The Other Art of Living with Sophie Trem
BWB’s own Rebecca Leffler spoke to Sophie Trem about balancing a career & motherhood, her obsession with beauty products & her passion for la vie.
Sophie Trem is a mother, businesswoman, fashion designer, creative director, instagrammer extraordinaire and internet superstar, but she’s best known for her lifestyle blog The Other Art of Living. The 35 year-old mother of two is a freelance web and fashion consultant and the head of brand image at rapidly rising French startup Qwant.com. Just recently, she has collaborated with several major brands including KSwiss, with whom she designed a pair of sneakers exclusively for Colette.
Born and raised in Paris and of Cambodian descent, this superwoman has become Paris’ Queen of Good Vibes, spreading her positive energy wherever she goes. Her blog, a blend of “all of the good things that contribute to a better life,” has amassed a cult following online and more than 50,000 total devotees follow her every move on Facebook and Instagram. Her motto? “Life is good so dare to live.”
BWB’s own Rebecca Leffler spoke to this Renaissance woman about balancing a career and motherhood, her obsession with beauty products and her passion for la vie.
BWB: You are a blogger, mother, designer, businesswoman and…the list goes on and on! How do you define yourself? If you had to sum up your profession in a few words, how would you describe it?
Someone told me not so long ago I’m just a professional “kiffeuse“, which literally means a professional life-lover I guess! For a long time, I had “normal” jobs, then I decided life is too short to be just watching it, so I decided to chase after my dreams one after another, and the list is long!
I wanted to make some changes, and I was putting all the things I was learning at school into practice, so I decided I would launch a website that would be a window of my new life.
BWB: The Other Art of Living, your lifestyle blog, has amassed a cult following. Can you tell us more about how you started out and what your mission for the blog is? What sets it apart from others?
It all started when I decided to take a break from my professional job as a buyer / sales manager. I was pregnant and I went back to school to get some new skills. I was so lucky that I had an amazing counselor at the job office, who said that I was creative, but that I should learn other skills so that I could do everything on my own. I took courses in photoshop, HTML, wordpress , indesign, etc… I spent time reading a lot of self development books and one of them really caused a huge shift in my life. It was called The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. I always tell everyone to read it! It’s not easy at first, but it’s crazy how it just works!
I wanted to make some changes, and I was putting all the things I was learning at school into practice, so I decided I would launch a website that would be a window of my new life. I wanted it to be about anything that simply makes life better, and especially through beauty because I believe it has a healing power on everyone.
In my daily life, I go for very basic essentials like American Vintage, Rick Owens and James Perse.
BWB: This issue is all about Fitness & Fashion. What are some of your favorite brands for looking sporty-chic?
I’ve always loved sports and street style mixed with chic details, so right now is the perfect timing for me!
I love Nike of course for its blend of performance and style, Lululemon, Billabong and Roxy and I recently discovered Calvin Klein Performance, an amazing balance between fitness and a cool designer’s style. In my daily life, I go for very basic essentials like American Vintage, Rick Owens, Heimstone and James Perse.
BWB: Do you have a favorite workout outfit?
It really depends on the day and on my current mood, but I love to mix different styles like boyish and rock or cool and sporty, but always with a sporty flare because I always go for comfort first!
BWB: What are some of your favorite workouts in Paris?
Fitness, Yoga with Frenchyogagirl, Barre au sol with Audrey Roerich at Le Tigre Yoga and Ragga Dancehall with Zakadit.
BWB: What is your go-to healthy breakfast?
A soy yogurt with muesli and fresh fruit plus rooibos tea with honey. It’s my favorite combo!
BWB: You do so many things! What does a typical day for you look like? (And do you ever sleep?)
I have a secret: I’m a vampire! Just kidding. In general, I don’t sleep much unfortunately, but I’m working on it because I know it’s not good for me. This past year was filled with so much craziness! I’m lucky because I can sleep on demand, whenever I want to. It’s like I have my own “off” button! During flights, my friends go crazy because I can sleep for 10 hours straight!
I was obsessed with skin because I had eczema, so I started to look closely at what I was putting on my skin and researched every brand on earth.
BWB: What is your daily beauty ritual? Do you have any natural beauty brands you love?
Don’t get me started on this topic; I may never stop talking. It’s been my passion since I was young. My dermatologist told me that I should have been a dermatologist! I was obsessed with skin because I had eczema, so I started to look closely at what I was putting on my skin and researched every brand on earth. I love so many products, but some of my favorites include: La Mer, Sisley, Pai, Jo Malone and anything that comes from Ohmycream. They have awesome products that just make my skin look better day after day. For the body, I like Caudalie, Ren and Diptyque. And for color, By terry, Mac, Chanel and YSL.
I think French girls have better dietary habits that make them more naturally slim, so when they work out, it makes for a perfect combination.
BWB: Do you see a difference between French and American women in terms of how they dress to work out and also the sport culture in both places?
Definitely! I think French girls have better dietary habits that make them more naturally slim, so when they work out, it makes for a perfect combination. Americans eat a lot so they need to work out so much. French girls have style, whereas Americans in general are more classic. I guess exercise has always been more important in American culture, but it’s starting to become part of the French lifestyle lately too.
BWB: You’ve recently launched Qwant… What is it? Tell us more!
I’ve been working on this amazing project intensely for the past year and a half, but it really began four years ago when the co-founders told me about their project to launch a search engine that to maintain privacy. I mentioned it to one of my clients who became one of their first investors. We recently launched Qwant Junior, the first safe search engine for kids that is going to be released in all French schools in collaboration with French Ministry of Education.
BWB: What do you have coming up in 2016?
I’m working on my first real book, which is a huge undertaking. I’m working on a new design for the The Other Art of Living website. I can’t believe it’s already three years old – time flies! And of course whatever other projects come my way – I like to go with the flow.
Rebecca Leffler is a Paris-based writer and journalist who, after a career as the French correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and as a film critic on Canal+, traded red carpets for green smoothies. She’s written five books about healthy lifestyle from Paris to NYC and beyond, including Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season, and most recently Le Nouveau Manuel de la Cuisine Végétale. Rebecca has pioneered the “vegolution” in Paris, where she continues to organize events focusing on healthy eating, yoga and la vie en rose… And green! You can keep up with Rebecca on Instagram!