose you’ve been called to.

Side note: Keeley is also learning French so that a) she can understand her ballet teacher, and b) speak sweet nothings to you in French because everything sounds fancy en Francais, oui ?

My big burning desire through Waking up in Paris is to pour BEAUTY and LIGHT into your life so that together we can bring healing to a world that is desperate for it.

I was 21 when I first became an entrepreneur and started living the business fairytale. And for 15 years I created hundreds of couture wedding gowns for brides under my self-named label. My designs were picked up by boutiques in Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo, splashed on the covers of magazines across the country, and worn by some of Australia’s most shiny stars.

When all of a sudden in 2009, the world broke. Twice. My dad died of suicide. And my son died of heart-disease two weeks later. Earth-shattering, life-destroying heartbreak. 

But business went on. I didn’t understand it – did the world not know what had happened to us? My company continued to grow and flourish around me but I quickly realised that I didn’t have the capacity to carry it. So a year later I made the gut-wrenching decision to close the doors of Clarissa Grace Couture for good. 

Then. After a looong season of grief and healing {you can click HERE if you want to read my full story.}… I was ready for entrepreneurship again. 

But this time, I wasn’t interested in creating another fairytale business. I wanted to create a business that had MEANING and PURPOSE and that was born out of the ashes of my life, but that flourished because of the beauty… 

And this, my DARLING, is exactly what has led me to YOU.  

The decades of entrepreneurship I’ve experienced, the immersion of ‘business culture’ through my dad, brother and handsome-as-heck husband, the dozens of businesses we’ve collectively birthed, built and sold — have marked my heart. They’ve impressed on me a mandate to share the gift of those years — and to support you in bringing your OWN business dreams into an iridescent, fulfilling existence.

I’ll be here in the wings, cheering wildly, stage mum style {without the crazy}. I’ll give you everything you need, fix your hair, deal with those pesky faux eyelashes, get your water and tell you “You’ve got this.”

But even before we reach the stage together — I’ll help you prepare your heart and equip you with everything you need to thrive online. Because I want success for you with every fibre of my being, but ONLY when you’re ready to carry it. So my mentorship goes deep. It’s the FULL PRODUCTION.  Your audience is waiting for you. It’s time to create a business that ZINGS with purpose.


This process has healed me”

Clarissa helped me uncover a beauty in my business that was buried underneath countless layers of fear and insecurity. And I SAW it. I FOUND it. The process was gentle, confronting, loving, transformative, and healing. Now I shine as a leader because of its sacredness. I feel powerful now… but it’s also peaceful. Clarissa is a wonder-making, wand-waving, sparkle-sprinkling fairy godmother! And I couldn’t be more grateful to her.

Sunshine Kamaloni {Race Strategist and Consultant}


She loves her ladies fiercely”

People gravitate toward Clarissa because of her deep love for them and the endless knowledge of entrepreneurship she shares so generously. She educates in the most gentle yet fierce way and helps women create a life for themselves that exceeds their wildest dreams. She is a four leaf clover in a sea of 3 leaf-ers.

Ulla Gaudin {Hollywood Makeup Artist}


“I have a new-found freedom”

I finally wholeheartedly know the direction of my business, but even better than that I feel like I’ve found the adult version of that carefree little girl that got lost somewhere along the way. For the first time in 15 years I’m proud of who I am when I look in the mirror. Thank you Clarissa for being a piece of my new found freedom.

Heather Woods {Designer and Dancer}


My business is now my legacy”

Clarissa’s artistry shines through in everything she touches. She’s a curator of beauty, a master of aesthetics, a haute couture queen, and a kickass business woman. She brings high-class exclusiveness to her work, with the inclusiveness of your childhood BFF. She’ll help you create an empire and a legacy, with out of the box brilliance like no other!

Eevi Jones {Children’s book author}

“Clarissa is a branding genius”

Clarissa is an absolute genius. Her ability to walk both new and experienced entrepreneurs through the branding process is fresh, beautifully disruptive, and desperately needed. I truly believe she is leading the way for others to follow.

April Beach {Business development coach}

“She’s the Coco Chanel of online business”

We all talk about Clarissa being the Coco Chanel of online business and branding because she has this high-quality touch to everything that she does. And I can’t think of another person out there who has such a rich combination of expertise and business savvy, plus her incredible heart that just envelopes you in this world class experience.

Dr. Gladys Ato {Leadership mentor, psychologist, speaker, and author}



Lean closer. 

Twas Facebook that brought us together. A humble Facebook ad to be specific. I, {Keeley} saw an ad in my feed that was by this incredible lady talking about style and how through great tragedy she’d found a connection between beauty and grief and healing and it was just EVERYTHING because I could not believe there was someone like THIS on the planet! Where had she been all my liiiiiiife? 

So! Fangirl mode activated — I sent her a mushy love letter on sparkly paper, delivered in a box filled with tinsel, pom-poms and rose petals. {I sent her an email.} 

And she WROTE back — sending a pair of beautiful, modern carrier pigeons to deliver a note wrapped in red velvet ribbons and smelling of Chanel No. 5. {She emailed me back.}

She’d watched one of my films and got BIG SPARKLY STARS in her eyes and KNEW we had to meet INSTANTLY. So, without hesitation she hopped on the next available flamingo to our rendezvous point by the glittering ocean, halfway between our two separate states. And there, it was settled between us that we were to be BFF’s and business pals FOR LIFE.

Partnering together under Waking up in Paris is a dream come true. For us AND YOU. Because seriously, together, we make stuff happen — with panache. The richness of our separate gifts, experience and history mix in the most yummy way.

But. When we combine C + K + YOU into the picture = oh, lady! That’s when the sweet tasty magic happens.

So, to make this even funner – instead of business, let’s pretend we’re in a cute kitchen making macarons. Because macarons {like business} aren’t that easy to get right. The balance of ingredients and the details of the method are CRITICAL to get the right amount of gooey-middle-goodness and that crunchy, pastel-coloured shell.


Oh, taste and see the macarons are glorious!

{Ancient proverb. Adapted slightly.}

Macaron {Clarissa}

  • Mentorship {PLUS! The occasional kick up the pantaloons – used sparingly and only if necessary.}
  • Mindset {Evenly distributed throughout all ingredients.}
  • Business strategy {Soaked in decades of experience.}
  • High-end design 
  • Personal style {A dozen cups of fabulous.}
  • Quirky vintage GIFS 

Macaron {Keeley}

  • Art direction {Unfiltered and infused with elegance and edge.}
  • Copywriting {Peaked to perfection.}
  • Storytelling {Mixed strategically throughout.}
  • Premium branding
  • Colour psychology {A fine sugaring.}
  • Humour {Dry, yet surprisingly warm.}

Fancy Filling {You: The crème de la crème}

  • Kind-heart {With impeccable integrity.}

  • Decisiveness 

  • Resourcefulness {A tablespoon whenever necessary.}

  • Commitment {Enough to overflow.}

  • Creativity 

  • Gifts, talent, and wisdom {Prepped and glazed.}

  • Excellence {Baked right in.} 

  1. Add all above into bowl with no lid. 
  2. Work with master bakers Clarissa and Keeley as they whiz ingredients into a flurry of tempered goodness. {Translation: gooey and strong in all the right places.} The end result? The MOST enchanting fancy filling {you} hugged inside two sweet yet soft shells {us.} {Side note: we give the BEST virtual hugs.}
  3. Follow their directions and TRUST the process = boom. The. Best. Dang. Macarons. Ever.
*Additional notes: We may or may not also liberally add fun, laughter and dance moves while watching the oven as we squabble over Downton Abbey vs Star Trek…

My Grandad knew I was a storyteller before I did. “You’re a writer, Keeley! You should write!” He surprised me with a vintage blue, 1961 Remington typewriter, which he spent ages searching a dusty old cupboard to find. He taught me to touch type {probably so he could read my stories without trying to decode my scrawls} and was always excited to read my latest tale.

I wrote because writing was my ally. I wrote to escape — the idea that I could disappear into beautiful worlds, with superhero sidekicks, and have wild adventures where magical things happened. Life was dark back then, but my mind was bright. And over the years, it was my stories of victory and triumph that caught me and told me to hold on.

I pursued the art of storytelling like my life depended on it, because, back then – it kinda did. I completed a degree in writing and communications, and went on to become a multi award-winning writer, actor and filmmaker. I’ve written, produced, and directed commercials for TV, web and cinema, as well as a number of short films. There were red carpet events, film festivals, VIP privileges, roses and nights where I won a glimpse into movie star life.

Which all sounds super fancy, oui ? But in the background, I was healing from a toxic and traumatic childhood, two seasons of homelessness, and an abusive first marriage. I spent 7 years as a single mum — two of which were spent house-hopping… our tiny car filled to the brim with bags, clothes, books, toys… We called many strange places home: a caravan, a women’s refuge, an old futon mattress in the spare room of a church family… an experience that all led to a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder that I battled for years after. 

I found that transformation came into my life as I continued to turn to beauty and art for healing. I explored colour, shape, texture, line, imagery and performance and learned that words aren’t the only way to tell stories — that they don’t have to be loud to be powerful. And as I became whole, I stopped using story as a way to escape, but as a way to invite. 

Because stories have this magical ability to turn information into revelation. They drop knowledge from the head to the heart so that people are inspired into application, and you know what that creates? TRANSFORMATION! That’s their power.

Years later, twice-divorced and a single mum once again – {don’t worry, this is where it gets GOOD} – business stepped on the scene as my leading lady. SHIMMERING and GLORIOUS and promising rescue, stability, the opportunity to care for my son in the way I always wanted, and create dreams FOR REAL. {For me AND you.}

The fun stuff? My son is now 12 and legitimately the BEST. We have have a greyhound and a whippet who are both insane but also the best. And we live in Canberra where the weather is the worst. I’m a big fan of a lot of God’s work, but his job on the weather down here was a fail.


Family is first:

Business should NEVER be your first dream. BUT we are also women who have a purpose APART from our children. We believe wholeheartedly that we should NEVER ignore that for the sake of our kids — they need to see us pursuing dreams SO that they can one day do the same.

Balance is a myth:

Essentialism is EVERYTHING. And the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is something we work hard to redefine. We give our clients passion, energy, and enthusiasm but within boundaries that protect our families, homes and hearts. And we empower you to do the same.

Purpose is the most powerful thing on earth:

Without purpose, we will literally wilt and die. Undeveloped potential, unrealised dreams and abandoned purposes poison us from the inside. The SUPER good news? It’s ALL inside you. Now. Even if you can’t describe or define it yet – it’s there. Waiting to be uncovered and developed into the DAZZLING life it can give you. And we are SO here for that.

Prosperity is the cream to our strawberries:

Wanna know the TRUE meaning of prosperity? To us, prosperity is having more than enough money to fulfil the purpose placed on your life, and enough left over to help others fulfil the purpose placed on their life. THAT is the calling of an entrepreneur. So if you’re satisfied with being comfortable and providing for you and your family – then you’re thinking WAY too small, and SEVERELY limiting your destiny.


I procrastinated a LOT when I first started because I was so scared of my business not living up to the dream that was in my head. But my nine-to-five was torturous – having to drag myself out of bed, go to a job where I’d be treated like rubbish, come home angry and exhausted and then take it all out on my son. I hated it. Hated living a life that had NOTHING to do with my dreams. But now that my business is a reality – I’ve quit my day job, pulled my son out of care each day, and shown him how to do something BIG and MEANINGFUL. It’s given us a fresh new start, and it’s added so much joy and vibrancy to our lives. Now we actually get to spend quality time together and go for bike rides before school which we could NEVER have done before. I’m so grateful because now he can finally see for himself what it means to follow your dreams.

Kimberly Rogers


{Interior Designer, Colour Psychologist, Rainbow unicorn & super cool chick.}



Break open daydreams. From Darkness, to brilliant renaissance... 

Take ONE magical step into your business dreams, TODAY! For free, M'lady!