Lifestyle Asia

NURTURING A CULTURE OF LOVE

ISABELLE DAZA proves that beauty comes from loving oneself and taking the time to unwind in the middle of an everchangi­ng, hyper-driven world

- Text KATHARINE ALAMARES

As a fitness enthusiast, Isabelle Daza is known to engage in highintens­ity workouts. Yet she knows these must be taken down a notch upon reaching motherhood. Since giving birth to sons Balthazar and Valentin with husband Adrien Semblat, she keeps her workout routine light and condensed.

“I have to be thinking of my children,” she shares. From reaching her goal of walking 8,000 steps a day, doing lightweigh­ts, pilates, to postnatal yoga, she never stops keeping fit, even when it is a slow journey.

What matters the most is she commits to it, all the while being hands-on with her family and work.

NEW STAGE IN LIFE

The life of the actress turned entreprene­ur naturally changed when she became a parent. While she loves it, she admits it is a challenge, especially when the global pandemic happened.

“It's really difficult to be working at home and the school is at home. It was a struggle. Honestly, I almost went insane,” she reveals.

Fortunatel­y, her toddlers busy themselves through the different science activities for children on Youtube. “I became his teacher slash mom,” Daza says about Balthazar whom the family fondly calls Baltie.

This was in the early days of the pandemic but when she gave birth to Valentin, she knows to make adjustment­s to their routine. “We really try to limit screen time so that's why we want to keep them stimulated by other things like playing outside, or reading a book or playing with toys,” she explains.

Despite the struggles brought by the pandemic, she never forgets to share the value of praying and having a grateful heart to her children. “I find that my son does this thing where if he doesn't have a certain toy or an animal, he always talks about what he doesn't have,” Daza shares. “I'm just alarmed that he thinks that way. So, we've started saying out loud what we're grateful for. We take turns as a family.”

FINDING STILLNESS

The new practice they incorporat­ed helps them take a moment to appreciate life. It is easy to feel hopeless in this crisis, Daza admits. But at the same time, she wants to break the stigma of having to be happy or positive all the time.

“It’s healthy to feel sad and hopeless at times because it's a balance,” she counters. When she finds herself in such a situation, she allows herself to take a moment to feel it. “I needed to go through it in order to overcome it.”

Meditation comes in helpful that she brings her family to do it together. In the morning, they take 20 to 30 deep breaths, staying still for five to eight seconds. At night, they practice it as well. “It's a habit that I'm trying to build and I’ve started ever since I was young.”

“What you wear when you need to be good to you—physically, mentally, emotionall­y, et ceterally,” says the Instagram bio of Recess, the zero-pressure activewear line Daza co-founded with Anne Curtis, Pauline Ortega, and Roxanne Farillas. Launched in 2020, she says, “We wanted to be inclusive because we wanted to speak to all women.”

Years into her fitness journey, it didn’t come as surprise for her to create a lifestyle brand. Given the rise and grind culture the world has fallen into (that she admittedly got immersed into as well), she and her co-founders knew to direct the spotlight into taking a break once in a while. “We need breaks. We need the time to be still and be quiet—to love ourselves and pamper ourselves.”

Recess is for women and anyone who identifies as one. They can wear the activewear doing different activities, even as their bodies go through various life stages.

“We really made it an effort to be size inclusive and mindful of what we felt women didn't have in the Philippine market at least.” The collection­s include bras, tops, jackets, and leggings that support a full range of motion and are suitable from low impact to high-intensity exercises.

SOMETHING NEW

The multi-hyphenate reveals this is her first time in retail. Although there are challenges such as difficulti­es in production at the height of the pandemic, she shares enjoying the process. “In order to be able to grow your business, you also have to have fun doing it,” she affirms.

From hiring the right, competent people aligned with her values, managing people, to being on top of her finances, Daza continuous­ly learns something new as an entreprene­ur. “We really try to embody the brand not only in our products but in our company with our employees. We're proud to say that it is something that we do try—nurture people and grow with them.”

With Recess’s mission for women to pamper themselves, Daza says “we want our consumers to feel like they have a piece of something special and crafted for them.” While they are still a startup, much thought and care are given to the products they create. “We want it to have a purpose and we want people to love it for a long time.”

She borrows the words of actress Zoë Kravitz: “when the person loves themselves, that's when they’re most beautiful and I could relate to that on so many levels.”

No matter what stage in life a woman finds herself in, through Recess, Daza stresses the value of taking a breather. This is the time to meditate, relax, and ultimately care for oneself.

“We need breaks.we need the time to be still and be quiet—to love ourselves and pamper ourselves”

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