Marle Women is created to celebrate our philosophy of designing pieces for women of all ages and stages of their lives. We hope each interview inspires you, the same way in which these women do to us.
Lauren Trend is the founder of Self Practice - a global community and research platform exploring the intersection of wellbeing, art and design; which firmly believes that the most important relationship we have in our lives is that with ourselves. What started out as a personal enquiry into what it meant to be creatively, emotionally, intellectually and physically well, Trend began fostering conversations with her peers that prioritised creativity and wellbeing in equal measure.
Guided by the notion that rituals provide a framework for life, Self Practice provides its community with tips, tools, references and resources to encourage continued self practice. We spoke with Lauren about her journey so far, how she defines the term ‘wellness’ and why she is inspired by the practice of uniform dressing.
Please share a little bit about yourself - including your background, where you were raised, noting some of the defining aspects that have contributed to the woman you are today.
I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, between my mother’s farm and my father’s home just a short walk from the beach. I’ve always been inspired by and connected to the arts. I’m a queer woman and have been proudly out since my teenage years. Today, I try to live a life that emulates the type of example I wished I had when I was younger - being all the things she needed to see, to believe they were possible. Whilst my sexuality doesn’t define me, it has cultivated some of the most defining moments of my life.
I’m currently pregnant, and my partner Lucy and I are expecting our first child in the springtime. It’s hard not to feel like all the decisions I’ve ever made have led me to this moment, on the doorstep of motherhood, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
As I learn to balance this journey into parenting as a business owner, I feel so grateful that over the past few years, I’ve made it a priority to build a life and career that’s aligned with my evolving needs.
|"With clarity and purpose, I began to acknowledge and tend to all aspects of my wellbeing and came to understand that my interest in one area doesn’t undermine my intelligence in another. I gave myself permission to exist as my total self"|
Your online wellness, creativity and self-discovery platform, Self Practice, explores the delicate balance between the body, mind and soul, and the effect the greater universe has on these connections. Can you tell us a little bit about how Self Practice came to be?
Self Practice began as a very personal inquiry into what it meant to be creatively, emotionally, intellectually and physically well.
With an academic background in design, early on in my career I subscribed to the old 'tortured artist' dogma: that to be creatively brilliant, one had to be struggling, run down, in some way unstable, or throw themselves entirely into their work, whatever the cost. I was under the guise that imbalance was not only normal but to be expected in the fields I was seeking success, fulfilment and recognition.
After working in fashion and then furniture and architecture, burnt out - I started to question and redefine my ideas of success. I got clearer on who I was, what I wanted, where I wanted to go, and made the necessary sacrifices I needed to make to prioritise my well-being, which looking back, is a confidence I understand to have come with age.
With clarity and purpose, I began to acknowledge and tend to all aspects of my wellbeing and came to understand that my interest in one area doesn’t undermine my intelligence in another. I gave myself permission to exist as my total self.
Eager to explore the intersection of wellbeing, art and design, I began to interview my peers, artists and creatives I admired, and learned that there was a glaring shift being embraced by creatives all over the globe.
In the early hours of the morning and late at night, around the demands of my then 9-5 job, I began to work on what came to be Self Practice.
I was increasingly passionate about fostering a conversation that prioritised creativity and wellbeing in equal measure. These conversations were housed on a website that I designed, built and launched myself, with absolutely no savings or external funding.
It's immediate success blew me away and I very quickly realised that these were discussions many were eager to partake in. So whilst Self Practice began as a very personal inquiry, it quickly became a united global community, very eager to explore the intersection of well-being, art and design alongside me.
What lies at the heart of your philosophy?
The most important relationship that we have in our lives is with ourselves.
What can we expect from creating our own self practices?
To create our own self practices means to create small, mindful habits that are in alignment with our needs. Each day, I ask myself, “How can I best support myself and my needs at this moment?”.. and self practices are the actions that follow.
This might look like taking a long bath, getting through my emails, picking up a book, closing down the tabs, finding joy in unexpected things, being in a meaningful relationship, conflict resolution, or creative practice. Whatever it is that leaves us feeling fuller, richer and better for it can be classified as self practice.
The term ‘wellness’ can often be interpreted in many different ways depending on an individual’s knowledge and experience. How do you define the term? The careful tending to the needs and many parts of ourselves.
How would you describe your personal style? And how has it changed over the years?
I have a very small wardrobe that is heavily inspired by the practice of uniform dressing. Almost exclusively neutral in tone, I lean towards garments with unique textures, cuts and construction that remain classic and timeless.
This is also a confidence to have come with age, and an understanding of what best suits my body shape and size. I find great ease in wearing variations of the same outfits each day, it saves me a great deal of time and deliberation and allows me to focus my creativity elsewhere.
What are some of the things you have, or bring to your office, that help cultivate your creative space?
A scented candle, a mood appropriate playlist, a large carafe of water and a notebook.
What is your take on personal ritual? Do you have any non-negotiable morning rituals that set you up for a productive day ahead?
Rituals provide a framework for life. Each morning I like to begin the day with a cup of tea and splashing my face with cold water. Lucy and I talk about our plans for the day ahead and how we can best support each other to get through all that needs to get done, both at work and around the house.
|"I have a very small wardrobe that is heavily inspired by the practice of uniform dressing. Almost exclusively neutral in tone, I lean towards garments with unique textures, cuts and construction that remain classic and timeless"|
What is your intention at this moment in life?
To carry, birth and raise our daughter to the best of my ability.
What do you love most about Marle?
Their focus on sustainability, commitment to natural fibres and a timeless approach to dressing.
Texture or colour?
Summer or winter?
Most treasured accessory?
My engagement band.
Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays by Durga Chew-Bose
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