art director The Next Closet
event director Studio Mucha
“It is OK to live a life that others don’t understand.”
May 5, 2022 by LO CARE
In celebration of Mother’s Day we’ve asked mothers that inspire us how motherhood has changed them, their beauty routines and hopes for the future.
First up, multi-talented art director Nina Varga – whose sense of style never fails to excite. Nina was six years old when she fled former Yugoslavia with her mother to end up in the Netherlands. Now she lives with her three kids in beautiful Haarlem, near the sea.
The first years of your life you grew up in former Yuguslavia. Do you still have memories about your home country?
Growing up in ex-Yugoslavia I was surrounded by mountains, nature, the sea and a rich -folklore- culture. Which was an inspiration for me. The Ottoman Empire, influences from Central and Eastern Europe, traditional, handmade craftsmanship, like bedspreads with embroidery or knitting; all the ethnic and boho influences. It was normal growing up and it made me appreciate craftsmanship.
It’s the reason why I love to go to Ottomania in Haarlem. They sell products from countries that were part of the former Ottoman Empire. The artistry in their store is stunning, I’m happy to be surrounded by this kind of workmanship. The store itself is worth a visit (it smells wonderful!), but they also have a wide range of gifts for yourself and others online. Every time I visit it’s like going back in time and living in my family’s house in ex-Yugoslavia.
Do you have any wellness habits from your home country that have stuck with you?
St. George’s Day or Đurđevdan. The day before, girls collect flowers and soak them in the evening, and on St. George’s Day, at sunrise, they wash their bodies and faces with that water. It’s a beautiful rich tradition that I like to keep.
Being a mom of three, it must get hectic sometimes. What are your self-care non-negotiables?
Glass of water each morning
Get up 30 minutes earlier to be alone for a moment before the hectic starts
Listen to music
Stay off social media after 7:00 pm
Get 7-8 hours of sleep
Eliminate a food group or sugar (still working that one out)
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being a mother?
Don’t think, just do. Becoming a mother is one of the biggest life changes a woman can experience. You will soon be faced with brand new challenges and stress, as well as the most joy and love you will ever know. I have three children aged 12, 7 and 2 and since becoming a mother my outlook on life has changed drastically. Things that used to be not so important are now, and things that I thought were important then don’t mean anything anymore. Now I know more than ever how to be strong, grateful, present and prepared.
What do you want to pass on to the next generation?
Freedom of choice. “It is OK to live a life that others don’t understand.”
What do you hope for the future?
“Hope” and “courage” for the future. When we look at what is happening in the world, not everything is going well. We see millions of people dying from war, terrorism, hunger, natural disasters. Environment, climate and food crisis. But also closer: problems in our country, in your own family or circle of friends.
Is there anything else you’d love to share with us?
I would love to highlight Studio Mucha, a new creative hub, photo studio & vintage design gallery in the centre of Haarlem by Andreea Bercu. She also shot the pictures of me for this interview, wearing my favourite LO colour TERRA on lips, cheeks & eyes. Carlyn from studio Cecé did a wonderful job decorating Studio Mucha with vintage furniture, which is also for sale. The three of us are joining forces to create a peaceful -yet lively- space in Haarlem that can be booked for events, workshops and fun happenings.