Skin Deep

ABOUT FACE: Stella Simona

by Michaela d'Artois

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Skin Deep

ABOUT FACE: Stella Simona

The co-founder of Haati Chai and Amarilo shares her take on work-life balance.

Instagram: @stellasimona
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Astrological Sign: Pisces
Book that changed your life: Rangoli by Pavanna Reddy
Beauty product (or treatment) that changed your skin: Chemical peels
Podcast you can’t stop listening to: Small Town Murder
Instagram account you love to follow: @jordanrisa

If you’ve ever peeked into the life of blogger and designer Stella Simona through the virtual keyhole that is Instagram, you will know she’s not a woman about to trip over the trope of having it all; she’s far too busy for that. Stella considers herself a rare breed as she’s an actual L.A. native that’s stuck around, but she’s unique far beyond her zip code. As co-founder of jewelry labels Haati Chai and Amarilo, it’s no wonder Stella has attracted such a strong virtual community. She represents a lot of things we’ve failed to have enough visibility for in the past: her East Indian heritage, women in business, and the transparency she’s chosen to take through her journey of motherhood.

Between daily insta doses of her “lovely husband, 2 boy dogs, and 2 beautiful sons Noah and Liam,” behind-the-scenes looks into her design process, and plenty of self-care hacks, we couldn’t wait to get Stella’s take on her hopes for the beauty industry, her go-to skin treatment, winning at time management, and more!

MD

What was your first job?

SS

I worked in retail at a store called Mervyn’s that no longer exists. Humble beginnings for sure.

MD

What was the catalyst for starting your own jewelry line, Haati Chai?

SS

I felt that what I was looking for did not exist in terms of design and also narrative I’m East Indian and culturally, jewelry is very meaningful. Every piece we purchase or acquire we own forever and eventually pass down. I felt introducing this ritual was very necessary.

MD

You’re juggling motherhood, marriage, your business, a steady IG following, and a popular blog. What’s your secret to feeling centered amidst it all?

SS

Be passionate about every part of it. As long as it means a lot to you you will always make time for it. It won’t wear you down but rather make you feel like every bit was worth it.

MD

What do you hope women absorb from the content you share on Instagram and the conversations you have with them via DM?

SS

I want women to truly live. Be yourself and enjoy every bit of it. There is only one you. 

MD

What failure have you faced that has turned into a blessing in disguise?

SS

Much of what we do as entrepreneurs are all calculated risks, meaning although we do take the risk, we may not get the outcome we hoped for. However, still know something positive will come from it. One of my biggest blessings in disguise was dropping too much budget on one of our first jewelry collections. We learned A LOT about the ins and outs of working with a big production factory which to this day has helped us greatly as a company.

MD

What is your favorite part of your workday?

SS

I love the beginning of the day. How you set your mornings sets the tone for your entire day. In the mornings I sit and give my emails about an hour of my time. The minute I am all caught up I feel like I can already take on the rest of the day since I gave myself an easy task to begin with. Also most days there is always something to look forward to in the emails new project proposals, pictures from clients of their engagement with the ring we designed for them, travel opportunities, etc.

“Be yourself and enjoy every bit of it. There is only one you.”

haatichai2
haatichai1

MD

What do you wish to see more of from the beauty industry?

SS

More representation of all the different faces, bodies, and skin tones. It’s growing, but there’s a lot left to do.

MD

What’s your biggest beauty splurge?

SS

I love getting monthly facials and a chemical peel every 4 months. I get them from my dermatologist. It’s worth every penny.

MD

Favorite way to get your body moving?

SS

Hiking!

MD

Describe your ideal Sunday situation.

SS

Big breakfast, no other plans. A lot of lounging with absolutely nothing to do.

MD

What are the best tips you’ve found for balancing work, motherhood, and self-care?

SS

It’s really discouraging when you feel like you are never getting through all your tasks. I love to incorporate free hours into my day-to-day routines. This gives me room to fit in what I didn’t nail throughout the week and also make room for day-to-day delays caused by having two kids under 5. This gives me more than enough space to complete every week having nailed everything on my to-do list.

MD

 What’s your self-care power move?

SS

A bath. I come back revitalized the minute I finish a bath.

MD

Describe beauty as you see it, in a few words.

SS

True beauty is not something you just see; it’s something you also feel.

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