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Cosima Bucarelli

We interview the multi-talented Cosima Bucarelli, who designs, photographs, draws, builds and creates, whether it be whimsical fine jewellery or made-to-measure garments.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself ...

I dream of having a big farm somewhere in nature (possibly not far from the sea) where people can come to relax, pick the fruits of the earth, cook, be together, do nothing, swing on swings, dance, paint… essentially create a space where one can just be, enjoy the simple things in life and get in touch with one’s inner child. Until then, at least for the moment, you can find me in Rome in my studio (making jewellery, drawing, writing, etc.) or reading a book in the sun at the café next door.

Do you have a nickname ?

Cosimina, meaning ‘little Cosima’ in Italian. Cosmos (or Cosboss), as I love the cosmos and it’s the Greek origin of my name. BUC, short for Bucarelli.

Where do you call home ?

Rome and Maremma, the most southern tip of Tuscany.

What defines home for you ?

If I connect with the people, I connect with the place, so home can be pretty much anywhere with sun, smiles and a comfortable bed.

Who or what do you turn to when you have had a bad day ?

I practice yoga, I look at art, I go for a boogie… The hairdresser always does the trick, too. When I’m feeling really sorry for myself (usually in winter), I lie in bed and watch Ted talks or Planet Earth, or anything inspirational or beautiful.

Tell us about your Health + Wellness journey ?

Mens sana in corpore sano. No diet, self-help book, workout routine, treatment, or pill will ever make you as beautiful, healthy and happy as confronting your fears, letting go of your insecurities and learning to love yourself. I learnt the ‘hard’ way that no one can do the job for you.

On one hand, I was always very aware of Health + Wellness, on the other hand I started compensating for my unhappiness with food, alcohol, and all sorts of escapisms, very early on. The way I was taking care of myself was far from balanced; one month I was working out obsessively and the next not at all, one day I was eating nothing, and the next eating everything, etc. About five years ago, I had to admit to myself that something wasn’t right.

I took up therapy, practised yoga regularly and started exploring all sort of soul-searching techniques. Thus started a whole new chapter of my life, one where I put a lot of work into understanding and accepting myself, instead of trying to change myself. It took me a few years to call what I had gone through at the time ‘depression’, to really start opening up and to allow myself a time out and, today, I don’t only feel the change, I can also see it.

Where is your favourite Health + Wellness destination ?

Anything tropical, especially Asia…

What's been your best Health + Wellness experience ?

…not in Asia, a two-week Panchakarma at the Ayurvedic Spa Parkschloesschen near Frankfurt, Germany. The setting is not necessarily my cup of tea but I had the most delicious food, learnt so much and was literally floating when I got back home.

A very different and more spiritual experience, was ReConnect in Tuscany – an intimate and deep week-long retreat for the body and soul.

What's been your best Health + Wellness experience ?

…not in Asia, a two-week Panchakarma at the Ayurvedic Spa Parkschloesschen near Frankfurt, Germany. The setting is not necessarily my cup of tea but I had the most delicious food, learnt so much and was literally floating when I got back home.

A very different and more spiritual experience, was ReConnect in Tuscany – an intimate and deep week-long retreat for the body and soul.

What's your Health + Wellness routine ?

Exercise: I wake up early and do it first thing after a little relaxing morning routine – usually a few times a week – and I alternate between acquagym, pilates or trx. Wherever I go, I always walk or cycle. And, as often as possible, I dance, dance, dance.

Nutrition: I try to consume consciously, rather than categorically saying ‘no’ to what I enjoy or forcing myself to eat things I don’t like because they’re healthy. It might seem obvious but it was never easy for me to have this balance. Sticking to a few principles that are easy to follow (instead of restricting my diet or setting unrealistic goals) has been very helpful, they are mostly Ayurvedic, such as drinking warm water first thing in the morning also with lemon or ginger, generally avoiding ice cold drinks and having my main meal at lunch. As many meals per week as I manage, I eat light, cooked, vegan food and every now and then I go off alcohol for a while.

Spirituality: I don’t follow a routine, I find that really getting in the flow of the music I’m dancing to in a club can be just as spiritual as my morning meditation (not that I’m very constant at it). I’ve been practising yoga for years and recently completed a teacher training but my current obsession is 5rythms, an active meditation class where one dances to different rhythms for two hours.

What are your favourite Health + Wellness essentials ?

Beauty: Liz Earle for face wash and hydration, and Linné Botanicals (very refreshing) mineral mist when I travel. The Ordinary Company, to get the most amazing skin texture. Essential oils of all kinds, especially lavender on my cushion to fall asleep. I do oil pulling with sesame in the morning and use Susanne Kaufmann ginger oil for my body.

Nutrition: Yogi Tea. Ginger. Turmeric. Magnesium. Nuts.

Athleisure wear: Sweaty Betty leotard or a comfy jumpsuit.

Other: Hot baths and cold showers. BEL meditation candle by 3rd Ritual. Palo santo.

What's your go-to health food ?

I love soups and bowls with all sorts of vegetables, grains, legumes – that’s what I make at home otherwise I do take away from Rumi, a little organic place in Trastevere (Rome) that has an unusual daily menu with produce sourced from local organic farmers.

At our place in Tuscany there is nothing more satisfying than making a tomato and basil salad that I pick form the vegetable garden, dress with olive oil made from our olives and top with a fried egg, freshly laid by one of the chickens.

What's your devilish indulgence ?

Amatriciana and pizza, or pastries filled with ricotta and chocolate from Forno Campo de Fiori.

What's your favourite yoga position ?

Vrksasana, the Tree Pose. Nothing fancy, anyone can do it pretty much everywhere, anytime, yet it’s simultaneously strengthening, lengthening, balancing, grounding, hip-opening and heart-opening (depending on the arm variation). Besides the physical benefits, as any balancing pose, it teaches to detach from emotional factors that may influence the outcome of an experience, not to compare or try to control it.

What makes you laugh ?

My flatmate and the Daily Show.

What do you fear ?

Anything that may limit my physical or psychological freedom. That our planet will never recover fully from what we’ve done to it.

How do you find serenity ?

Nature. Creating. Moving.

What is it about IKIGAI Global that appeals to you ?

Inspiring personalities and ventures, such as IKIGAI, with a positive vision and message, appeal to people/ consumers and motivate them to make changes in their lifestyle, much more than the catastrophic information one is constantly bombarded with through the media. I think for this reason brands/products/online shops that tap into the ‘health and wellness’ trend, must stand for a more conscious way, not only of buying but also of living, and have a big responsibility to raise awareness, educate consumers and give back. So naturally IKIGAI’s informative mission and it’s ‘community’ feeling is what mostly appeals to me.

What is the one book that has helped you discover your path and yourself ?

That is a lot of importance to attribute to only one book. I read A Fortune-Teller Told Me by Terzani while living in Bangkok and it was most definitely an important book for an important time of my life.

What has been the hardest thing to accept ?

Discovering that what I always thought of as my biggest weaknesses, might actually be my biggest strengths, and how much time and energy I wasted for this reason and in order to please others.

How, what and why have you changed over the last 10 years ?

Omnia Mutuantur… – everything changes, nothing perishes.

What do you do to make the world a more sustainable place ?

I recycle as much as possible and avoid plastic where I can. If I buy food I go to the market, when I buy clothes I try not to shop from fast-fashion brands and have things tailored or fix/ re-work stuff I already own (also how I started making jewelry). And in both case as much local and small producers as possible.

My fine jewellery production is already fair trade, however I would like to turn it into a fully socially responsible and sustainable venture.

I dedicate a lot of time to my friends, it gives me a lot of pleasure to listen and talk to them, especially about things that are not easy to talk about. People have a big need to feel understood and I hope that in my small gesture can have a positive impact on their lives, and they can again have a positive impact on others.

Will you share an inspirational quote / song / image with us ?

Deux Femme courrent a la plage by Pablo Picasso, the book Island by Aldous Huxley and the poem Lied vom Kindsein by Peter Handke (from Wenders’ Wings of Desire).

Do you have a good luck charm ?

I gave my sister a little white Buddha from Burma in a typical Thai locket. I borrowed it for a while and in the process the Buddha’s head fell off and is now loose in the locket. He literally lost his mind, I think that’s the moment I got really attached to it. I don’t know if it’s really a good luck charm but I always think of it in important situations, it reminds me to stay out of my head/in the present moment but also not too take things too seriously.

Who or what inspires you ?

Art, stories, mythology, philosophy, the arcane, traditions and their visual expression.

What is your mantra ?

OMmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

And finally, what is your ikigai ?

Freedom, feelings, friends and a good dance. Learning. Making people feel good. Turning off my phone.

Cover photo: Manfredi Gioacchini

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