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Happiness, Health + Style with Kathleen Smits from HAPPY 13

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I’ve been lucky enough that I get to see Kathleen’s happy, smiling self when she makes her daily stop at Jus Jus.

Her shining aura comes together with a dazzling sense of style. As an avid fashion lover myself, I’m always asking her what she’s wearing because the lady BREATHES STYLE.

Kathleen runs an Antwerp based fashion agency. Just like her, the showroom is flooded with colorful prints, vibrant hues and excellent taste. She named it Happy 13 because the number has had significance throughout her life and what a coincidence, it’s also my fave number and it happens to be the day that my girl Eliza was born.

I always look forward to chat with her because she’s not only a sartorial inspiration but she also inspires me spiritually. She's always exchanging with us about her quest for wellness, her work and her trips to India, Bali...

Kathleen is a cancer survivor and her journey back to health is truly expanding.

Thanks Kathleen for sharing your story with our Jus Jus fans!

Read below to know more about this amazing woman!

 

Our dear Kathleen, your passion for fashion and design shines through! What made you follow that route?

Since always I was fascinated and obsessed with clothes and fashion. I did not immediately follow my instinct, that was later, when I really realised I wanted to work in the fashion business. That and nothing else. It grew organically.

 

Can you share with us your morning and evening routines?

I wake up in the morning and first thing I do is checking my mails and whatsapp. I mainly communicate through whatsapp with my customers. 

Sometimes I like to first meditate for about 20 minutes. I should do it every day because it calms me down, my focus increases and I also get the bonus of more energy. 

So, I also check Instagram every morning, there's so much going on regarding fashion. I'm also keen on reading the articles on Business of Fashion. I'm obsessed with my job!

 

I then shower and drive to work but I first make a stop at Jus Jus where I buy a juice and a chia pudding, my breakfast!

I don't really have an evening routine because it's hard to stick to one. I tend to work late, I never leave my job before 20h. I like to go out with friends for dinner or if I'm home, I have a light meal.

When I go to bed I try to leave everything behind and forget about the day. Not always easy.

We absolutely love your amazing taste, what’s your approach to style?

My approach to style is that I wear what I like and that makes me happy! I like to mix and match but effortlessly. You have to feel good in your clothes, then you radiate how you feel! 

Wearing the clothes I like brings me in a good mood.

Who or what is inspiring you right now whether it’s a book that you are reading or a fashion designer?

I get inspired by what I see on the net, what I observe in the streets and in the shops. I'm looking for clothes all the time, it's an obsession and passion! There's not only 1 designer that interests me but many! I absolutely love Ganni's approach to style. I love Semicouture, Acne and many more.

You like to travel. What are your favorite "happy places" here in Belgium or abroad?

I absolutely love to travel. My most favourite place in the world is Koh Samui. And I lost my heart in Southern California.

 

In Belgium, I absolutely love my city Antwerp!

Have you always been a healthy eater?

I've always been kind of a healthy eater. The older I get the healthier I eat. I feel so much better when I eat healthy, not only in my body but also in my head. But honestly, once in a while I go completely of track.

Food is thy Medicine...so true! I also feel great when I incorporate juicing for a couple of days, a couple of times a year.

 

How do you incorporate healthy eating or habits in your workplace?

I eat healthy in my workplace. I bring something healthy from home, from Jus Jus or I have healthy food brought by Deliveroo or Uber Eats.

What's always in your fridge/ pantry? 

Fridge: non dairy yogurt, almond/coconut milk and lemons. 

Pantry: almond flour, seeds and lots of dried herbs.

What are a few of your daily rituals that promote overall wellness and self-love?

For me it is contact with nature, meditating, breathing exercises, going into stillness, doing yoga or a run in the park. Regularly booking a holiday and getting away, as far as possible.

Also Reiki: I love Reiki so much because it’s a very strong spiritual healing force that has a strong impact on you. I love Reiki so much that I started giving Reiki myself.

Five years ago I got my Reiki 1 Attunement and not so long ago my Reiki 2 Attunement. I absolutely LOVE to give Reiki, it gives me a strong feeling of doing well!

And very important, every day I'm grateful for something in my life. You can always find something to be grateful for...

You are a cancer survivor, can you share with us your journey?

I got breast cancer mid-2014. It got detected at an early stage, thank God for that! It had a huge impact on me. I think it was worse in my head than in my body. I was in complete shock. One thing was for sure: I was going to survive this and I was mainly interested in alternative therapies. I got in contact with the GERSON therapy, Food is thy Medicine.

I went abroad for this therapy which I followed for 4 weeks. I did not want the traditional therapies, because I'm convinced they harm your good cells as well. None of the therapies, traditional and alternative give you a 100% guarantee.

But I did the traditional therapies under pressure of family and friends. I did it because I was scared.

The first year that followed was hell for me. I cried every day, I just could not stop it, it was horrible. I felt miserable and drained.

I lost my 'Joei de Vivre' but nothing lasts... Around 2 years after my illness, I got my sparkle back.

Which Jus Jus products make you “happy”?

So many of the Jus Jus products make me happy! Citron Noir, Oh My Greens, the Golden Milk and the super delicious chia puddings. 

 

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