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 Kerryn Moscicki, the woman behind one of our favourite shoe labels, Radical Yes. She's a business owner, a mum, a yoga extrodinare and an all-around girl boss. We talked to her about her traditions and why she loves what she does.
1. Describe yourself in three words?
Determined. Light. Grateful.
2. What does heritage and tradition mean to you?
A lot! Since having my own family I think there has been a big shift for me personally in how I see tradition. My husband's Argentinian / Spanish / Polish (!) background has certainly influenced that enormously in terms of food celebrations and things we have introduced to our kids. But at a more personal level it's traditions we have established around family life - simple things like Friday night Pizza (Leo makes the base 5 days in advance #obsessed), Sunday morning Crepes with dulce de lechei (Argentinian caramel), Sunday visits to the Library (pre-covid!) and a particularly special celebration for Winter Solstice that really shapes the importance of tradition to give meaning and form to our lives.
3. Something that you’re passionate about?
My family. My family are my highest value and first priority especially while my children (2 boys, Maximilian (12) and Olso (6)) are still young enough to want to hang out with me. Days that I know are probably numbered at this point.
4.Who do you most admire?
Amy Smilovic (@amysmilovic) who is the founder and creative director of a US Brand I really love called Tibi is someone I admire a lot. Tibi has been running for over 20 years, and as a brand have reinvented themselves fearlessly over the past few years. Amy is incredibly authentic and generous with her experience on running a brand on her personal instagram where she gives regular entrepreneurial tutorials specific to running a fashion business and also styling guides for her customers. A mother of two as well, Amy is just very real and for me personally a great example of the importance of following your intuition with your brand and being brave when aesthetic changes need to be made, which I believe is inevitable if you run a business over a long period of time.
5. What is a weekly/monthly/fortnightly ritual or tradition you do for yourself?
I guess all my rituals are grounded in my Yoga practice, which extend into my morning/exercise routine. I used to have a lot of dogma around my practice and be incredibly strict with a 6 day a week Ashtanga yoga commitment. The last few years I have softened and changed my practice a lot and now it includes much longer periods of meditation and writing as well as different heart opening practices like Jivamukti and Chi Gong, which I do with Leo most mornings. I think the task with rituals is to make sure they are bringing you a sense of space and peace and not another thing to add to your to do list. When it becomes dogma or becomes exhausting, the point is being missed.
6. What is something you’re proud of?
Our business Radical Yes. Because we have learnt so much from the practice of running the business and because we have remained grounded in our pursuit of autonomy and independence even when people told us we should consider giving up. I once had an accountant who asked me, "how long do you want to work 70 hours a week and get paid the same amount as someone pulling beers for 30 hours a week?" That was about 4 years ago. I sacked the Accountant and kept going. I believe in the brand beyond way beyond money.
7. What's something you do to be kind to yourself?
I have a practice I call 'lightening up'. It's inspired by Pema Chodron who is a Buddahist monk that has written some really inspiring books like "When things Fall Apart" and she talks about this process of just 'lightening up'. I find it's when I am taking myself or situations too seriously that I am unkind to myself so I just try to look to the humour and impermanence of life and it always softens my self talk.
8. What are some traditions that you’ve adopted from somewhere or someone else?
As a family on Winter Solstice (June 21) we celebrate with a 12 course Polish meal that Leo always prepares from scratch. It's mind blowing. It involves Borscht (a kind of beetroot soup), Perogi's (Polish Dumplings), Rollmops (which are beautiful fish rolled in pickles), and Smoked Salmon Blinis with sour cream and pickles. It's a very light but indulgent meal we have with champagne that is usually eaten for Polish Christmas but we have it mid-winter instead. We use this meal as a way to welcome winter, and in the past have used it to write declarations of things we want to let go of to burn in the bonfire at Children's Collingwood farm solstice celebrations. Obviously not this year though!
9. How do you align and connect with your intuition?
Journaling. I follow the 'Artist's Way' practice of morning pages and try my hardest to get 3 pages down most days, not always in the morning but if I am blocked or just needing to reflect. It's the best way to get 'head gossip' out of your head and clear to a sense of clarity and new perspective.
10. What's an assumption others make about you?
That I have a lot of shoes. Which I kind of do and kind of don't. I am sample size which means I can wear all the samples we make, but it also means I never wear the bulk production (the finished beautiful ones) because I always feel guilty wearing the best stock. I would rather save it for our customers since we make in such small quantities.
11. Is there an item you would like to see from Collective Closets in the future?
Another round of Radical Yes x Collective closets shoes and bags!! Just say YES! Haha!