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Conversations with Vilma Putriute: a journey to self-care and beyond

"To any woman navigating her journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, know that you are not alone."

Conversations with Vilma Putriute: a journey to self-care and beyond
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Slowly but surely, my dream of creating an international community of strong women who not only strive for personal growth but also motivate others to do the same is coming true.

I strive to never stop being amazed by the women I meet, whether online or offline. And I promised myself that I would continue to pass on the wisdom that I was so fortunate to receive from them.

Without further ado, please welcome muse Vilma Putriute. With unfiltered bravery, Vilma exposes her core. As she shares her experiences, fears, and triumphs, it is as if she invites us to embark on our own introspective journey.

Where are you originally from, and why did you decide to live in Lisbon, Portugal?

I'm originally from Palanga, a cozy little beach town in Lithuania. For the past 16 years, I've basically been a nomad, residing in big cities like New York, London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, etc., all thanks to my career in modelling.

After all that jet-setting and living on the luggage, I was feeling pretty worn out. Something about Lisbon spoke to me—its laid-back vibe, picturesque beaches, and slower pace of life resonated deeply with me.

During the COVID pandemic, some of my close friends relocated to Lisbon, prompting me to visit. Soon after, I serendipitously met the love of my life, solidifying my decision to make Lisbon my home. I would say that the city stole my heart.

How do you embrace the art of fine living?

For me, embracing the art of fine living is like finding that sweet spot where everything just feels in flow. It's about having a balanced, quality lifestyle and taking care of myself, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.

That means making time for things like exercise, relaxation, and experiences, as well as spending quality time with friends and family.

Finding harmony between work and play so I can live my best life without burning out.

I discovered you through the inspiring community called Sassy Women Society, where you discussed the “self-care manifesto”. Please explain what this concept means to you and why it is so important to discuss it in 2024.

For me, it's about intentional acts of self-nurturing that I practice consistently. From my morning rituals to mindful nutrition and regular physical activity, I prioritize my well-being every step of the way.

Connecting with my friends over coffee or lunch and indulging in slow evenings, regular home spa treatments, and solo dates are just some of the ways I show myself love and care. These small yet significant gestures enable me to show up as my best self, not only for myself but also for my loved ones.

In the context of 2024, discussing the self-care manifesto is crucial. With the increasing pace and demands of modern life, it's essential to prioritize self-care as a means of maintaining balance, resilience, and overall well-being.

Let us talk about self-esteem and believing in your own worth, which is something I am still learning and dealing with. And it is not just me; there are many exceptional women I know and admire who are unaware of their worth. How do you feel about yourself? Could you please give me some advice based on your own experiences on how a woman can cultivate higher self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love?

Great question and something that's deeply personal to me. As a model for over a decade, I've observed how even the most beautiful women, including models, can struggle with self-confidence and self-worth.

Our industry's relentless pressure on appearance fosters an environment that is ripe for insecurity. This loop of questioning my worth and validity even led me into the dark realms of eating disorder and self-sabotage.

However, through my journey, I've learned that cultivating higher self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love is not only possible but essential for our well-being. It starts with awareness—recognising that our value extends far beyond our physical appearance. Surrounding ourselves with a supportive community that empowers us rather than diminishes us is crucial. These are the people who lift us up when we're feeling down and remind us of our inherent worth.

Practicing acts of self-love daily is another vital component. Whether it's through affirmations, setting boundaries, or engaging in activities that bring us joy and fulfilment, each act contributes to building a strong foundation of self-esteem. It's about treating ourselves with the same kindness and compassion that we extend to others.

But perhaps the most transformative aspect of cultivating self-esteem and self-worth is expansion—expanding our definition of beauty, success, and worthiness beyond societal norms and expectations.

It's about embracing our uniqueness and celebrating our individuality. By doing so, we liberate ourselves from the confines of comparison and judgement, allowing our true selves to shine.

To any woman navigating her journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, know that you are not alone.

With awareness, support, and daily acts of self-love, you can cultivate a deep sense of self-esteem and self-worth that transcends superficial standards and empowers you to embrace your authenticity fully.

You are a model. In what ways has this profession shaped your values and beliefs?

Being a model has profoundly shaped the woman I am today. It's been a transformative journey that has expanded my horizons and moulded my values and beliefs. One of the most significant aspects is the opportunity to literally see the world. From walking the runways of Paris to shooting campaigns in exotic locations, modelling has allowed me to immerse myself in diverse cultures and environments, fostering a sense of independence and adaptability that I wouldn't have gained otherwise.

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Moreover, the nature of the industry has instilled in me invaluable qualities such as patience, resilience, and strong work ethics. Contrary to the glamorous facade often associated with modelling, it's physically and mentally demanding. It requires discipline, perseverance, and thick skin to navigate ups and downs. And let's not forget the importance of being open-minded, as you are constantly meeting new people from all walks of life, each with their own stories and perceptions.

Through it all, modelling has taught me the importance of authenticity and self-confidence. Despite the pressure to conform to certain standards of beauty, I've learned to embrace my uniqueness and celebrate my individuality.

You are also an entrepreneur and the founder of the VISPOKE Functional Organic Perfume Oil line. Tell me more about the story behind this project. I am always fascinated by what inspires a small business, what lies behind the visuals, and the stories we tell online.

Vispoke started as a small-scale project, initially crafted for my inner circle of family and friends. Yet, from its humble beginnings, this endeavour has blossomed into a source of immense joy and inspiration for me.

I have always been intrigued by the idea that fragrance isn't merely about smelling good but holds the potential to profoundly impact our mental and emotional well-being. This realization first struck me during my time as a yoga teacher, where I incorporated scent as an element of aromatherapy during savasana. My students' response was positive, sparking their curiosity and excitement for each class and the accompanying scent.

Beyond the yoga studio, I've been known as the "scent fairy" among my friends, carrying an assortment of scents in my purse to share aromatherapy with strangers at raves and parties. These experiences fueled my desire to delve deeper into the language of scents with a London-based perfumery school.

At the heart of Vispoke lies a vision centered on individuality, uniqueness, and connection—both to oneself and to nature. As well as the transformative power of scent to evoke emotions, memories, and sensations.

In addition, you teach yoga. Tell me more about what inspired you to practice yoga for your own well-being, as well as why you want to teach others the sacraments of yoga.

It's quite amusing, actually; during my high school years, I wasn't particularly fond of any sports or physical activities. I had a slender, somewhat weak body type, and the idea of exercise seemed exhausting and unnecessary to me.

However, everything changed when I embarked on my journey as a model. Suddenly, taking care of my body became an essential part of my work, and I experimented with various forms of exercise, from long-distance running to attending fitness classes. Yet, it was yoga that resonated with me on a deeper level. The connection it provided between mind and body captured my heart, and I quickly became hooked.

As I went deeper into my yoga practice, I felt a growing desire to explore its philosophy and teachings. This led me on a transformative journey to India, where I embarked on a 200-hour teacher training course alongside my sister. Initially, teaching yoga was never part of my plan.

However, as I deepened my practice and shared it with others, I felt a sense of inspiration and fulfillment. It was exhilarating to step out of my comfort zone and embrace the challenge of teaching. Each class became an opportunity for personal growth and discovery. Through teaching, I discovered a newfound sense of purpose and joy, knowing that I was making a positive impact on others.

I've come to realize that yoga, scents, and the art of living intertwine seamlessly in my life, shaping how I experience the world and how I hope others can experience it too—as something beautiful, holistic, interconnected, and deeply aware.

Fashion is often considered frivolity. In your opinion, what is the main role of clothes besides covering our bodies?

Through my experience in the fashion industry, I've come to view clothing as more than just a functional necessity. It's a powerful form of self-expression and individuality. Despite the prevalent emphasis on following trends, I've always believed in the power of personal style. For me, it's about embracing authenticity and staying true to myself rather than conforming to fleeting fashion dictates.

Interestingly, my personal style often reflected a sort of "model uniform"—black skinny jeans paired with a simple tank top. The practicalities of my career had an impact even though this choice undoubtedly highlighted my figure. As a model, functionality was paramount. With a hectic travel schedule and constant shoots, I needed wardrobe staples that could seamlessly transition from one setting to another.

Only a few years ago, upon moving to Lisbon, I began incorporating more dresses and colors into my wardrobe.

I feel like clothing choices are often a reflection of where we are in life and how we feel internally. Beyond its utilitarian function, clothing serves as a means of communication. It speaks about our identity, values, and aspirations. It's a reflection of our mood, our culture, or our personal narrative.
Photo Credit: Verena M4models

What women inspire you?

I find inspiration in women who embody the qualities of a "boss lady"—those who are confidently in charge of their lives, emotionally intelligent, and unafraid to seek growth. These women know what they want and pursue it with determination, while also recognizing the value of asking for help when needed. 

They constantly seek knowledge and wisdom to fuel their personal and professional growth, serving as powerful examples of resilience and empowerment. Women who maintain a balance between feminine and masculine energies, embracing both nurturing and assertive qualities.

Some of the Instagram accounts of women I admire:

What does happiness mean to you?

To me, happiness is a deeply philosophical concept that goes beyond fleeting moments of joy. It's an exploration of what it means to truly thrive and find fulfillment in life. Happiness, for me, is a delicate balance of both internal and external factors.

Internally, happiness is about feeling fulfilled and aligned with my true purpose. It's about waking up each day with a sense of passion, drive, and purpose, knowing that I'm living authentically and doing what I love. It's also about constantly seeking opportunities for learning and growth.

Externally, happiness is reflected in the quality of my relationships and connections with others—my man, friends, family, and colleagues. It's about surrounding myself with people who uplift and inspire me. It's also about maintaining good health—both physically and mentally—and prioritizing self-care practices that promote well-being.

Additionally, living an aesthetic life is another aspect of happiness for me. It's about surrounding myself with beauty and inspirational environments.

In essence, happiness is a holistic and dynamic state of being that encompasses fulfillment, growth, love, connection, health, beauty, and the courage to embrace life fully.