We love meeting inspiring women, especially when they are working on as interesting projects and have as keen an eye for style as our first Sheer Woman Margot. Italian, multilingual and a Londoner for 10 years, she tells us about her new business, her style and how we can all keep sane and stress-free this Christmas!
2016 has been quite a year for you, including redirecting your career from consulting towards starting a mental wellbeing business. What has it been like?
It’s been a wonderful year full of change! I left my job in Consulting in April and started working for a start-up part-time, while I started my own business, YourMind. After the summer, I realised that I wanted to dedicate myself entirely to YourMind, so I have been working on it full time since October.
(Marlene extra fine wool and silk knit turtle neck)
Sounds like a fabulous year, but also one full of big decisions and hard work. How do you spend your down time?
I used to struggle to take time off but I’ve become much better at it, especially since setting up my mental wellbeing business – I feel like I have to practice what I preach! One of my favourite ways to unwind is to spend time with people who make me feel good: my husband, family, friends and one-year-old-nephew – he is the best stress release I’ve ever tried!
(Purple bamboo organic cotton mix leggings)
And if you’ve got a bit of time off, what’s your favourite place to be?
When in London, I really enjoy trying new restaurants and cocktail bars. I usually prefer fun places with a festive atmosphere and a good Moscow Mule! A great one is Duck and Rice in Soho.
I also love to get away from London for the weekend, either to visit friends or new places. I recently spent a few days in Provence visiting one of my best friends who lives in China and was in Europe for a few days. If I have enough time to get away, I chase the sunshine during the summer and the snow during the winter!
You’ve got great personal style. What do you like to wear, particularly now that it’s colder?
I really love the colder months – especially because I can wear what I want every day! I mainly wear dark colours, but like mixing in the occasional coloured knit once in a while! On a typical day, you’ll find me wearing black skinny jeans, a chunky knit sweater, a big scarf and biker boots. I’m always cold, so I wear a lot of layers!!
In the evenings, I usually wear a loose blouse, skinny jeans and high heels. I occasionally change it up with a short skirt and loose top.
Sheer Apparel wants to bring sophisticated, feminine style with a positive impact to a quality conscious audience. What does ‘sustainable fashion’ mean to you?
To me, sustainable fashion is as much about clothes that are made ethically (both in terms of impact to humans and the environment), as it is about being more mindful about the amount of clothes we buy.
Over the past year, I have tried to buy fewer clothes and instead treat myself to something more beautiful once in a while. Over the next few months, I am looking forward to discovering sustainable fashion brands on Sheer Apparel! I already got my hands on a couple of beautiful Anekdot items which I can’t wait to wear!
(Aida shirt in powder blue)
You started YourMind to reduce the stigma around mental health, and to help people look after their mind as much as their body. Why is this important to you?
Mental wellbeing is such an important part of our health yet we tend to brush it aside because society tells us that needing support is a sign of weakness, something to be ashamed of.
A few years ago, I started having anxiety attacks and – when I told people around me – realised that many were having similar issues but not getting the help they needed. YourMind was born as a way to help people overcome the key barriers that prevent them from looking after their mental wellbeing: time, money and stigma.
The Christmas rush of finalising work projects, gift shopping and party after party is upon us. Do you have any top tips for staying sane this Christmas?
Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of the year, but it can be a bit overwhelming!! Not only is there the frantic last minute rush to buy and wrap presents, but the fact that it is traditionally a family holiday means old dynamics are stirred up or painful memories brought back.
(Organic cotton soft Harem pants in light sage)
Family dynamics and old memories cannot be avoided, but there are things that you can do to better cope with painful or unpleasant feelings.
Firstly, go easy on the champagne and eggnog!! Alcohol is a known depressant, so trying to drown out the bickering with too much wine will only make you feel worse emotionally the day after.
Secondly, make sure that you do some exercises to prevent you from over-thinking situations and emotions. Mindfulness is a really good way to focus your attention on the present and prevent you from falling into the trap of catastrophic thinking. Breathing exercises (e.g. inhaling in counts of 4, exhaling in counts of 4) balance your nervous system and are a really good way to calm your nerves.
Finally, as hippy as it sounds, sit back and appreciate the time you have with your loved ones (the above exercises will really help with this!). Families will always have their quirks, but you might as well learn to appreciate them and make the most of the time you have with your loved ones. (You can find more tips here)