Meet Gisele Azad, born in Teheran, Iran, and fled to The Netherlands when she was four years old. She now works as an entrepreneur within the design and wellness branche and inspires others with her experiences and personal story. Recently, she moved from the city to the forest, which made her nature and architectural dreams come true.
T. What is important to you in life?
G. To take most advantage of the freedom that I have been given in this life and create something meaningful. Not just meaningful for myself but something that is in harmony with people and planet.
T. What is your favorite thing about being in nature?
G. I never grew up with a lot of nature around me. When we fled to The Netherlands we were put in small apartment complexes in not the best neighbourhoods in the city. So I always thought I was used to the hecticness of the city. But now I wake up and only see trees around me and hear the birds. Lately I am regularly greeted by deers and sleeping owls. It’s the most healing experience I’ve ever encountered.
T. How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
G. Setting major boundaries. Not only with myself but also with the people I work with. I try to be really clear when I’m closing a deal with a client, I’ve been doing it for quite some years now so I know exactly what to communicate to my business partners.
For myself, it’s a bit harder sometimes. Some tips that help me:
1. Plan a workout everyday.
2. No e-mail notifications on my laptop or my phone. I choose moments to look and answer my emails.
3. Remind myself frequently I am not a brain surgeon so it’s not thát important haha.
T. What is something you wish you’ve learned earlier?
G. To always listen to my own gut feeling and trust myself. Oh and never be afraid to talk about money.
T. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
G. In 5 years I hope to have finished building my dream spaces in the forest + our studio on the same property and to have grown my business into more creative ventures together with my fiancé. I am aiming to explore the architectural-sphere next to our current ventures.
T. What changed the most when you moved to the forest?
G. Without a doubt every aspect of my life has changed. But the most is probably my perspective on life. When you live in nature you’ll realise the beauty in the pure and simple. I can see more clearly what has been fabricated for/by us humans to consume mindlessly and what has been created because of good intentions and is a necessity. This perspective has actually become really beneficial for my business.