In a period of time when we're inundated with what feels like consistent bad news, we wanted to put some emphasis on the positive. This is the another instalment in "Collective Conversations," a weekly series focusing on a woman we think is awesome + what she's all about. This week we're talking to our girl, fashion graduate, writer and ex-influencer Isabella Wight. She used to be a blogger under the alias Views of Now, but now resides here in Melbourne and is our right-hand girl for everything from customer service, to graphic design and sharing her social media skillset. While she's not spending time behind the counter at our store, she loves to read, write, nap in the sun, talk (a lot) and drink wine with her housemates.
1. Describe yourself in three words?
Empathetic, self-aware, tenacious.
2. What does heritage and tradition mean to you?
They are intrinsic aspects of who we are as people, the fundamental building blocks that create the wonderfully diverse society we live in. Since moving to Melbourne from the Sunshine Coast, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much more about different cultural histories and the rituals within them. It’s a cliche, but it truly is a wonderful melting pot in this city, and it baffles me that there was so much I didn’t know before. I’m grateful my time here at Collective Closets for teaching me a lot, too.
3. Something that you’re passionate about?
Consciousness in the fashion industry. There is so much that is shielded from us as consumers, and I’ve learnt that ignorance is certainly not always bliss. I’m passionate about brand accountability, about doing your own research into the origins of your wardrobe and making a positive social and environmental impact in any way that you can. Knowing the importance of my dollar and where I choose to spend has made me feel so empowered!
4. Who do you most admire?
I’m lucky to have so many female role models in my life who have moulded the way I treat myself and the people around me. For a long time I didn’t understand the importance of feminism in my own life, of being able to challenge societal ideologies that were engrained in me for so long. I have those women to thank for that.
It’s another cliche (I love them, sue me) but my mum is one of the kindest and most intelligent people I know. Having parents that wholeheartedly supported me, let me make mistakes and taught me decision-making skills (it took a while, but I got there) set the example for how I want to raise my kids one day in the very distant future.
5. What is a weekly/monthly/fortnightly ritual or tradition you do for yourself?
In isolation I’ve found real solace in taking long walks by myself or with a friend. Exercise was always a cause of anxiety for me, something I didn’t have great associations with, but walking makes me feel relaxed. I listen to a podcast or debrief on the day, vent if I need to, pat a cute dog along the way if I’m allowed. It’s a sanity-saving ritual right now.
6. What is something you’re proud of?
The life I have here in Melbourne. Moving was terrifying and it took a while for me to find my feet away from my familiar creature comforts. I’ve still got a lot of growing to do but I have good friends, I love working here at Collective Closets and I’m closer to being an adult than I thought I’d ever be.
7. What's something you do to be kind to yourself?
I’ve stopped believing that guilty pleasures should actually make me feel guilty. When I’m feeling a bit blue, I will unashamedly watch trashy TV, order my favourite takeout, read a chick-lit romance novel and listen to bad early 2000s Top 40 music. I’ve never been a person who got embarrassed very easily and I am now very comfortable in my lame self-care activities. There is such thing as a really bad good movie, OK?! The whole “guilty” part of the guilty pleasures really took the fun out of it.
8. What are some traditions that you’ve adopted from somewhere or someone else?
My mum is American- Texan, specifically -and she brought Thanksgiving into our lives when we were kids. She’d spend days making mounds of food- pumpkin and pecan pie, turkey, stuffing, greens, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce and bread rolls- and we’d invite all of our family, friends and neighbours over. There’d be a little kids table we’d always sit at and the grown-ups table, where everyone would eat and drink until they couldn’t anymore. It’s definitely an indulgent (and time consuming, we’d spend days cooking) holiday but it was about being thankful. We never did a big Christmas and most of our family lives in the US, so it was a way for us to feel connected to them. My mum would hang a giant Texan flag over our verandah and we would have an Australian-American celebration.
9. How do you align and connect with your intuition?
Truthfully, I’d never really thought about it until this question. I write and journal often, which I suppose is my way of processing feelings and dissecting my rapid-fire thoughts. I know intuition is more of a personal thing but I’m a huge extrovert, and I feel at peace once I’ve vocalised what I’m feeling and been able to have a conversation. We’re all a little irrational sometimes and sometimes once you’ve said it out loud, you realise how small the thought or issue really is.
10. What's an assumption others make about you?
That I never take myself very seriously which, to be fair, I don’t most of the time. My humour relies heavily on self-deprecation and it’s definitely become a kind of coping mechanism. Doesn’t mean my feelings don’t get hurt, but it does mean I’m quicker to get over it, I suppose. I’m always my harshest critic.
11. Is there an item you would like to see from Collective Closets in the future?
I’m so proud of everything we’ve done as a brand so it’s hard to say. Maybe a short skirt for summer. Something like our twin sets (coming out tomorrow!) but with a mini.