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Connecting Authentically with Victoria Mendez of CC/C

This is a really special Story to share. I met Victoria while we were working at the same company a couple years ago. She now runs a rad self-care social club for woc called CoolCalmnotCollected that creates environments to connect authentically through shared experiences. Victoria recently moved to North Las Vegas to build a dream house from the ground up with her husband, but she anticipates continuing CC/C events in LA and LV as soon as it is safe.



What does home mean to you?

Home means and will forever mean a place where I can fully be myself.  I can be silly, messy, neat, loud, quiet, pensive, cry...all of it and it's all ok.  My husband also embodies the true meaning of the word "home" for me.  Home is a safe place and my safe person.

 
How do you practice self-care?

This is something that I have to remind myself to practice daily.  True self-care for me is doing something that is not an accomplishment and does not merit reward.  For the longest time, I prided myself on how much I let work consume me and how much I could "accomplish" in a day.  This would always be at the risk of my health and time with my husband.  2020 (as hard of a year as it was) taught me so much and really magnified my burnout.  I was forced to start from square one and re-focus on what is actually the most important.  Now, my self-care routine includes - doing one thing at a time (not multi-tasking), meditation, sleep, tea, audiobooks, walking to the park near our house and watching the ducks, taking photos of nature & food and sending them to my Mom and spending a lot of time with my husband.  


What part of your house gives you the most joy?

I love my office!  I ordered a handmade desk from Etsy which I arranged to face the window and have a bunch of little special things in it that make me happy.  I always burn candles and palo santo and can daydream for a little bit while staring at the mountains.  I also get great light in the early morning and throughout the day which is invigorating!


Tell us about CoolCalmnotCollected.

CoolCalmnotCollected was founded out of the lack of safe spaces for women of color to gain support and connect on issues unique to our experience. Many woc come from generations who teach them how to be superwomen, but never when to hang up their cape.  CC/C is a self-care social club where woc can feel how they feel and gain the power to celebrate who they are. Through CC/C I create environments for women of color to gather in community and connect authentically through shared experiences.
 
What inspired you to start CC/C?

CC/C originated from self-realization.  I was taught how to be tough, work hard and show up in my career for other people but lacked the knowledge of how to show up for myself.  I knew how to remain cool and calm when problems arose but got tired of keeping my true feelings under wraps (aka staying collected).  Once I started opening up, I found that many of my peers were also faced with the same challenge.  Thus, CC/C was born!

How can someone be a part of CC/C and how can we support?

I love connecting with new people on IG @coolcalmnotcollected!  As soon as COVID restrictions are eased, I want to start having in person events again in LA as well as Las Vegas.  Anyone can be a part of CC/C by connecting via social or even donating here to support future events. 
What are your top suggestions for gifts from Repose?
I love RH and recommend it to everyone as my top site for finding the most special gifts.  These are the items that give me the most joy -

I love gifting my friends and family with handmade items and unique pieces that they might not buy for themselves.  The Níle candles check both of those boxes!  My fave is the Yin Yang duo.
 

Pieces that are a little bit suggestive are also a fave of mine...the Dancer 2 in Sand was a must have for my own desk!
 

JG jewelry is always a must have...I love that you can find the perfect piece for everyone on your list, from your most minimalist to most eccentric friend.
 
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Handmade ceramics are always a win, whether gifting myself or a close friend...my next purchase will be one of these gorgeous vases from Amanda Hummes!  
Flowers are one of my favorite things and these forever bouquets by Sèche x Repose are so gorgeous!
 
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(pssst... you can get a free bouquet right now when you order one for yourself!)

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