111ICONS: Brita Fernandez Schmidt

111ICONS: Brita Fernandez Schmidt

An advocate and promoter of women’s equality and empowerment, Brita Fernandez Schmidt is a leading force when challenging the issues women face across the world. As the Executive Director of Women for Women International-UK, Brita is part of a global community which invests in women to create a world that is more equal, peaceful and prosperous. She leads a team which raises millions to help women survivors of war and conflict rebuild their lives.

111SKIN champions and celebrates game changers and innovators in leading industries. Each discussion uncovers the insight and knowledge into their individual approach and within the 111ICONS interview, we share their journey, business and approach to life.

111SKIN: Your role and what you do?

Brita Fernandez Schmidt: At Women for Women International, I am the Executive Director for the UK and European market and the Senior Vice President for Global Partnerships. I have a huge but fulfilling role of raising funds and awareness to support the women within our year-long training programme to rebuild their lives and inspire hope for the future.

111SKIN: A background as to how you grew in your career?

BFS: I grew up in Germany before moving to Venezuela at a young age and it was there that I witnessed unprecedented levels of inequality. This exposure is what drew me to where my path holds me today. Addressing inequality has been my number one goal and especially within the non-profit sector, to directly help women fulfil their potential in life. It’s about speaking to and encouraging a shared humanity that we all deserve and have the rights to.

111SKIN: Has anyone inspired you and supported you as you grew to where you are today?

BFS: So many! Firstly, the many women in the programme that I personally get to know and see shine, the women in the Women for Women International Executive team who I work so closely with on a daily basis to achieve our shared goal and my personal mentor.

111SKIN: Tell us more about her?

BFS: So, Moira Spence is a personal coach who has been guiding me for years. She provides me with a space where I can be honest with myself, face resolutions and more importantly she helps me focus on what I do and the path toward fulfilling my purpose. It is through her coaching that I now coach and mentor others. It is so important when establishing and inspiring a network to come, learn and build together.

111SKIN: What was the best project you have worked on & why?

BFS: What a difficult question! I think it would have to be the money we were able to rally together to help the Yezidi women in Iraq as they were trying to flee ISIS. In 2015, I read the story about a 12-year-old girl who was held as a sex slave for over a year and I could not stop thinking about her. That autumn, we raised nearly £1m and were able to provide a safe and secure space in Iraq so women could heal and recover from the trauma.

I know we said only one project but another that I am extremely proud of is our #SheInspiresMe Car Boot Sale and Virtual Car Boot Sale because of the network and community support that is required for its success. Both events are fashion and beauty extravaganzas which raise an incredible amount of funds and awareness for our mission. All of the individuals, brands and sponsors involved really amplify our vision - it is like we mobilise a change in a matter of 24 hours.

111SKIN: Speaking of vision, what are the plans for the future?

BFS: I would love to continue to scale the charity which will result in growing our programmes. It would be incredible to see our holistic programme available to thousands more women across the world.

111SKIN: From your work to you, what is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

BFS: First thing every morning, I have to run with my dogs and complete a yoga session before starting my day and in the evening. At night, I have trained myself to reflect on the positive things. It’s a time I take and treasure for myself before turning out for the night.

111SKIN: What is a typical day in life like?

BFS: The best thing about it is that there is no typical day. My day can range between team meetings, IG lives with celebrity Ambassadors, Government conferences, meeting with trustees, pitching partnerships to writing articles – it varies, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

111SKIN: What is your morning routine?

BFS: I start with my cleanser followed by my 111SKIN Meso Infusion Leave on Hydration Mask. I am super minimal with my skincare and makeup and will apply my Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick before starting my day.

111SKIN: What is a signature product you can’t live without?

BFS: The Celestial Black Diamond Cream, it is revolutionary – I apply it and in minutes my skin appears fresh and vibrant.

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND CREAM

VITAMIN C BRIGHTENING BOOSTER

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EYE CREAM

111SKIN: Do you have any on the go essentials?

BFS: My Charlotte Tilbury Lip-gloss and Jo Malone fragrance in ‘Amber and Lavender’.

111SKIN: How do you wind down in the evening?

BFS: I have to wind down with 10-20 minutes of Yoga, I light a candle and the practise helps to release any stress from the body.

111SKIN: Your favourite travel destination?

BFS: This is so difficult to pinpoint but it would have to be Nigeria, I love the country and vibrancy of the women there – so full of life. Closer to home would be West Wittering in Sussex, it’s so peaceful and calming.

111SKIN: Your favourite travel destination?

BFS: This is so difficult to pinpoint but it would have to be Nigeria, I love the country and vibrancy of the women there – so full of life. Closer to home would be West Wittering in Sussex, it’s so peaceful and calming.

111SKIN: What things bring you joy every day?

BFS: My dogs and nature! I have a tree that I stop by on my run and it always brings me a moment of peace.

111SKIN: The best advice you have ever received?

BFS: “Be more and do less” – you can be more effective, happy, focused when you do less and perform at a higher level which results in you creating greater impact.

Shop mask

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SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING ENERGY FACIAL MASK

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CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

ROSE GOLD BRIGHTENING FACIAL TREATMENT MASK

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ROSE GOLD ILLUMINATING EYE MASK

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ANTI BLEMISH BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

ANTI BLEMISH BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

SEASONAL MASTER-MASKING

SEASONAL MASTER-MASKING

An advocate and promoter of women’s equality and empowerment, Brita Fernandez Schmidt is a leading force when challenging the issues women face across the world. As the Executive Director of Women for Women International-UK, Brita is part of a global community which invests in women to create a world that is more equal, peaceful and prosperous. She leads a team which raises millions to help women survivors of war and conflict rebuild their lives.

111SKIN champions and celebrates game changers and innovators in leading industries. Each discussion uncovers the insight and knowledge into their individual approach and within the 111ICONS interview, we share their journey, business and approach to life.

111SKIN: Your role and what you do?

Brita Fernandez Schmidt: At Women for Women International, I am the Executive Director for the UK and European market and the Senior Vice President for Global Partnerships. I have a huge but fulfilling role of raising funds and awareness to support the women within our year-long training programme to rebuild their lives and inspire hope for the future.

111SKIN: A background as to how you grew in your career?

BFS: I grew up in Germany before moving to Venezuela at a young age and it was there that I witnessed unprecedented levels of inequality. This exposure is what drew me to where my path holds me today. Addressing inequality has been my number one goal and especially within the non-profit sector, to directly help women fulfil their potential in life. It’s about speaking to and encouraging a shared humanity that we all deserve and have the rights to.

111SKIN: Has anyone inspired you and supported you as you grew to where you are today?

BFS: So many! Firstly, the many women in the programme that I personally get to know and see shine, the women in the Women for Women International Executive team who I work so closely with on a daily basis to achieve our shared goal and my personal mentor.

111SKIN: Tell us more about her?

BFS: So, Moira Spence is a personal coach who has been guiding me for years. She provides me with a space where I can be honest with myself, face resolutions and more importantly she helps me focus on what I do and the path toward fulfilling my purpose. It is through her coaching that I now coach and mentor others. It is so important when establishing and inspiring a network to come, learn and build together.

111SKIN: What was the best project you have worked on & why?

BFS: What a difficult question! I think it would have to be the money we were able to rally together to help the Yezidi women in Iraq as they were trying to flee ISIS. In 2015, I read the story about a 12-year-old girl who was held as a sex slave for over a year and I could not stop thinking about her. That autumn, we raised nearly £1m and were able to provide a safe and secure space in Iraq so women could heal and recover from the trauma.

I know we said only one project but another that I am extremely proud of is our #SheInspiresMe Car Boot Sale and Virtual Car Boot Sale because of the network and community support that is required for its success. Both events are fashion and beauty extravaganzas which raise an incredible amount of funds and awareness for our mission. All of the individuals, brands and sponsors involved really amplify our vision - it is like we mobilise a change in a matter of 24 hours.

111SKIN: Speaking of vision, what are the plans for the future?

BFS: I would love to continue to scale the charity which will result in growing our programmes. It would be incredible to see our holistic programme available to thousands more women across the world.

111SKIN: From your work to you, what is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

BFS: First thing every morning, I have to run with my dogs and complete a yoga session before starting my day and in the evening. At night, I have trained myself to reflect on the positive things. It’s a time I take and treasure for myself before turning out for the night.

111SKIN: What is a typical day in life like?

BFS: The best thing about it is that there is no typical day. My day can range between team meetings, IG lives with celebrity Ambassadors, Government conferences, meeting with trustees, pitching partnerships to writing articles – it varies, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

111SKIN: What is your morning routine?

BFS: I start with my cleanser followed by my 111SKIN Meso Infusion Leave on Hydration Mask. I am super minimal with my skincare and makeup and will apply my Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick before starting my day.

111SKIN: What is a signature product you can’t live without?

BFS: The Celestial Black Diamond Cream, it is revolutionary – I apply it and in minutes my skin appears fresh and vibrant.

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND CREAM

VITAMIN C BRIGHTENING BOOSTER

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND EYE CREAM

111SKIN: Do you have any on the go essentials?

BFS: My Charlotte Tilbury Lip-gloss and Jo Malone fragrance in ‘Amber and Lavender’.

111SKIN: How do you wind down in the evening?

BFS: I have to wind down with 10-20 minutes of Yoga, I light a candle and the practise helps to release any stress from the body.

111SKIN: Your favourite travel destination?

BFS: This is so difficult to pinpoint but it would have to be Nigeria, I love the country and vibrancy of the women there – so full of life. Closer to home would be West Wittering in Sussex, it’s so peaceful and calming.

111SKIN: Your favourite travel destination?

BFS: This is so difficult to pinpoint but it would have to be Nigeria, I love the country and vibrancy of the women there – so full of life. Closer to home would be West Wittering in Sussex, it’s so peaceful and calming.

111SKIN: What things bring you joy every day?

BFS: My dogs and nature! I have a tree that I stop by on my run and it always brings me a moment of peace.

111SKIN: The best advice you have ever received?

BFS: “Be more and do less” – you can be more effective, happy, focused when you do less and perform at a higher level which results in you creating greater impact.

SHOP MAsKs

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING ENERGY FACIAL MASK

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING ENERGY FACIAL MASK

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING EYE MAS

SUB-ZERO DE-PUFFING EYE MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

CELESTIAL BLACK DIAMOND LIFTING AND FIRMING TREATMENT MASK

ROSE GOLD BRIGHTENING FACIAL TREATMENT MASK

ROSE GOLD ILLUMINATING EYE MASK

ROSE GOLD ILLUMINATING EYE MASK

Y THEOREM BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

Y THEOREM BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

ANTI BLEMISH BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

ANTI BLEMISH BIO CELLULOSE FACIAL MASK

SEASONAL MASTER-MASKING

SEASONAL MASTER-MASKING

If you were to advise a London guide, what would be on your list?

Well, As I grew up in Notting Hill, it will always have my heart and if I was recommending spots in London, a wander around Notting Hill would be high up on my list. From there it would be all the best shopping destinations, the iconic private members club, Annabels, Harrods and Liberty’s for any cute and unique gifts. I would always pop into 111CRYO at Harrods for the Cryo Facial and treatment for the ultimate recharge. Sometimes the city is great, but the beautiful secrets of the English countryside is something that should be experienced.

Your In-Flight Essentials?

I don’t have a routine per say and I am certainly not as thorough as Naomi Campbell but I would apply the Meso Infusion Lip Duo and I would always wipe my phone down with anti-bacterial wipes, in fact I do this every day, the bacteria build up is no good for the skin.

In terms of Industry, where do you see the hair industry going?

Well Instagram has changed so much and has impacted the way we consume and learn within the industry, especially with so many creatives, but I still find that a massive amount of people come to the professionals to share the knowledge on how to carry out or complete a desired look, more than ever there is power behind ‘how-to’ videos.

A very valid point and in terms of 2020?

In terms of what we are to see in 2020, things are going to be super creative and we will see a wider awareness for people doing their own thing and it will be expressive and artistic. People will move away from the overtly glamorous looks and will create looks they can tailor to their everyday. As it’s currently Award Season which is the busiest time of the year leading up to the Met Ball, hairstyles are certainly more elaborate, and everyone loves an up do. I would say the most timeless look has to be the blunt bob, it comes around year on year, but it is effortless and timeless.

Outside of hair, what other industries are you into?

I am hugely into Interiors and I would describe my style as 60s/70s glamour, think elaborate and dramatic but I often fantasise about 80s Dallas and Joan Collins and I have to reign myself in. I also love Baking; it is the ultimate way to relax and I find that it is my meditation and therapy. If I’m in the USA I would bake a lot of cookies as everyone is obsessed with then over here and in the UK, I would bake more traditional styles like a lemon tart or an apple tart – it allows for me to be creative outside of my job.

Finally, the best advice you have ever received?

It would have to be from my grandfather, he would often say to me “it’s not how well you’re doing but how well people think you’re doing”. I haven’t successfully implemented it however you can look to Instagram today and people see our work and are blown away by it, but we can be so hard on ourselves and not appreciate our own work ourselves.

 

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