Interview with Nina Elegba from Recess Living
Nina Elegba is the founder of Recess Living, a creative wellness brand that creates experiences, connections and products to help you manage the stressors and burnout of modern life. Recess Living not only help you explore mindfulness through making in multi-sensory creative workshops, but also elevate your daily self-care rituals with their sustainable wellness products to help you find your calm. I caught up with Nina to find out some more about her business.
Firstly, how do you procrastinate?
Outside of the realms of Instagram, I like to procrastinate by going for a canal walk. I discovered during lockdown that there are some gorgeous canals near where I live. Set me up with a good podcast and a stack of admin tasks that I should be doing and I’ll get lost in a stroll by the water for hours.
What prompted you to set up Recess Living?
Recess Living is my antidote to the fast-paced society we live in and the burnout it breeds. I started my career in the TV industry which can be an unforgiving place on your mental wellbeing.
Through my journey to better look after my mental health I’ve discovered the benefits of taking regular time out, so I wanted to create a safe space where you are encouraged to relish in slow moments to find peace in the quiet and practice guilt-free self-care.
One of the practices that really helped me is mindful creativity - I'm all about craft therapy and working with your hands to settle the mind.
How did you go about sourcing the products for your shop?
I enjoy exploring old rituals and practices and looking at how we can reconnect with them and use those teachings to better support our health.
Along this journey, I’ve found some amazing female-owned businesses who not only share this same common ground, but whose values align with mine when it comes to slowing down in relation to wellbeing but also the impact we have on the planet.
The products in the curated calm kits are all vegan and sustainably made. I was honoured to collaborate with Lauren King of Ara the altar to create a talisman necklace which is handcrafted by Lauren from 100% recycled silver in her studio in the Northwest powered by 100% renewable energy.
Rituals are a big part of your business - what are some of your own self-care rituals?
My mornings begin with an aromatherapy and meditation practice. I’ve found starting my day with this mini ritual practice was a great way to carve out a moment of peace that helps me get into a calm headspace and ready to tackle what the day has in store for me.
For me it’s about paring things back to regular simple acts that bring joy and when performed with awareness and intention these acts cultivate an uplifting sense of calm.
Tell us about the workshops you offer - do you hope to run real-life workshops in future too, or will these remain virtual?
For me crafting is a ritual that helps me de-stress, relax and manage anxiety so each workshop is designed to help you experience mindfulness through making. I encourage you to craft for pleasure without any pressure to be curious and playful.
For each workshop I curate a craft experience box, so alongside all of the material you need for the workshops (which range from hand building with clay to marbling), I send you a Recess de-stress care package. Each element in the care package is chosen to heighten your five senses and elevate your experience, leaving you calming and lighter than when you started.
When I first envisaged the Recess workshops I imagined people sat around a large round table in the backdrop of an indoor jungle (I’m such a plant mum) and I hope that once we are on the safe side of the pandemic, that vision will become a reality.
Though a silver lining that has come out of lockdown is that the virtual workshops have allowed me to connect and craft with women across the UK, which has been such an amazing enjoyable experience, so I will continue to run virtual workshops alongside in person meet ups.
What are you most looking forward to right now?
I genuinely cannot wait for my spin studio to re-open so I can resume my Sunday service ritual of a long meandering walk to spin class, a dance party on a bike, followed by perusing Columbia Road Flower Market in East London.
Follow @recessliving on Instagram for news, mantras, advice and beautiful imagery.