Jennifer Schuitemaker is the founder of Buddha with Bling, which she calls “a timeless, distinctive line of leather and silk jewelry for the fearless, sophisticated, modern woman.”
We’re talking tassel earrings and chokers that are big and bold.
This is “jewelry with distinction” — and in our Summer Catalogue we’re showcasing Jennifer’s large silk tassel earrings, which were created to inspire and transform.
Designer Name: Jennifer Schuitemaker (pictured above)
Date of Interview: 05/20/16
Age (if you want to give it up): Yes, darling, I have earned it!! – 48 😉
Birthplace: Cincinnati, O-H-I-O. Lets give it up for those Midwest values.
Current town: Miami, FL
Occupation(s): international author, speaker, columnist, wealth coach, host of TV pilot “Revolutionizing the Art of Happiness,” director of The Radiant Essence Production Company, and (are you still with me?) devoted wife and mother of five in a blended household. Owner and designer of Buddha With Bling. A timeless, distinctive line of leather and silk jewelry for the fearless, sophisticated, modern woman.
1. Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a former fashion model and buyer, born in the U.S. and educated abroad. I always had a natural affinity for new thought and ways of thriving. Traveling extensively I was fortunate to be able to study the teachings of both past and present masters. I kept challenging the archaic belief systems that most religious and spiritual teachings are still clinging to, resulting in a revolutionary message of freedom and empowerment.
With a dismal success rate, shouldn’t we be asking more questions?
What is it all based on? Is it even applicable today?
So I asked: “Could the formula for enlightenment/ awakening/ contentment be wrong?”
In the past we have believed that the only way towards spiritual enlightenment is to chant, fast, and pray our way there. Traditional religious/ teacher/ guru formulas teach us to believe we have something to fix, that something was missing. That is why they keep offering solutions to fix this “inherent problem that we were born with.” Yet that is why nothing ever works. You were never broken to begin with and nothing was missing.
“Enlightenment” and “awakening” are “terminal conditions for which there is no outside cure.” In fact, “seeking and searching for outside remedies might even retard the process. It is impossible to become what you already are.”
I am not for the seeker who looks to find himself in yet another formula, seven step plan or new mantra, as these inevitably fail or wear off. To offer a formula aimed at fixing something means we have something broken, something missing. It trains us to believe we are not “there yet.” Which keeps us on a perpetual hamster wheel of outside solutions. Most importantly, it keeps us from seeing what is ALREADY THERE.
In a society in which everyone has to have something wrong with them, the antidote is not drugs, surgery, or a visit to the shrink, but a good dose of awareness. “Stop healing all the problems you don’t have in the first place,” is the constant reminder you will hear throughout my work.
2. Why did you decide on a career in fashion?
I have always seen fashion as an extension of our emotional mental and spiritual lives in 3-D. Fashion allows us to express ourselves like paint on a blank canvas. What we wear each day is like the masterpiece we exhibit each day into the world. Like art, fashion can be a response to what we loathe to what we love and as a barometer of how we feel about life on any given moment.
3. Why did you choose your city as your base? Any tips or suggestions (hotels, restaurants, sites) for people traveling to your part of the world?
Miami is paradise for me. The warm weather for starters is a soothing balm on my soul. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats going out each morning to greet the ocean in your bare feet and feeling the sun on your face. Well, except when you get a call from your cousins who live up north that it is 30 degrees!
4. What’s the funniest or saddest thing that’s happened to you this week?
I watched the film BlackFish and cried for an hour! It was so sad to realize what happens to these amazing, beautiful, and bright mammals. If you have not seen the film, see it. It will change your perspective, and perhaps make you wonder if we still need to have places like zoos and waterparks with captive animals anymore. Or perhaps this will be a thing of the past….
5. What’s your favorite movie? And why?
The Notebook. Knowing that someone loves another person so unconditionally that they would spend the remainder of their lives holding out for 30 more seconds with them, is a beautiful thought indeed.
6. What’s the biggest risk you took in life?
I am proud to say that my life has been one huge risk after the next. I no longer fear risk. I fear a life that is lived too safely. When I say yes to life, life continues to say yes back to me.
7. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be?
I would never go back for anything.
8. Tell us your favorite joke:
I am the worst at jokes. Better to make fun of myself!
9. What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
That I do not go anywhere without bringing food. I hate to be hungry!
10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?
That the mind is not the source. It is only a tool. The Source is what we are always connected to and always will be, even when our minds have stopped thinking.
11. What’s been the worst fashion trend of the past five years? The best?
Worst: neon-colored hairstreaks. Best: clip-in hair extensions.
12. What should customers ask themselves before buying one of your products?
Are they ready to claim their crown and unleash their magnificence into the world?
13. Who are your design idols? Why? Have you ever met them? If so, what happened?
Do not idolize any designers right now – will keep you informed.
14. What colors will be the trendiest later this year and in 2017?
The color of love.
15. Who’s your favorite celebrity? And why?
I do not follow celebrities and do not know many. I follow authors. My favorite authors are Eric Butterworth (Spiritual Economics) and David Hawkins (Power vs. Force). These brilliant authors have managed to interpret the world in a way that reminds us consistently of our magnificence.
16. What’s your strangest phobia or superstition? Did I mention food?
Just don’t have me over if you are not going to feed me.
17. What’s your favorite outfit (currently and all-time)?
18. Where was your best meal, and what was it?
Prime 112 here in Miami. I go there every week for the steak tartar.
19. Last, but not least, is there anything you want to pitch, promote, or discuss?
I have been fortunate in my life to be able to travel the world and immersed myself in many cultures and ways of being. Yet each path seemed to return the same fundamental truth which is: Being yourself truly and authentically has more power to change the world than any other method you seek. Your uniqueness, in every respect, is your gift to the world. Life asks one thing of you, to be the full expression of yourself so that you can leave your unique imprint on all those you encounter. The symphony of life would be dull indeed if we were all the same notes.
Be bold! Be beautiful! Express what you came here to express!
We have been conditioned to believe that success in life is some ticker tape moment or our face on a billboard.
Yet, where we consistently can make the most impact is in our everyday lives with our everyday people we encounter. For every encounter has the potential to inspire or expire the surrounding environment, YOU included.
Never underestimate the power of getting dressed and how this energy can amplify and inspire outwards to affect everything and everyone around you. How it can light up and bring joy to the darkest places. There is nothing better than a distinctively dressed woman who amplifies a room simply by owning her full authentic self.
How you express yourself fully and authentically is your simple gift to the world today. Allow Buddha With Bling jewelry to be the bridge to your transformation.
ARE YOU READY?
All images courtesy of Jennifer Schuitemaker