SARAH - PARIS
Sarah Appleton is a fine jeweler who lives in Paris. This American woman is a descendent of the Bonebakker Jewelers family, renowned for their silver and goldsmith business founded in 1792. She combines traditional and contemporary techniques while creating responsibly, using 18k gold and ethical precious stones for her eponymous fine jewelry brand.
Meet this talented entrepreneur who exudes inner peace and kindness, claiming that physical activity feeds her creativity, deepens her focus and increases her coordination.
Inside/Out: What was your 1st sport or physical activity?
Sarah Appleton: Skiing. I started pretty much when I could walk and by three I was skiing down the stairs of our house.
I/O: And the first sport that made you feel confident?
SA: I played soccer and was always outdoors exploring as a kid. In my early teens, I started snowboarding which was the first sport where I felt a sense of confidence. It was quite revolutionary in my life, and I felt an enormous sense of freedom. At one point I was as comfortable strapped onto my board as I was walking on the street. There was a time I even thought about making it my profession, but I had a few serious accidents, so I decided to stick to riding for pleasure.
When I moved to New York to work in fashion, I discovered surfing in the Rockaways. Surfing has been the biggest physical challenge I have faced, with an even greater sense of freedom and strength.
I/O: Was physical education a central element of your identity at school when you were a kid?
SA: Yes. I have always been very active and was fortunate to grow up in an active family. My youth revolved around discovering the world via nature and the outdoors.
I/O: Do you ever feel intense emotions during your workouts?
SA: Physical activity is a sacred experience for me. I give the activities I do everything I have at the moment. I shift into a distraction-less space where I push all my physical limits, comfort levels and attempt to become larger than myself. It is the same focus I bring to making jewelry.
I/O: Physical highlights of the past 20 years?
SA: So many, but some highlights are hiking in Kenya through the Maasai lands, summiting Mt. Kenya, sailing around Kenya’s islands, snowboarding with my girl gang, and countless breathtaking sunrise and sunset surf sessions. Most recently in the incredible Sri Lanka!
I/O: Does getting out of your comfort zone in sports help you confront challenges in your daily life?
SA: All the time! I am a pretty reserved person, so this helps me put myself and my work into the world. Since I was young, I have always known there was a connection between physical activity, creativity, and the emotional body. Recently, I got into a pretty serious surf accident where I broke four ribs. To heal, I had to stay in bed - as still as possible - for three months. Overcoming this experience and getting back in the water surfing has strengthened my confidence, and helped give me the courage to see my creative and business visions through to fruition.
I/O: A sports-related memory?
SA: Meeting, for the first time, my now fiancé while snowboarding. Six years ago we ended up, just the two of us, getting to know each other in the Alps. Within a year I moved from New York to Paris.
I/O: How do you find balance?
SA: As a creative person and entrepreneur, I never stop working or creating. Balance at every moment doesn’t exist. I have built a powerful daily self-care practice that changes moment to moment with my needs. Staying connected to myself is a consistent choice, process, and practice. As a fine jeweler, I need an intense amount of focus, patience, and coordination. Physical activity is one way in which I achieve this.
Wherever I am, I meditate, use breath work to focus on the present moment, run, and do yoga. In Paris, boxing challenges my brain, body and nervous system differently.
Whenever I can, I escape to surf in Portugal or the Basque Country. In the water, I am at peace and fully embrace the moment and elements around me. I find inspiration and the energy to return and work to achieve my goals. This time is sacred to supporting my creative process and running a business.
I/O: What is your ideal performance garment or product?
SA: In the water: Patagonia, Rip Curl, and Kassia Surf. For boards I like Gato Heroi, Neal Purchase Jr., Almond and Catch Surf because I love a good foam board to have some fun!
Out of the water I wear a big brimmed Hat, Matteau swimwear, and Fabric Hunted and sun cover-ups from Collected. In Paris, my PB 0110 backpack! For snowboarding I like Patagonia, Capita, Holden, Thirty-two, Burton AK, and always Pro-Tec boa helmet. And I like the brand Jade for yoga.
I/O: What lifestyle rituals or routines do you do before or after working out?
SA: Before getting in the ocean or while paddling out, I take my time to connect with myself, the water and be as present as possible at that moment. I pay my respects and thank the ocean for letting me be a part of it.
I/O: Favorite beauty products?
SA: As a minimalist, I love a simple and effective routine using organic/natural products. I am very particular about not only what goes into my body but on it.
When surfing my routine is straightforward, and always includes a freshwater rinse! The products are safe for the environment and myself: EQ reef safe sun protection, Sans [ceuticals] oil which I use top to bottom before and after, almond oil to protect my ears, The Wet Brush, Christophe Robin lavender oil to protect and sandalwood hair cream after to repair.
In Paris, every morning I dry brush which is a lovely invigorating way to wake up. On my body, I use the Sans [ceuticals] line. I enjoy the simple approach to beauty, especially the body ritual using the exfoliator, oil, and cream.
After moving to Paris, I discovered Christophe Robin hair products and fell in love! I have very long, healthy hair which I rarely cut; I do the bare minimum while maintaining its beauty. To name a few: the prickly pear mask, aloe shampoo/detangler, and santal conditioner.
After moving to Paris, I discovered Christophe Robin hair products and fell in love. I have very long hair, which I rarely cut; I do the bare minimum. To name a few: the prickly pear mask, aloe shampoo/detangler, and santal conditioner.
On my face, I recently discovered Figure, a new line of natural French products made carefully in small batches. I use the entire line alternating the products depending what my skin needs. Then, I add in the Sans [ceuticals] mask, Ren Glycol Renewal Mask, and a few PAI products. RMS is the only makeup I like to use and have for over six years. It feels fresh and clean. My favorites are the Buriti bronzer and the Luminizer. I respect Rose Marie’s concept of not covering yourself or your skin up.
In a society where so much of beauty is hyper-focused on altering one's external beauty, I am committed to embracing myself as I age and experience life. Real beauty exudes from an evolving practice of respecting, nourishing and nurturing our interior selves and how we care for our bodies. This practice is, for me, is the most crucial beauty ritual.
I/O: Do your wellness practices give you a sense of community?
SA: Throughout my life, and all the places I have lived, my activities - surfing, snowboarding, soccer, yoga - have connected me to some of my most profound friendships. When I moved to Paris, I was invited to a weekly yoga practice with a small group of dynamic French women, and afterwards we would have dinner together. This helped me integrate and embrace Parisian life while building unique bonds. I love this way of being active. It is very Parisian.
I/O: What destinations are on your wish list?
SA: Myanmar, Morocco, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Peru, The Northern Lights, Naoshima island, Sri Lanka…
I/O: What does female empowerment mean to you?
SA: I believe that as women we are at a pivotal moment. We have an opportunity to shift the societal nuances that we are accustomed to and that keep us dis-empowered. With consistent effort and action, we have the power to change the patriarchal dialogue. It is essential to take the time to make these changes while supporting and respecting each other with compassion, strength, and love.
10 TIPS AND ADDRESSES
1 tip: Create a self-care process
1 method: Inner Child work
1 power song: "Everyday People" by Arrested Development , Vic Mensa, "You and Me" by Benny Sings. And the hip-hop mixes my fiancé makes for me are the best!
1 app: Yoga Glo
1 accessory: Gato Heroi surf board
1 blog: Will Art advisory blog
1 boutique: White Bird, Quiet Storm, and Love Adorned!
1 beverage: An açai smoothie + a matcha Latte
1 trip: Sri Lanka
1 person we should interview: Art advisor Nicole Will in NYC, architect Laetitia De Genouillac and innovative Lea Dassonville in Paris.