Interview with Jess MacCorcráin of MacCorcráin Collective

1. What inspired you to start MacCorcrain?

In 2014, My husband and I founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called No Silence Alliance, dedicated to mental health. Shortly after this endeavor I decided to launch a jewelry collection to coincide with the organization and raise money for our cause.

2. What does the word MacCorcrain mean?

When my husband and I got married, we decided to combine our last names. My maiden name was McAlister (Scottish) and his last name was Corcoran (Irish). He had researched the history of the name Corcoran and it actually originated as MacCorcráin so in combining our last names legally, we actually went back to the original roots of the name. The motto on the MacCorcráin coat of arms reads “In fide et in bello forte” which means “Strong in faith and war.” The name itself is derived from “Corcair” meaning “purple”.

3. What was your inspiration for the “Anchor For the Soul” necklace?

One of my favorite quotes from the bible is, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul”. It really reminds me to always cling to hope, never give up because when there is hope, all will be well with your soul.

4. Tell us more about the causes you support and why?

I originally set out to raise money for our organization, No Silence Alliance. Mental health is so important because when we aren’t healthy mentally, the rest of our lives don’t seem to be in a great place either. Another organization that is doing really great work in that field is the ‘Mental Health Grace Alliance’. We have teamed with a few other groups along the way too, including ‘Miriam’s Heart’ (child fostering and adoption) and Good Neighbors (Nepal earthquake appeal). We do hope to connect with more in the future and we would love to help as many causes as we can.

5. What do you think people think of when they think of women travelers?

I personally think of empowerment, discovery and culture. One of my favorite books is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, who travels for a year around India, Indonesia and Italy. Some people think this is amazing, and some people have commented about it being negligent and self-involved. It saddens me when there are negative connotations to women traveling (as well as women in business). I really hope this new generation can build a positive image of strength and empowerment. Women should have the freedom to be who they want to be and live the life the choose to live.

6. What type of traveler are you?

I have learnt over the years to always travel light and always be prepared. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world since I was a child and I continue to travel as much as I can now too. I was born in Australia and currently live in California so I’m always on the go!! I love going home and I also love exploring the United States. I have done a lot of Europe too which I am so grateful for. My husband was born in Ireland - we are excited to go back there together at some stage!

7. What is the craziest thing you’ve done/experienced while traveling?

I like to stay safe when I travel because I can’t think of anything worse than being in trouble or being in hospital when I’m away… No tattoos, no piercings while traveling for me! I do remember almost being killed by a reckless taxi driver in Slovenia!! I also remember my Dad losing all our passports when we were in London - that was not fun.

8. Where was your favorite trip? Why?

My all time fav trip I would have to say was to Croatia/Bosnia. My grandfather was from “Yugoslavia” back when Yugoslavia was actually still a country. He was born and raised where is now known as Bosnia. There just isn’t any place like it – I was beyond blessed to be able to visit, relax at their beautiful beaches and eat the food that reminded me of my childhood!!

9. Who do you prefer traveling with?

I actually love to travel with my parents. I think because we have traveled so much together over the years, we just get each!! Also, we now live in different countries now, so it’s really fun to be able to meet somewhere in the world and spend time together - discovering and exploring cities. Last year we did Hawaii and the year before that we did a trip to New York.

10. Why is travel important?

When you travel, you really get an appreciation for different cultures and different ways of living. I truly believe this opens you up to understanding humanity and just appreciating life in general.

11. When did you start traveling?

My first ever trip was way before I can remember. My parents used to take us interstate for holidays then I think my first time in a plane was when I was about 5!

12. What is your favorite souvenir?

Photographs. Long gone are the days where I collect tangible souvenirs. I travel way too much and move house way too often to get sentimental with things, other than pictures.