Debut Contemporary catches up with Heike Schnell, founder of Wellicious, a company specializing in eco-friendly yoga, Pilates and loungewear, to find out more about the collaboration between the company and Debut Contemporary.
1. Tell us a bit about Wellicious: who you are and what you do?
Wellicious is a London based lifestyle company specializing in eco-friendly yoga, Pilates and loungewear, the entire range, made in Europe. I started the company back in 2007 after I became repeatedly frustrated at the lack of comfortable yet stylish yoga wear available. I decided to create a brand that would capture functionality, practicality and eco-friendliness, yet still remain stylish… that’s where we are today!
2. Tell us how you got into yoga, and what it has done for you?
I first got into yoga 12 years ago and it really has changed my life. I know it sounds like a cliché, but both mentally and physically I feel like I am in control of my life, body and mind – my stress levels have dropped massively! I would recommend it to anyone, young or old, male or female. If you find time for yoga you will find time for life!
3. And what is your relationship with contemporary art…?
I was always interested in art, from a young age, and with my Peruvian roots, I love the bright colour palettes that can often be seen in contemporary art. I feel art, in a very similar way to yoga, opens your mind, soul and eyes to something you may have never noticed and I think that is crucial to living your life to the full!
4. How did you get involved with Debut?
Every day when I walk to my office in Notting Hill I pass the beautiful Debut gallery space and therefore we decided to propose a collaboration for our Yoga & Art Blogger’s event. A Wellicious Brand Ambassador Susan Yu also teaches yoga once a week at the Debut gallery and she suggested a partnership between our two neighboring brands.
5. What is your personal motto?
I honestly believe you should live your life to the full and make the most of every minute you have; treasure your family. A quote I love by George Eliot, one I think actually helped me create Wellicious, is; “it’s never too late to be what you might have been”.
6. Tell us about SOS Children’s Village in Peru, and your involvement with them?
As a devoted mother to three beautiful children I wanted to be able to give back and to help other less fortunate children. As the founder of Wellicious I decided I would sponsor a charity and as I previously mentioned because of my Peruvian background it felt right to choose a charity in Peru. Each member of the team has their own sponsored child. I want people to know Wellicious is a brand with a heart and that we care about others; to add a personal touch we even have a photo of the children hung in pride of place in our showroom.
7. Your clothes are all made in an eco-friendly way – is that another issue close to your heart?
Extremely close! The eco-friendly part of the brand is what I would consider to be the heart. It is the main message that we try and push to our customers, along with the fact that everything we produce is made ethically in the EU. I think we all have a certain responsibility to protect our future generation’s quality of life and one small step towards this is buying into eco-friendly products!
8. How about some advice for someone struggling to stick to their yoga practice?
When I first started yoga I was skeptical as to whether or not I would keep it up, however I read an article in a psychology journal and it suggested that it takes 21 days for your body to naturally adjust to something. Therefore if you feel it’s difficult at first, just keep pushing yourself for at least 21 days and it will eventually become part of a routine that you never want to lose!
9. Please tell our readers your top 10 favorite artwork picks by Debut artists and why you’ve chosen these pieces.
1. Sunflower by Tony Raymonzrek, £3,500. I love this piece because of the great texture the artist has created. The main reason it caught my eye is the undeniably bright orange colour palette, which really reminds me of the mandarin colouring in our new SS14 collection.
2. Cosmic Soul by Francesco Jacobello, £1,500. This is another piece I am drawn to because of its detail and again the beautiful colour palette of orange & reds with the smoked edge effect. It also, to me, embodies the soul of a strong and empowered female, attributes that I feel are important to female entrepreneurs in today’s world of business.
3. Assisted Conception by Charlotte Esposito, £2,500. This beautiful piece of art caught my attention because becoming a mother to my three children was probably the best moment of my life. They also inspired me to create the Wellicious brand, as I wanted to help build a sustainable & eco-friendly environment for them to grow up in and to know I could protect their future.
4. In Time by Charlotte Esposito, £2,500. This piece of art I also feel reflects an important part of my life and that part would have to be, time. Being a mother to three young children and running a business at the same time, really makes you understand how precious time is! Therefore I always make sure I dedicate every minute to something important, and really make the most of every day, playing into the favourite quote of mine by George Eliot: “it’s never too late to be what you might have been”.
5. On Fire by Francesco Jacobello, £1,200.
6. Light Trace 05 by Michael Taylor, £955.
7. The Miracle, by Carne Griffiths, £300.
8. Wave 47 by Michael Taylor, £955.
9. Celebration Installation II, by David Booth, P.O.A.
10. Infra 01 by Michael Taylor, £955.