Minimalism and why it matters

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

minimalism and why it matters

Hello and welcome back!

Here at Ferrajean, we are working on some pretty exciting and secret projects that will be revealed in due course…;) Our founder, Lucille, is busy sewing away at our new collections and our brand new website will be up and running within the next few weeks! Stay tuned for updates by checking out our social platforms!

Today I want to focus on something a little different. Minimalism.

Defined by Merriam-Webster, minimalism is a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity”. 

In today’s age, we are hoarders. We keep things that we no longer need or use. We throw them in the unknown corners of our rooms where remnants of the past have re-located. Why? It’s different for everyone. For me, I guess it’s to hold onto fond memories of childhood and to get that rushing sense of nostalgia when we remember what is in those forgotten corners. But recently, the idea of being a minimalist has become more and more appealing.

When people think of minimalism, they usually imagine a sparse room with empty walls and only the basic necessities. But this isn’t what minimalism is. It goes beyond the physical items you own and goes deep into what makes you you. When you invest more of your interests into the objects you own and less into the experiences you have, you start to miss out on really living in the moment.

For example, are you someone who wants to capture a fun experience with friends on your phone? Take those funny photos with the intention of looking back on them later or posting them on social media. I am one of those people, but I have recently tried to keep my phone in my bag and live in the moment. Yes, those pictures captured amazing moments but what’s the point if you weren’t truly present? That, to me, is minimalism. Living simply for the sake of enjoying the moments we have.

In the past, I have been reluctant to give away old clothes or school books. Even though I didn’t need them, I felt that I was saying goodbye to a part of my life that I wouldn’t get back. But recently, I pushed myself to fill a bag of things I rarely use and give them to charity. And it was fine. I didn’t feel like I had lost anything; I actually felt like I had gained more freedom and space (literally).

So that’s why it matters. The less attention we pay to material things means we can pay more attention to what really matters. The people and experiences around us. We don’t need to capture every moment on our Snapchat stories. We should take comfort in knowing that we are lucky enough to experience what we have experienced and to have what we have.

What are your thoughts on minimalism? I’d love to know!

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

From FJ Marketer, Abby x

FJ Travel: Something that scares you – 4 Days in Paris

Hello and welcome back to Behind the Seams! It has been about a month since my last post but I am back and ready to share some exciting updates!

Ferrajean founder, Lucille, has been working hard an exclusive summer collection and we have a few photo-shoots in the making! Lucille has also launched her very own YouTube channel in which she will be sharing everything FJ and her own personal passions. You can check it out here – Lucille Jean (perfect timing as she has just uploaded a new video!)

Lucille will also be starting her own series on this blog called ‘Love, Luce’. She will be sharing her own styling and lifestyle tips, which will coincide with her YouTube channel. Her first post will be going up this week, so keep an eye out! 😉

Now, back to the main reason you clicked on this post – Paris!

My best-friend Saskia and I travelled to Paris for 4 days at the beginning of March and, although a lot could have went wrong (mainly my bad :/), we had the most amazing time! In this post I will share the mistakes we made, some tips on not being a ‘tourist’ and our favourite locations.

What could have went wrong 

I was in charge.

Well…I voluntarily put myself in charge of the flight and hotel. That was mistake one (according to Saskia). Because we are last minute and somewhat unorganised people when we are together, we naturally booked our flight and hotel through lastminute.com. In a fleeting moment of stupidity, I put ‘Abby’ as the name on the flight booking. Something that I later found was a real pain to change. You might be thinking ‘why would this be an issue?’ Well, I’ll tell you. My legal name (i.e the one on my passport) is Abigail. Hence, my brain should have realised that it may look a bit dodgy to have two different names on the booking and my passport.

I didn’t actually realise this issue until Saskia pointed it out a week before we were due to go. So, naturally, I went into panic mode. I called lastminute.com to ask them to change it and what pursued was a daily phone call with customer service and the constant response that they would ‘pass the issue to their manager’. Well, the departure day arrived and I hadn’t heard back. What followed was some frantic prayers on the way to Heathrow and, thankfully, my name was not an issue. Panic over. Or so I thought. (they emailed me in Paris saying that they were unable to change it… better late than never I guess)

British weather a.k.a #BeastfromtheEast

The week we were due to leave the lovely #BeastfromtheEast decided to stop by. We were leaving Heathrow airport on Friday 2nd March and flights to and from Charles de Gaulle, France were being cancelled and delayed left and right. Snow was falling fast and we were really in doubt of being able to depart. However, a miracle came out of nowhere and the snow eased up enough for our flight to take off on time and we luckily landed safely in France! Hourra!

Euros, #BeastfromtheEast again and some high-quality customer service 

This was by far the most frustrating thing that went wrong. I ordered about £100 worth of euros a few days before we left for Saskia using her money via my bank. I used online banking because it guaranteed next-day delivery. Apparently. I ordered it on the Tuesday before we left and then Wednesday came. Nothing. Thursday came. Nothing. We were leaving at 2am the next morning so this needed to be sorted out on the Thursday. I was fairly sure that the euros had been delayed by the lovely snowy weather :/ so the logical thing to do was ask for my bank to transfer the money back into my account. I thought that this would be a simple matter. After 3 hours on-hold and being transferred back and forth between the same 2 people, I realised my prediction was a bit off. We still had shopping to do so we had to eventually hang up and rely on our credit cards in France. I had managed to get some euros a few days prior so it didn’t become too much of an issue.

However, the awful customer service wasted a majority of our time and so we made a complaint and managed to get back the money that we lost. Hourra x2!

Our Hotel, or rather, where the hotel was located

Another mistake of mine. :/ I had had a quick glance at where our hotel was and, after seeing that it wasn’t too far from central Paris, decided it was the one. A week before we left though, Saskia Google mapped its surroundings. It was surrounded by sex shops and strip clubs. On top of that, Saskia’s French mum told us that the location we had chosen was known for having prostitutes. This ensured us both going into panic mode. Not a good combination. But, it was too late to change the hotel and everything had already been sorted. So we took our own advice, that everything happens for a reason, and went with the flow.

Turns out, apart from the strip clubs and sex shops, Pigalle was actually the ideal location. We were more immersed in Parisian culture than if we had stayed in central. By day 2 we were experts at manually opening metro doors and by day 3 had found the most amazing French restaurant just outside our hotel. Our hotel was a quick and beautiful 14 minute walk from the Sacré-Cœur. Moral of the story – (in the words of Alex Russo) everything is not what it seems.

Our favourite locations

BOUILLON PIGALLE 

This is the restaurant that sat across the road from our hotel and was an absolute God send! We had previously tried to eat at a restaurant in central Paris, next to the Notre-Dame, and after seeing a rat skitter across the floor while eating some food that tasted a bit off, we decided to not venture there again. The food at Bouillon Pigalle is relatively cheap, the interior design is very Parisian and cosy and (my favourite bit) they gave you unlimited free, fresh bread with each meal. 10/10

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(my face after I realised I didn’t get food poisoning from the food the night before)

Sacré-Cœur

The Sacré-Cœur was a quick 14 minute walk from our hotel and the winding streets and alleys were beautiful. Although mostly populated by tourist shops, we found amazing sweet shops, a Lindt chocolate shop and a supermarket (in which Saskia went a bit crazy buying cheese and meat for her family). The Sacré-Cœur itself was breath-taking and the view was definitely worth the stairs giving you an intense leg workout. 10/10

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(us at the Sacré-Cœur on our last day)

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(Saskia insisted on a shot of her outside her favourite chocolate shop)

We also did many of the typical touristy things. We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, walked along many beautiful bridges, took the metro and payed $15 for a drawing of us at the Eiffel Tower (my bad…again).

Although a lot of things could have went wrong, a lot went right and it was one of the best trips that we have had in a long time. The trip was also quite out-of-the-blue. The main reason for going was for a university open day and we just added a few extras days on. We didn’t overthink it too much and I think that worked in our favour.

Moral of the story – do something that scares you and don’t think too much about it. You may be very surprised 😉

Up next will be the first instalment of ‘Love, Luce’ and next week Saskia and I will share what we wore on our weekend away in Paris!

Until next time 😉

From FJ Marketer, Abby x

 

“You are beautiful because you are alive.” + Behind the Scenes of FJ’s new ‘Embellished Love’ coming soon!

Hello and welcome back! It has been just over a week since I last posted, and I want to thank everyone who supported my last post about anxiety. It was a very cathartic and new experience for me, to give a personal insight into my life, but I am glad that I was able to share. I hope that you will continue on this journey with Ferrajean and I!

Truthfully, this post was supposed to go up on 14th February, Valentine’s day. My plan was to write about how self-love should become a common practice, and not just on one day of the year. However, although I believe that loving yourself is extremely important and fundamental, I want to focus on another, similar, topic. Our perception of ‘beauty’.

‘On Being Ugly’ – a video by karakamos

Last year, I came across a viral video called ‘On Being Ugly’. There are many videos on YouTube that encourage people to stop obsessing about how they look, how they are judged by others and to believe that we are all beautiful. This video, however, is different. Young You Tuber, ‘karakamos’, explains, with raw honesty, how she sees herself as ‘ugly’ and how that isn’t a bad thing unless it stops you from doing what you love. She explains that if she is excited about something, or is enjoying being somewhere, how she looks is the last thing on her mind. But, like all of us, she admits that there are a lot of times when her appearance gets her down.

What stuck with me was when she explained that, when she is feeling bad, she reminds herself that she is beautiful simply because she is alive. Because she is breathing and moving and doing things. And that is beautiful. I think when we step back and take a look at the world around us, and how we function within our world, it really is quite amazing. Everything that we are able to do, from breathing to walking on the moon, as humans, is beautiful and extraordinary. Having the ability to love one another and share the beauty of the world around us, is a spectacular thing that a lot of us take for granted.

Put into perspective, how well you fit into societal standards becomes minute and irrelevant. The things that you do and the people you meet should be what matters, not how you looked while doing them. As a species, I think we are all intricate, complex and pretty amazing creatures. We make mistakes and errors, we cry and get agitated, but we also smile, laugh and love. There is too much conflict in this world to take the beauty and kindness in our everyday lives for granted.

Karakamos beautifully explained that it is okay to not be okay and ‘ugliness’ shouldn’t be seen as something that stops you from living your life and being happy. We are all inherently beautiful because we are living things and physical features shouldn’t define us as beings.

Speaking of beautiful things, FJ founder Lucille, has been working on her new ‘Red Collection’ which will be available online soon!

An exclusive ‘Behind the Sketch’ post will also be up very soon, explaining the inspiration behind one of her new pieces ‘Embellished Love’, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, thank you for reaching the end of this post, and I hope that when you are ever in doubt of your existence and worth, remember that you are beautiful and meaningful because you are alive, and that is pretty amazing.

I believe that we were put on this Earth for a reason. And I think, perhaps, that reason is to live and not just exist.

I leave you with a blurry picture of 14 year-old me, living life on the best school trip ever to Rome, and not caring what the mirror told me.

happy in rome

From FJ Marketer, Abby x