This week, I interviewed one of our Fall/Winter models, Priscila Smith. As soon as I met Priscila, I was impressed to say the least! My friend Jenn Hall was photographing our F/W line and knew Priscila through some previous work she had done. Jenn asked Priscila if she wanted to participate in the Pamut shoot and Priscila graciously said yes, driving 1 hour to Raleigh with her sweet children in tow. Priscila’s two kids were so well-behaved while their mom was looking absolutely flawless in our new Pamut pieces. I got some snippets of her life story during breaks between shoots, and I was definitely intrigued. I was SO excited to interview her for the new Pamut blog so I could learn more about her time living in Turkey and get some tips on how she balances work and family.
Keep scrolling to read my interview with beauty blogger Priscila Smith!
Kat: We first met through mutual creative friends when you modeled for the Pamut FW18 shoot. How did you first get into modeling?
Priscila: My husband is a photographer, so I have been playing “model” for a while, especially when he was first starting out and needed to build his portfolio. A few years ago, I started an Instagram account, documenting my daily outfits in order to get myself out of a style rut. The daily exercise of posing for a camera was so crucial in getting comfortable in my own skin. I loved shooting for Pamut by the way, your clothes are so comfortable and fun to wear.
On a Sustainable Lifestyle
Kat: I admire how you are so open and willing to share about your sustainable, minimalist, and clean lifestyle! Tell me a little bit about how and when these things became important to you. Was it one specific event? Did you grow up with parents who were living sustainably?
Priscila: I grew up in Brazil, in the 80’s. Living sustainably wasn’t so much a lifestyle but it was the way we lived back then. We never used paper products, the first fast-food restaurant in my hometown didn’t open until I was 10 years old. Life was slower then and therefore more sustainable. But I didn’t start looking at minimalism and cleaner living intentionally until I moved to Turkey and became a mom. Those two events happened simultaneously, so I can’t pinpoint which one was the catalyst, hahaha. It is like a domino effect though, once you start in one area, it spreads to all other areas of your life. I started researching ideas to stay afloat during those first months of motherhood and cross-cultural living, minimizing my closet was where I first started.
Kat: You are a consultant for Beauty Counter and you also have two beautiful kids. I’m so in awe of how you balance work with raising your children! Do you have any tips for future or current moms out there who are trying to juggle work and family?
Priscila: Gregg Renfrew, the founder of Beautycounter says that you can do it all, you just can’t do it all in one day. That’s how I find balance. Some days I rock my business and take a few hours away from my family to go meet clients. Somedays I talk on Voxer with my mentor while my son works on his Math. Some days my business is on hold so I can take my daughter to ballet and spend some quality time with my firstborn.
The beauty of the type of work I do is that I get to work it around my family. Most days I try to wake up before my kids to get some stuff done before they get up. Some days I get to take them to work with me like on our photo shoot at Pamut! I teach them about being the change they want to see in the world, but I really want them to see me live this out as I support businesses that are a force for good in society. It’s a daily exercise of being present, being all there, wherever I am.
On Living in Turkey
Kat: Tell me about your time spent living in Istanbul! I know for me, living in Budapest completely transformed my view of the world. Did Istanbul do the same for you?
Priscila: I like to say that I “grew up” in Istanbul. When we moved there we were still living the grad school life in the US, so it really was time to #adult for the first time. It’s where I became a mom and found my way back after a difficult postpartum. I learned how to be a mom there, it’s where I was first introduced to the Montessori philosophy of educating children, where I learned to cook and eat with the seasons.
The biggest takeaway is the Turkish hospitality. I was the recipient of so much lavish hospitality while living there. Not in the material sort of way necessarily, but in the “open hearts” sort of way. People opened their homes to me, introducing me to their entire network, loving on my babies as if they were their aunties. When our extended families or friends came to visit they were quick to have them over to the most amazing meals, showering them with simple yet heartfelt gifts. Turkish hospitality can be defined by the tea they serve. It is served steaming hot in a small tulip-shaped glass because it is not meant to be had quickly and on-the-go like a latte. It is meant to be savored slow, sitting down over good conversation. I am forever changed by our time in Turkey. I am so grateful for the opportunity. By the way, people in Budapest were so hospitable too. Love that city!
Kat: Was it an adjustment for you to move back to the US after living abroad?
Priscila: I could write an entire blog post about this! Re-entry is definitely a longer process than what I had in mind. The kids have adjusted a lot quicker though, and teach me every day. It’s important to appreciate the life we had but be present where we are. I am learning to show up for my community, lower my expectations (not everyone is interested in hearing about our life in Turkey) yet still find those who will sit down for a cup of Turkish tea with me.
I used to read a book to my kids called Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Alexander was having a bad day and kept saying he was going to move to Australia. Only to get to the end of the day and realize that some days are just horrible, even in Australia. I used this wisdom when I had bad days in our early days of Turkey. I dreamed of a warm sunny day on a beach in Brazil, but not every day is sunny and beach-y in Brazil, right? So as long as I keep my perspective and take one day at time, adjusting back isn’t so bad. 😉
Priscila wears our Byron Romper during the Pamut F/W Shoot. Photo by Jenn Hall.
Sustainable Fashion Tips
Kat: I love reading your recent posts about minimizing your closet! What types of pieces best stand the test of time for you?
Priscila: Anything fast-fashion or too trendy ends up getting old soon. So for trendy pieces I usually go to the thrift store. This way it doesn’t feel wasteful if I want to switch things up after a season of two. I think each woman has timeless pieces in their closets that work for their lifestyle. Having just entered a new life season where I work for home but sometimes have to be ready for a client meeting or school drop-off, my timeless pieces have changed a bit. I absolutely cannot live without a good pair of mom jeans, a white linen shirt, a wool blazer and a block heel.
Kat: What is your favorite fall outfit right now and why?
Priscila: I love a good sweater/sweatshirt over cut-offs for Fall. I just love the laid-back vibe. Here in Lynchburg the weather is still warm so I opt for a fun peasant top. And a little leopard to be on-trend.
Kat: Name one beauty product and one accessory that you can’t live without.
Priscila: Can I name two? I cannot live without Beautycounter’s Touchup Concealer Pen. It is made out of unicorn dust, I tell ya. I also cannot live without the Overnight Resurfacing Peel because it makes me look like I get the best sleep and eat super clean, even when I don’t. Ha! As for accessories, I cannot live without a statement earring or bracelet. They can elevate any outfit.
I’ll be taking away a lot from this interview with beauty blogger Priscila Smith. I particularly love Priscila’s comparison of Turkish Hospitality to Turkish Tea! What a poetic way to describe a country that has gotten somewhat of a bad rap over the last few years. There’s a lot of negative news floating around, so I find it very important to talk about the positive experiences and people in a culture different from our own. Priscila’s experience in Turkey reminded me of my own experiences in Budapest. Different cultures can seem intimidating and “foreign” at first glance, but I believe that most people are inherently good. It is easy to find common ground in something as simple as a thoughtfully prepared cup of tea!