Viola Muse is a series showcasing and celebrating the women who inspire us. This month, we spoke to Harriet Turnnidge, the woman behind Aedel – small batch soaps poured, cured and wrapped by hand using botanical oils and nutrient dense milk from Harriet’s own flock of dairy sheep in the southern highlands of New South Wales. If Harriet can’t teach us a thing or two about slowing down and appreciating things made with love and care, we don’t know who can.
You know we’re inspired by you. Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by people who are open to uncertainty. People who find a place to put their fear and expectations to the side to pursue their work.
There’s a documentary that comes to mind by the Australian traveller Tim Cope called “On the trail of Genghis Khan.” It’s a wonderful adventure, you must see it.
What advice would you give your younger self, or what’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
The brilliant Yo-Yo Ma said of his musical practice “like yesterday, slightly different…So it’s actually not painful to learn something if you do it incrementally.”
I think in its simplicity it’s often overlooked. Set goals, break it down and just begin.
What does beauty mean to you?
Having a healthy, happy and strong body.
Surrounding yourself with things, people, tools, objects, conversations that have meaning, that’s beautiful too.
Exercising your imagination to seek beauty in unexpected ways, in the details, in the everyday moments. My mother and aunts are very good at this.
What daily rituals, practices or things help you feel like the best version of yourself?
This is constantly evolving.
Sometimes it’s the things we simply say no to, is all it takes to shift into a better version of ourselves. Shedding unhealthy thoughts, unhealthy habits. Starting by simply saying no. I want a different conversation within myself, a different narrative.
If I drink enough water, eat well, exercise and rest. This for me is the absolute foundation from which my best self can grow.
Finish this sentence:
I want to wake up feeling…
In Germany they have a saying Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund, literally translated “morning-hour has gold in the mouth.”
That would be a nice way to wake up.
Above, Harriet is wearing the Colette Rose Camisole and Short Set in a size medium, available here.
Photography by Harriet Turnnidge.