In our new interview series, Living Well With, we’ll be catching up with some inspiring women who’ll share with us the secrets of how they incorporate wellness into their busy lifestyles. First up, we have jewellery designer, mother of two, skincare guru and style icon Stella Simona.
FLAURA: Hi Stella, what would you say you’re most grateful for right now?
Stella: My family.
F: What’s the most important thing the lockdown period has taught you?
S: It’s taught me that we tend to overwork ourselves, convincing ourselves it’s helping us get ahead but in retrospect it sets us up to constantly be overwhelmed. I have definitely learned to take on less.
F: How are you incorporating this and your personal take on wellness into your life more?
S: Wellness gives me balance. For some it may be a task, but for me it’s my release. Every morning at the start of my day and every evening at the end of my day I indulge in skincare and also a glass of tea.
F: How have you managed to balance this form of wellness with your entrepreneurship?
S: This has been a work in progress. There will ALWAYS be something to do, so I remember to give myself realistic goals and not to overwhelm myself. I constantly check in with myself to pace myself.
F: Can you tell us a bit more about how you go into jewellery design?
S: As a society we are noticing this great shift where more and more individuals desire to seek out the most beneficial lifestyle practices. Age-old practices such as Ayurvedic dieting, yoga, acupuncture – when practiced regularly offer endless long term benefits.
Self care is all rooted in rituals. A ritual specifically belonging to East Indians — the art of curating heirloom jewelry, is a practice that transcends the idea of modern fashion – an era when individuals more than ever dress to look good but dismiss their personal identities.
Traditionally in the Indian culture women wear jewelry to symbolize different life moments. In some regions a specific type of nose ring symbolizes if she is single or married. In other provinces it is said that piercing your nose on a certain part of the nose is said to relieve childbearing and PMS symptoms.
Many young women acquire pieces as coming of age gifts or gifts for passing an exam at school.
Many women acquire pieces that once belonged to female figures in their family and any time they put on that piece they are reminded of their loved one. I specifically remember my nani’s (grandmother) bangles which she wore everyday that would jingle as she prepared our food for us in the mornings before heading to school. She knew I admired them so much and would remind me that they would be mine one day.
Every morning as an Indian woman sits in her dressing area and she indulges in her morning rituals — applying her Kohl eyeliner, immersing her hair and skin in jasmine oils, and finishes with her layers of jewelry – she takes these moments to remind herself of her inner and outer beauty. The woman she once was and the woman she is now.
For an Indian woman, every piece she will wear in her lifetime serves meaning to her. Every design she owns is as unique as her personal journey. Since it’s introduction into the culture, jewelry has always been embraced as therapeutic and ritualistic . Self care is very important to me and I wanted to make an impact on others through my love for jewelry design.
S: My maternal grandmother introduced me to jewelry at a very young age and my relationship with it only grew from there. Jewelry has always been one of my biggest forms of self-expression. I actually never thought much about pursuing jewelry design; it was just something I found myself doing from time to time — designing pieces for myself. Fast forward, I was working in artist development shooting musicians as a photographer and while working with the artists I felt something was missing. After countless meetings we felt it was the accessories and on a whim I designed several pieces of jewelry for some of the artists. One thing led to another and the celebrity stylists I was around began to pick up the brand. Within 2 months we had our pieces on Kelly Rowland, and a few months later Taylor Swift, then Lana Del Rey. At the same time the requests to purchase the pieces kept increasing. It was very obvious to me to take this seriously and it was in 2011 that I began my line.
The first thing I do when I wake up is write in my gratitude journal.
My one wellness tip is go for a 20 minute walk in nature daily.
My favourite item of clothing is a one piece jumpsuit.
My go to meal is soup.
The one thing I can’t live without is oil.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten is listen to your gut.
My life mantra is let passion drive you.