In the latest of our ‘Working From Home With…’ series, jeweller Ana Khouri checks in from the Brazilian farm where she is currently isolating to share her routine of meditation, reading, and going make-up free.
Ana Khouri is known for her high-end jewellery creations that impart radiance, beauty, energy and emotion. And now more than ever, the designer is encouraging people to choose love and light over fear. She’s been putting her words into action by selling some unique, handcrafted sapphire and diamond pieces from the Mirian collection (meaningfully named after her mother) and donating the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders and Vogue’s ‘A Common Thread‘ initiative, supporting the fashion community during Covid-19. Somewhere in amongst her admirable efforts to raise funds for those hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Ana found the time to share her entry for our ‘Working From Home With…’ series. Here she reveals how she’s staying positive in isolation, the two books she’s currently got her nose in and how she’ll never take her New York workbench for granted again.
How does your typical WFH day start?
Working from home is challenging, so I decided to organise my days more than usual. I start with exercises and because I’m in the countryside I’ll go for a walk outside. I come back to just some fresh fruit and coffee as I don’t usually eat much in the morning. After that, I’ll work right up until it’s time for lunch. I’m not usually much of a makeup person and that is holding true — I haven’t put on any since I started working from home. However, I have been doing some face masks, hydrating my hair and taking care of myself a little more. It’s great not to have to present yourself so much; I am a person who likes to stay in, so I’m not suffering in that way too much. For me, now is the time to focus on the inside (of yourself) more than ever.
What do you choose to wear?
Sweatpants are kind of my uniform when I’m in a ‘do nothing’ mindset and I don’t want to ruin that! So, I haven’t been wearing them while working from home. I dress comfortably, as I would do if I was going to my atelier. I’m also trying on a lot of jewellery all the time, as I’m the one we experiment on. I make sure the pieces fit right and they’re perfect from my side before starting with production, so that helps with making me feel good. I have noticed that I’ve been wearing a lot of light colours lately and I’m not sure why yet. I also like wearing something red, like a sweater or something. It makes me feel good — happier somehow.
How do you structure your day?
After exercising and eating my breakfast each morning, I’ll work until lunch then get back to it. I try to stop working at around 6pm and spend some (virtual) time interacting with loved ones or reading, meditating or watching a movie. I flew to Brazil to be with my brothers right before quarantine started and I haven’t left since, so I’m isolating together with them and their family in one house here. I feel fortunate to be around loved ones.
What helps you to stay positive and motivated?
Meditations throughout the day and reminding myself that all things come to an end. I believe it’s important, for myself at least, to do the best I can with what I have now and with that mindset try to help everyone that I can. Participating as a whole, from donations to activations, is key. We will only get through this together because we’re all facing it together. The whole world is united and now more than ever we need to fight as one. Help everyone that you can around you and love them as you do yourself or loved ones.
How are you remaining connected with your team?
We are all working remotely and we’ve also changed our daily hours so that everyone works when they can, and especially when they feel good. It’s working for us because we trust each other and all know what each other should be working on or delivering — if we need to chat we do so, otherwise we’ll just email. Some days we do all use Zoom but it has been about keeping the atmosphere very light and easy. What we’re facing now is different than anything we’ve ever experienced before and there’s no right or wrong. In times like these, it’s important to remember that we must respect everyone’s feelings. Our team is our family.
What’s been challenging so far?
There are so many challenges. I love working with my team and going to the office, so I miss both dearly. Also as a sculptor and jeweller, I’m really missing my tools and my bench.
Any recommendations of things to do when work stops and downtime begins?
At the moment I’m reading ‘Be Here Now’ and ‘Polishing the Mirror’ by Ram Dass —I really like both of them. I highly recommend meditation and exercising right now to stay positive and keep our frequencies up; even if you just stretch, do some sun salutations or a breathing exercise. It all helps.
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