Do you find your thoughts wander in the past and future throughout the day? Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we're doing at the moment. Mindful living contributes to all aspects of healthy, including decreased stress and spiritual well being. Living a mindful life puts us on a path to happiness and utmost satisfaction. 

Today, we are in conversation with Sica Schmitz, founder of Bead & Reel, a sustainable vegan fashion community to connect other brands, bloggers, and shoppers with conscientiousness in today's world. 

She is a speaker, writer, and stylist, also the creator of the non-profit Impact Fashion Show, a certified yoga instructor, and a mother of Ndotto, her orphan elephant! YES!! Sica, a dynamic fashion activist, aces all these roles by being mindful. Come join us, as we embark on her inspiring journey. 

Sica has a wealth of knowledge in mindful living and we wanted to gain some insight from her. Here’s what she shared.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself,  your journey  through conscious/ mindful living so far.

I am the founder of Bead & Reel, creator of Impact Fashion, teacher of yoga and meditation, reader of the Akashic Records, and volunteer for several organizations within grief and loss. For me, all of these are ultimately about conscious living in different aspects of ourselves - our homes, bodies, minds, souls, and time.

Mindfulness has been - is! - definitely a journey for me. I had always considered myself a “nice” person. Through most of my early life I was vegetarian, volunteered a lot, and tried to treat others in a nice way. But it was really through personal experiences of intense loss that I became intimately aware of our deep connection to others - how everything we do is connected to everyone around us - and how limited our time on earth is, therefore how meaningful each moment, each choice can be. 

Especially over the past decade It’s been a slow, zig-zagging, ever-changing journey towards veganism and sustainability and my own personal mindfulness and spiritual practices, but the older I get the more it becomes clear that I will never achieve “mindfulness”  but the path towards it is what I am here to learn.

2.  What was your inspiration behind Bead & Reel and the Impact Fashion Show ? Is there a story behind the name? 

Bead & Reel was originally created almost 6 years ago out of my own frustrations with not being able to find fashion that was both vegan and fair trade, two qualities I had started to greatly value around that time. I was working on a network television show and had tremendous access to fashion options, and thought that if someone in my position of fashion privilege couldn’t find more mindful fashion options, how could anyone else? 

So I decided to create the company I wish existed, which was originally an ecommerce boutique carrying items that were both fair trade and vegan from around 60 different brands, and over the years it shifted and grew to include one of the top sustainable fashion blogs and a network for marketing and consulting.

The name is an architecture term, a motif of lines and circles coming together to form one cohesive pattern - the idea that we can all come together in our own shapes into one beautiful, unified design. Impact Fashion Show was born out of Bead & Reel, a desire to provide an event that was both fun and educational through a fair trade fashion show. I didn’t intend for it to be a recurring event, but it continued to grow and expand into its fifth year.

3. What does mindful and conscious living mean to you?how do you integrate it into your life?

For me, living with integrity - where my words, actions, and values align - is always my goal - and an ever-expanding journey! Non-harming is one of my personal values so I strive to live towards that through my food (by being plant based), my fashion (by shopping second hand or fair trade), and consumption (buying only what is necessary). I practice meditation, chanting, and yoga daily to make time and space to check in with myself, and try to adjust accordingly based on whatever I might discover within myself. 

And perhaps the most important thing on a mindfulness journey is allowing room for humor and mistakes - we’re all human, and can hopefully laugh about that (and then try to do better next time!).

4. What advice can you give to someone who wants to integrate more mindful or conscious living into their life?

The best thing I can advise is to first figure out who you are. What does mindfulness mean to you? Why do you want more mindfulness? What and who do you value? Without these as a foundation for your journey, I find it very challenging to stick with any specific routine or practice. 

Meditation is my favorite pathway to these answers, but definitely explore what works for you.

5. Conscious shopping is particularly important to your mission, what would you suggest is the best way to shop ethically yet is price conscious?

Second hand shopping is such a great price-conscious option - and very sustainable! I love shopping for second hand items on Poshmark and ThredUp, or swapping clothing with friends. 

And sign up for your favorite brand’s newsletters so you can catch their sales. I always recommend paying full price if you can, but, also understand that isn’t always possible, so with a sale you can still support your favorite brands and practices while also keeping within your budget.

6. We heard you adopted an Elephant! How did that happen? 

I do! He’s the cutest elephant ever and his name is Ndotto and he is an orphan elephant being raised at the Sheldrick Wildlife Truck in Kenya (until he’s old enough to be released into the wild).

I fell in love with him over Instagram many years ago when he was very young, and someone dear to me adopted him for me (which is an easy and affordable way to support this sanctuary!). I went to visit him in Nairobi in 2017 and it was one of the most magical experiences of my life, and we’ve stayed connected emotionally ever since then.Adopting an elephant is the best gift you can give someone! It’s basically giving someone pure love.

7. What are you most grateful for?

My relationship with God (Consciousness, Universe - whatever terms you like). Everything in life will eventually end or fade except for this, so it’s the one thing I can hold onto - and rely on - no matter what.

8. What were you doing and who were you with the last time you had a really good laugh?

I had a tremendous loss last year and since then I have a much deeper relationship with joy and laughter than ever before. I even feel more joy and more laughter than ever before, however for me they can only exist because of and next to the equal levels of grief and sorrow they live next to.
I have a life full of beautiful, spiritual, amusing people right now, and laughed a lot last night actually!

Sica's journey through life being mindful is so encouraging and inspires one to keep moving ahead no matter what life throws at you! Her initiative focuses on supporting and making available products that are not only good for the earth but also provide a fair wage to its makers.  The Good tee is proud to be a part of the Impact Fashion show, as well as listed on the list of brands that meet the Bead & Reel values for exceptional commitment to mindfulness in fashion as well!

Check out The Good Tee & other awesome sustainable brands on Bead & Reel !! 

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