This little island of ours keeps amazing talent in bulk, some we can proudly call our friends. Halla Hákonardóttir is one of them, an incredibly tasteful fashion designer and yoga teacher which aesthetics and philosophy has inspired us for years. She has a very special aura around her, that makes you instantly relaxed in her presence, which is probably connected to her devotion to meditation and self practice. Halla does not compromise her beliefs in design and runs a radically sustainable design studio with her friend Helga Kerúlf called USEE studios. We asked her to share some magic from her routine as well as her work. ALSO, we just launched our favourite item from the USEE collection in RVK RITUAL WEBSHOP
RISING SIGN: Taurus
HUMAN DESIGN: Generator
A OR B TYPE: 100 % A type. My whole body goes on automatic resting mode around 10 pm. I do like to stay up at night and love the calmness that late evenings bring. I for example meditate in the evenings. Take long baths or relax at the pool.
MORNING RITUAL: Morning rituals are important to me. My perfect day is when I have some peaceful quality time in the morning. The first thing I do when I wake up is to become aware of my thoughts. I keep my phone on airplane mode during night and try not to turn it off until after I leave the bed. In that way I feel like I can stay longer in a parasympathetic state. I brush my teeth and my tongue. I drink one cup of water with half a lemon, a pinch of curcumin and pepper . Then I make matcha latte. These days I make it with matcha/maca powder and warm oat milk and add some cinnamon on top. While I drink my matcha I take out my mat and do a short meditation followed by a short breath work. Then do few asanas to stretch my body after the sleep. This is my perfect start. Usually I only have time for brushing my teeth and the lemon water.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I have a Masters degree in Fashion design and for the past 3 years I have worked together with my best friend Helga Kjerúlf. We founded USEE STUDIO which is a radical sustainable design studio. We produce clothing from leftover (deadstock) materials, posters from recycled polyester etc. I am also a yoga teacher (kundalini yoga, vinyasa yoga and yoga nidra) I have been teaching yoga for the past 2.5 years and the combination of yoga and creative work suits me very well. I find it is a good balance. Today I live with my two cats and have the loveliest roommate. But the family will grow bigger next year as there is a baby on board!
WHAT LED YOU TO KUNDALINI YOGA?
I had my worst burnout when I just finished my Master degree and was at the stage of not being able to sleep more than 4 hours a night, having major digestive problems, horrible skin problems, numbness in my limbs and depression. I discovered Kundalini yoga through an instagram account. I had been practicing yoga for many years and had already been planning my teacher training but Kundalini yoga is different. I looked it up and found out that Iceland has a big community of Kundalini yoga. So I signed up for the next beginner training and in the first class something just changed inside me. I applied for the teacher training and that teacher training totally changed my life forever.
WHAT HAS KUNDALINI DONE FOR YOU?
Kundalini yoga is like a way of living. It has given me all the tools I need to live to my fullest. I am so much better in handling life situation whatever it is because I feel conscious. I have all the tools to manifest my life, happiness etc. Kundalini yoga has given me so much freedom.
HOW WAS USEE STUDIO BORN AND WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE BRAND?
In 2015 around Christmas me and Helga were both moving back “home” to Iceland after having lived abroad studying and working for few years. Helga in Berlin and me in London and Sweden. I had moved back to start my own clothing label; developing zero waste pattern construction and creating clothes out of that method using only fabrics from old fabric stocks. Helga moved home to work for a Reykjavik based design studio. We had known each other from art school and when we both moved home we started to catch up again, and usually ending up mostly talking about our ideas, visions and daydreaming about having our own creative studio. One day we just decided to develop one idea further and from there USEE STUDIO was born.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETICS?
I would it is say very organic, I love the Japanese movement of Wabi Sabi. Finding the beauty in imperfection. Simple forms, as little details as possible and light colours is something that attracts me aswell.
HOW DOES BUSINESS GO TOGETHER WITH SUSTAINABILITY, IS IT HARD TO BE A VISIONARY AND MAKE MONEY?
The simple answer to the question is YES it is super hard but worth it. We have come up with a way to sustain our business and our planet. We use old fabric stocks as our source of fabric. We have few places in Athens where we look (more like dig) for fabrics and then we have a small family business that does all the production for us.
HOW DOES YOUR KUNDALINI PRACTICE LOOK LIKE NOW?
For the past month my Kundalini yoga practice has been more off the mat practice. But I never skip meditations. My off the mat practice is f.ex. Morning routines; dry brushing, cold showers and scraping the tongue.
WHAT IS NEXT?
My life took a sudden U – turn 2 months ago when I found out I was pregnant (insert from rvk ritual: jeyyy! a kundalini baby), so I guess enjoying pregnancy and preparing for the next episode in my life is my main focus these days. Which I am enjoying a lot. I teach yoga 5 – 6 times a week. I just finished Level 1 and 2 in Float therapy training and am going to learn Thai yoga bodywork this month. I am getting more and more into bodywork and healing through physical touch, I find it so powerful.
Me and Helga (my USEE partner) are working on our next clothing line. We want to add in more home products, it is a bit more challenging because we only want to work with deadstock or recycle material. We are working on new ideas for the home but it is still on the drawing board so there is still some time before that becomes reality!
A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS:
HOW DO YOU RELAX:
The place where I feel like I get to a point 0 is in nature. I try to go as often as I can. I love going on hiking trips where there is no phone connection and sleeping in a tent. I go almost everyday to the pool to relax.
BEST BEAUTY TIPS YOU KNOW OF: Sleep! But also Manuka honey and Aloe vera for your skin
FAVOURITE SPOT IN REYKJAVIK: My home, The Swimming pool; Sundlaug Vesturbæjar and Kramhúsið, yoga and dance studio
HEALTH PHILISOPHY: Balance! Don’t stress about things. I am a very healthy person but I do have sugar, red wine, cheese, coffee when I want. I think health stress is the worst. It just creates anxiety.
FAVOURITE PLACE IN NATURE: Water, all kinds of water: the sea, the swimming pools, rivers, lakes and hot springs. Being in or close to water in nature is so healing for me. Other favourite place is the highlands, no phone connection = so good.
WHEN ARE YOU CREATIVELY FULFILLED:
When I stay true to my manifestation and I create something that is both aesthetically beautiful and has a minimum impact on nature.
ONE TIP FOR SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEURS:
Don’t give up and go the easy way. Find a way that can both sustain your ideals and your business.