In conversation with Joanna… fun, sassy, quirky and of one of the coolest women I’ve ever met
*featuring Joanna in Vintage Clothing from Mary’s Living & Giving Richmond
Who/what inspired you to work for Mary’s living & Giving
I started volunteering at the ML&G shop a week before it opened. I always loved fashion and volunteering but the usual charity shops were a bit chaotic and not particularly stylish. Some weeks later, I went to a volunteer day at Save the Children and one of the speakers was Gareth Owen, the Humanitarian Director of STC. Gareth has been in every major disaster and conflict location and he spoke about his experiences and what STC do to help the children. This was before the world woke up to the horror of Syria and the refugees. Gareth is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. After that, I decided to do more volunteering with ML&G and not just in the shop. I organised fundraisers like fashion shows, styling evenings, classical concerts. When the shop’s manager left, the shop was without a manager for quite a while and it going downhill fast. I did not want the shop to close, so I applied for the manager’s job. And here I am a few years later. The shop is doing extremely well, the quality of donations is incredible and we are part of the community. We offer a great shopping experience, a place for volunteers to use their existing skills and acquire new ones, make new friends, have fun and raise money for kids who are in dire circumstances.
How do you start your day
I start my days with a glass of water, 2 or more cups of black coffee, read the BBC news online and go for a 5k run. I might go to 7 or 8k if the weather is nice and I have a day off.
Marlene Dietrich because she made menswear look sexy and Tilda Swinton because she takes fashion risks but always carries if off incredibly well.
Bermuda shorts worn with tailored shirts and jackets. Sharp but quirky suits. Chunky hand knitted jumpers. And the boiler suit will still be trendy.
I love Advanced Style. It shows women and men over a certain age looking ultra cool wearing clothes, that probably raise an eyebrow or two. Not necessarily what I would wear, but I adore their insouciance.
A typical meal at home
Meal at home is usually something simple and quick, since I work and don’t have time to cook elaborate dishes. Linguine with prawns, chickpeas either as a salad or cooked in a tomato sauce, cheese and apples, Waitrose roast chicken with salad or a mushroom risotto.
A helpful Fashion Tip
Show either legs or cleavage; never both!
Views on Sustainability
Buying preloved is one of the easiest ways to reduce waste. Charity shops, especially the Mary’s Living and Giving ones, are full of incredible fashion finds. These days 90% of my clothes are from charity shops. I do a regular sweep of the charity shops in Richmond, Chiswick, Teddington and I always find something unique and stylish. I want more people to ditch fast fashion and go for quality and become more environmentally aware. Do visit your local charity shops frequently!
Favourite beauty product
Red lipstick. I can forego everything else except my red lips.
My favourite destination is my birthplace, Athens ! It’s vibrant, cool, full of interesting bars and restaurants and has a plethora of cultural attractions. Seeing a play or a concert at the Herodeion, the ancient theatre below the Acropolis is one of the most magical experiences ever.
Most memorable meal
My best meal experience was going to a tiny island opposite the island of Sifnos. The boat took 30 people there and the restaurant was a semi ruined old stone house on a tiny rocky beach. . No electricity, just candle light. We ate the freshest fish, chargrilled and drizzled with olive oil and lemon, a salad with some local herbs and greens, chips to die for and homemade bread and cheese. The wine was divine and here was a full moon! An evening of superlatives.
Beauty is confidence and kindness. Killer cheekbones help of course.
What’s on your current bucket list
I have no bucket list. I’m into being mindful and live each and eveyday as my best day.
“Buy less, choose well, make it last” – Vivienne Westwood
*Photo credits – Charlotte Krag @ www.charlottekrag.com