For this Interview MY MOM SAID for the first time "wandered far far abroad" and interviewed beautiful Karina from Florida!
By wandering abroad I mean, I was wandering around Instagram, looking for IG girls who love sustainable brands and fashion, and just like that I found @rina_celese!
Make yourself an iced coffee or cup of tea and get comfy for some girls' time read <3
-Katya, Founder of MY MOM SAID
GIRLBOSSINSTYLE: @RINA_CELESE ON HER STYLE, INSTAGRAM AND MATILDA DJERF
Could you tell us a bit about yourself for those who does not know you?
My name is Karina, I am 25 years old and use she/her/hers pronouns. I live on the east coast of Florida. I just recently moved here after graduating with my Masters degree from Johns Hopkins University where I studied clinical mental health counseling. I’m engaged and have a pup named Ziggy!
Are you currently studying or working and is it in anyway related to fashion and your style?
I get asked if I studied fashion a lot. I think that my dream would be to have my own business one day and I’m sure it would be related to fashion in some way. I’ve always loved fashion and that passion came about naturally during my childhood. For me, fashion is almost a hobby. I love planning out my outfit, getting ready for the day and wearing things that make me feel good. I hope to do something with it professionally one day- that would be a dream!
What do you use Instagram for?
I use Instagram primarily for fun. I love engaging with the people I’ve met since starting my Instagram and I think that has been the coolest part for me. I recently started partnering with a few brands that are sustainable businesses and I’m excited to see where it goes!
I started my Instagram as an outlet that was separate from my professional work and school. It gave me something else to focus on and have fun with during quarantine. In the beginning, I would spend more time planning my outfits etc. Now my feed is a place where I see memories and photos that make me happy.
I don’t plan out my content in a way that requires a specific location, etc. When I’m out, I get inspired by what is around me and base my photos off of that. It’s very much in the moment once I see a spot that I want to take a photo of.
I personally would love to start making outfit photos for Instagram, but there is always something that stops me, or I just feel lazy to do that. Would you have some advice for me?
Do what you love! If taking photos and sharing them is something that you want to do then just do it and have fun with it. Also, do what feels right for you. Don’t think that there’s a “right way” to do anything.
How do you spend your Sundays?
Recently going to the beach has been a weekend must for me. I’ve never lived near the beach before so I’m taking full advantage of that now. I also started cooking recently and have loved it. Since I just graduated, I can also read for fun now so I’ve been trying to do that as much as possible. I also enjoy exercising for my mental health.
Other than that I like to have balance with getting out of the house and being at home to cuddle my dog lol.
How would you describe your style in few words?
Casual-chic, minimal and effortless (is what I aim for :) ).
How your style evolved, if it evolved, during past few years?
My style has changed a lot over the years. I used to look at trends as if they were the guide for how I should dress and the only “right” way to dress. Now I look at trends as just that- a trend that will eventually go out of style and if I invest in trendy items, eventually I won’t get much use out of them unless it is something that I genuinely love. Now I look for pieces that seem like they’re right for me and something I will wear regardless of current trends. I now wear a lot of neutrals and try to work “fun” pieces into my wardrobe that will compliment my staple pieces.
I also don’t try so hard anymore! I used to put so much pressure on myself when it came to how I dressed. I never felt comfortable when I did that.
What would you recommend to people looking for their style?
I would normalize the fact that it’s not as easy as it seems. For me, it was a trial-and-error process and I still think that my style will always evolve but I at least feel like I have a good idea of what I truly like now.
Look at Pinterest accounts or Instagram accounts that inspire you and uplift you. Go in your closet and try pieces you haven’t worn in awhile. It might help inspire you to style these items in a way that is new for you. Most importantly- do not base your style off of what anyone else thinks!! There will always be someone who loves it and maybe some will have a style different than yours- but your style has to be for you or else it’ll never feel right.
What are some of your favourite Instagram, Tik tok accounts, people, blogs or Youtubers, who are inspiring you and your style or whom you just like to follow?
Anyone who follows me knows that my main inspo is Matilda Djerf. I love the way she styles things and the fact that she wears items from slow fashion/sustainable brands. When I look at the majority of Instagram influencers, it’s usually fast-fashion and monetized content. This content is also usually based on current trends only. Matilda inspired me to fall in love with myself and my own style, romantizise the small moments and make an impact by shopping from sustainable brands. I’ve also found some really great places to shop second-hand by following her.
Can you tell us about your best and most favourite thrift finds/ vintage purchases?
My favourite “thrifted” purchase is my second-hand Prada bag from Vestaire and my vintage leather jacket from Depop. I personally find it a lot easier to shop from online thrift stores because I often know what I want to find when I’m thrifting and going to the thrift store looking for something in particular can be difficult. Even if I’m thrifting, I want to make sure I’m getting something that I will get a lot of use out of regardless of it’s less expensive. I still love a good thrift store adventure- if I’m in an actual thrift store, I usually leave with unique home décor.
What are some of your most favourite Sustainable brands and why you chose them?
Djerf Avenue is a brand that totally transformed the way I look at fashion. They make pieces that are versatile, timeless and fun. When I shop there, I know that I will get something that is extremely good quality and it’ll be something that I get a lot of wear out of.
I love clothes and fashion- so I want to invest in things that are high-quality. Definitely make investments in things that you’re going to wear a lot!
I’m about to turn 26 and have no time for things that are going to fall apart after a few wears. I need stability in my life and my closet! Some others brands that I love that are sustainable/slow-fashion/ small business are: Realization Par, For Love and Lemons, House of Sunny, Daily Sleeper, Mixed Gals, By Far, Levis and Find Me Now the label.
Millie the brand and Summer Tulips are two of my favourite small businesses that I recently fell in love with! These are brands that I choose to support because of the originality of the pieces produced and their ethical/sustainable policies.
Would you choose sustainable brand over fast fashion or is it about the balance of those two? And why?
In December 2020 I started making a conscious effort to not support fast fashion brands and I started educating myself on the negative impact of fast fashion. When I started to realise how much of an impact fast fashion has on the environment, it’s workers and over consumption I reevaluated my own shopping habits.
I have taken the time to look into alternative ways of shopping such as shopping from small businesses, sustainable brands, slow-fashion brands and second-hand stores like depop, vestaire and online thrift stores.
I’ve also been able to appreciate what I already have a lot more by not shopping as often. Sometimes shopping sustainable can be more expensive, but in the long run it pays off for you and in so many other ways the benefits the world.
However, I also know that there are a lot of barriers to shopping sustainably for a lot of people including available size ranges offered and the cost. I think that if shopping from fast fashion is the best option for you, get items that you’ll get a lot of wear out of.
- Rina, @rina_celese
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