When you know, you know. Love at first sight. Takes one to know one. These clichés feel especially true for our immediate reaction with Rebekka Schuman. Rebekka is a woman with passion and purpose connecting her business and creative mind. Speaking with Rebecca you quickly realize this is a conversation you’d like to go on all day. If you don't have the time for an all day coffee chat, no worries - we caught up with her to help you get to know Who is Rose?
SRG: We think you have such a cool story! Tell us about your path and what makes you the woman you are today.
RS: I grew up in a small sleepy beach town where the days were spent at the beach. This setting was both idyllic and also detrimental to my self confidence as a young girl. Being someone who never fit the status quo, my childhood was literally an obsessive need to be the same size as the other kids. I remember my first diet at 11, I remember the first time my crush told my friend I was “kinda fat”, and I remember running on the treadmill excessively. It wasn’t until I moved to New York for college that I started the process of feeling comfortable in my skin. Compared to a very defined idea of beauty in Orange County, New York appreciated individuality. But I will say that New York was a temporary bandage on a lifelong wound. From New York I moved to San Francisco and from San Francisco I came back to Southern California.
A year ago I started changing my relationship with Instagram which inevitably changed my relationship with myself. Before this my interaction was based on purely a visual sense leading to a feed full of beautiful things and people that to be honest all looked the same. One day I decided to diversify my feed. I started following women of all different styles, shapes, and skin tones. It’s truly unbelievable what happens when you start surrounding yourself with a wide spectrum of beauty. There was a standout moment that I remembered looking at a plus size woman and thinking to myself, “Wow she’s so beautiful!” With just that simple thought I realized that if I can find beauty in other women, I can do the same for myself. Fast forward a couple months and I decided to post a picture of myself in a bathing suit. The response was so beautiful, the type of messages I received honestly made me cry. It was in that moment that I decided that if I could use this body that I so strongly hated all my life to help another woman see beauty in herself I’d be fulfilled. One thing I do want to end this question with is the statement that I am still very much in my journey. I have my bad days, the days I feel less than, too big, not pretty enough but I now feel so much less isolated in this journey of being a woman and I think connection however you find it is the key.
SRG: How to do you define “happy”
RS: Happiness to me is similar to the feeling of being content, knowing that in a moment of time you are exactly where you are supposed to be and you are present enough to indulge.
SRG: With the world on collective lock-down what is your routine for healthy mental and physical wellness?
RS: As soon as I get out of bed I draw my curtains and open my front door so that sunlight beams into my space while playing a Spotify list called “Happy Instrumental”. Fresh air and light are so important for my well-being and although I am mainly working from inside my studio apartment it makes me feel more connected to the outside.
SRG: How do you stay connected and grounded while practicing social distancing?
RS: I will say during this time I have the benefit of naturally being an introverted homebody but we’re so lucky to live in a time where we are able to connect even if we’re separated. Funny story is that there is a video conferencing app called Houseparty that allows your friends to join a “party” without being invited every time, you’re just alerted when someone is “in the party”. With everything going on this app has gotten really popular but my family has been using it for years so that my 4 sisters, parents, and grandparents stay connected daily.
SRG: When do you feel the most powerful in life? And to counter that - when do you feel the most vulnerable?
RS: Honestly I feel most powerful when I am most vulnerable.
SRG: A one liner that would describe you is…?
RS: An old-soul empath whose preferred night would be in my home (I'm a Cancer, my home is the utmost important!) watching The Office for the millionth time.
SRG: How has working with female founders affected you and your ambition?
RS: I work for fine jewelry brands Amarilo and Haati Chai, co-owned by Ali Heiss and Stella Simona. Seeing two powerhouse women work together has been such an inspiration for me. Honestly both women have been such encouragers in not only my work life but also my personal growth. There is nothing more powerful than women who support women.
SRG: You are a woman on the go, what do you look for as most important to you in clothing? And what are your favorite fashion hacks?
RS: Comfort and wearability is an absolute necessity. I’ve tried so many times purchasing something I sartorially adore but then I never reach for it because of the comfort-level. I am all about layers and it took me years to realize this same philosophy can be applied to warmer climates like California. I naturally have always run hot so breezy fabrics are essential.
SRG: You have a distinct color palette in your closet - how did you come to curate your black and white aesthetic ?
RS: It’s been a process. Not because my innate style has greatly changed but because it took me testing a lot of different fashion personas to get to the point where I can look at specific pieces and know that it resonates with the woman I want to feel like. My entire life has been purchasing things that are beautiful but end up being regifted because inevitably they didn’t feel like me. I will say my five sisters are probably less excited about my intentional purchasing.
SRG: You’ve been working on a new project! Tell us about @narrativeof and what’s next for you?
Narrative Of is beginning as a podcast. I wanted to create a safe space for women to talk about their personal story - the ups, the downs, the serious, the ridiculous. As we get older, it's so much harder to find those intimate relationships that were so easy when we were younger. I want every conversation to feel like that. Also, as a perfectionist I've always allowed this idea that it’s too late to start something to stop me from pursuing my ideas. In the last year it’s become very apparent that we need to hear more women’s stories and that there will always be space, space for my voice, space for your voice.