As a women’s wellness company, raising breast cancer awareness is a cause close to our hearts. That’s why we’ve joined forces with a very special brand this month in order to help spread the importance of raising breast cancer awareness while inspiring women to take a moment for themselves and their health.
The first 100 Leafs sold in October will come with a Breast Cancer Awareness pink pendant that can be worn with your Leaf! This unique pendant was created in collaboration with Urska Sadar.
Urska Sadar is the founder of U by Urska Hvalica and one of the designers that had worked together with our founder on our first product, Leaf Nature. After working with Bellabeat, Urska, who is originally from Slovenia, moved to London and started her own brand of jewelry.
Her nature inspired pieces look like 3D replicas of fun line sketches of insects, blossoms or corals. They allow the wearer to bring out their playful girly side, adding some extra flare to their usual outfits.
Her unique style seemed to compliment our Leaf designs, so we asked Urska to design a Breast Cancer Awareness Month pendant to pair with our newest health tracker Leaf Chakra. Naturally, she felt equally passionate about the cause and decided to join us in raising breast cancer awareness as well as highlighting the general importance of women’s health.
We hope that this month, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month pendant and Leaf Chakra will help inspire women to take a moment for themselves and perform a breast cancer self-exam.
Taking this chance, we asked Urska for a quick interview on her passions and habits.
Hi Urska, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your jewelry brand?
I was born in Slovenia where a grew up and studied. I currently live and work in London where I moved after graduating from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana. Since then I also graduated in fashion and textile and I now work as a product and graphic designer.
Currently I do what I am most passionate about - designing and making pieces for my own label as well as work on other commissioned projects with interesting brands and people with their own inspiring stories and passions.
U by Urska Hvalica brand was founded very spontaneously during my studies in Ljubljana as my design pieces were very well accepted after a presentation at the Fashion Week. I combine various skills to design and produce unique pieces, based on the lessons learned through travel, architecture and experience with different cultures. I strive to create unique contemporary pieces that are fun, playful and timeless, designed for a contemporary woman. Some are available on my website www.urskahvalica.com as well as in different design stores in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Milano, London, Belgium and Hong Kong.
You have two degrees - in architecture and fashion design, along with that you have your own jewelry brand. You’re obviously a very inspiring woman. Where do you find inspiration? Do you have any female role models and why do you admire them?
I love art, culture, literature, fashion and architecture. Visual memories are usually the main inspiration for my designs. My jewelry pieces are a fusion of different journeys and stories inspired by various cultures. However I always design with a deep respect for traditional techniques, try to express importance of women in design as well as the importance of preservation of heritage.
I don’t have a particular role model, but I would say that happy and successful women are my biggest inspiration. I admire people who are passionate about what they do and find the way to stand out from the crowd.
You were the person we turned to for help when we were designing our first piece of smart jewelry, Leaf Nature. Tell us a bit about why you accepted that challenge and why you decided to work with Bellabeat?
I was very happy when you invited me to work on the design of your first piece of smart jewelry. It was a challenge (that I couldn’t resist) as there was no such product on the market at that time. That still remains the case, as I find other similar products very utilitarian and not very feminine. It was a great experience and I am happy to be part of such an inspiring story. It has also been interesting to follow the evolution of Bellabeat products since, as they still, very successfully, follow the same philosophy and beliefs.
How we see it at Bellabeat, the most important thing in our lives is finding balance. Our inner balance of body, mind & soul and a balance of all the things we need or want in life. However, since most of us lead a fast paced life with demanding careers, finding this balance can sometimes be hard. We put everything else first before ourselves. Urska, as an obviously very active and successful woman yourself, what does being in balance mean to you and how do you manage to make enough time for yourself to find it? What are some of the essential health routines or habits you just can’t do without and why are they important for you?
I agree, finding a balance is essential. I personally need a lot of sleep and I always try to find a way to achieve that every day. My favorite relaxation is walking around the city, visiting galleries, markets and seeing a good play or a movie. A very important part of my everyday life is also yoga and meditation where I can connect with myself.
I try to incorporate as many health routines as possible in my everyday life as otherwise it would be very hard to find time for them - I cycle to work, try to find the time for an everyday yoga practice, go for a nice long evening walk, read a good book and organize a day so I get enough sleep.
Do you ever get overwhelmed with everything and what is your way of managing and overcoming stress? Do you think women are under a lot of stress today?
Whenever I find myself in a stressful situation I try to think how I will look at it after some time – is it really worth stressing out over or is it just something that will seem completely irrelevant later? Sometimes it is quite challenging to manage a busy schedule but I always make a list of priorities. I think nowadays everyone is under a lot of stress, as the expectations are very high and the pace of everyday life is sometimes simply too fast.
I personally think we should all try learn how to deal with stress, slow down a bit, think about what are we grateful for and enjoy every moment. Positive thinking is the key to a peaceful and successful life. It is very important to do what you are passionate about and find happiness in what you do.
How do you see your life changing in the next 10 years, what would you like to achieve? As a young woman, how much do you think about your health and well-being when planning for the future?
In ten years’ time I see myself as a successful woman, mother and wife who will find balance between a career and spending time with family, traveling, learning about herself and life as well as sharing all of the knowledge she gained so far. As health and well-being are two of the most important factors to achieve that, it is very important to constantly strive for them.
We have to ask you this one, since you’ve been part of our journey from the start, tell us about why after 4 years you still use your Leaf and what you like about it? What do you think about the design evolution of the Leaf smart jewelry line?
Leaf is an amazing piece of smart jewelry and I can wear it with all my outfits, most of the time as a brooch or necklace. It helps me track my activity and most importantly find an inner balance of body and mind. I am very happy with the design and also find the app features super useful. It is also interesting to follow the evolution of the Leaf and see the introduction of new technologies, features and materials, always improving the device. Very inspiring story!