aficionada

Spanish noun

a woman who is very knowledgeable about an activity, subject, or pastime. a connoisseur, expert, specialist, cognoscente, an enthusiast.


Elisa Sednaoui | Social Entrepreneur

The Rounded Ring Collar and Disco Box Chain Necklaces. All in available to shop in gallery below.

 

Where are you from?
Growing up, I lived in three countries, Egypt, Italy, and France. A French/Italian mother and a French/Egyptian father.

How often do you go back to visit Egypt/Italy/France?
Before COVID, I would travel back at least three times a year to each country.

How many languages do you speak?
Four fluently, Italian, French, English, and Spanish. I also speak Arabic and Portuguese enough to survive.

What do you do?
Good question. An ever evolving one. I think the closest to what I feel today is social entrepreneur. I also work as a model, and a few more things.

 

Elisa's husband, Alexander Dellal, is the architect and interior designer of their home. The guitars (which he plays) are part of his personal collection. 

 

Where do you live now and what do you love most about it?
West Los Angeles. What I probably love most of all is the bright light and being able to see the horizon. Being close to the water. I love the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of this town. There is something unique and free about the attitude with which Californians walk through life. It’s also one of the few places where I will receive a message about how beautiful the moon is today, and we should go camping in a few weeks! 

 

The Toggle Chain II, Disco Box Chain, and Ball Chain Necklaces.  All in available to shop in gallery below.

 

Lifegoals?
Reaching the furthest level of spiritual and divine connection that I am able to. Mastering self-control, dismantling my fears, and healing my wounds. Wisdom, faith, hope and love. Supporting my family, loved ones, and all those I am given the chance, in their well-being and self-realization.

“When you have the impulse to struggle, use that as an immediate signal to let go. Open a space for a new answer to unfold on its own. Sat Chit Ananda."- Deepak Chopra

What are your rules to live by?
Daily mantras learned from Deepak Chopra:

"Life happens for you not to you. As I let go of my need to arrange my life, the universe brings abundant good to me.” 

 

 

Favorite pastimes?
Reading has to be my number one. I have memories from the time of being eight years old enjoying nothing more than days spent entirely laying down and consuming books. A favorite is La Parola Magica by Paolo Borzachiello, sadly not translated yet. He says, “Interpreting the thoughts of others and getting strange ideas is one of the most dangerous sports in the world, I decide to investigate." And "When in doubt, ask!" Also, I’m falling in love with gardening even though I really need to learn everything from scratch.

What inspires you?
I look and find inspiration in many different places. The biggest source of inspiration is rest and doing things that have nothing to do directly with my work! That’s when the best ideas always emerge. Trying to be open and alert to the world, to the different opportunities laid out in all the small and big moments of our days. Listening to those who share their ideas and asking questions, most particularly if their perspective is different from mine. Reading different forms of media from various parts of the world.

 

The boy's artwork. Elisa found these Picasso pillows at a museum exhibition in London. 

 

Please tell me about your foundation and Funtasia.
Funtasia Enterprise is a B Corporation delivering unique experiential, multidisciplinary, socio-emotional, educational content for youth and adults, in both physical and online safe learning environments. Funtasia’s creative approach and hands-on learning experiences are designed to drive self-expression and self-confidence, life-skills and inclusivity. Funtasia’s products can be accessed by individual consumers, such as parents who purchase access to the classes for their children, and/or private educational establishments around the world, which hire Funtasia to train their teachers and run Funtasia youth programs. Through its Non-Profit arm, Funtasia grants underserved communities around the world access to the Funtasia Educational Approach, specifically the programs focused on resilience, agency, creative solution-oriented mindset, and positive and effective communication. Its capacity building model and ability to implement content in diverse communities have transformed the lives of over seven thousand individuals in Egypt, Italy, and Mexico. Stay tuned to Funtasia's instagram listed below, for the new website coming soon.

How did you go from modeling to building your organization?
Modeling was always a means to an end, not an end goal. I have always been on the outlook of my real mission, where I would find a driving passion and a sense of broader harmony. Since a young age I felt strongly that it was going to be something that would unite culture and development. Seven years ago, I decided to take the first steps to make the dream a reality. I chose to start a new organization after working a bit with others, as I wanted Funtasia to have as much freedom as possible in experimenting with a new progressive model of doing education, social development, and business.

What do you like most about your work? Where do you want to take it?
Working with different communities around the world. Tuning in, listening and learning from all the different people we get to work with. From municipalities in Mexico and Italy, to brands and foundations, as we build together beautiful projects with a transformative impact in the lives of its beneficiaries. This work helps decrease bullying and drop out cases, as well as the use of physical and verbal violence. The Funtasia Educational Approach has been reported to enhance groups cohesion and students’ engagement in school. There is something very powerful in witnessing a young person or an educator, feel like they have acquired new knowledge and skills, when they learn more about empathy or how to give, or receive, a constructive feedback for example. These are like break-through moments in our lives. Since we work on socio-emotional education, we often experience powerful instants of healing and connection.

 

The Toggle Chain Anklet and Turtle Conservancy Medallion. All in available to shop in gallery below.

 
What’s up next for you? 
Continuing to develop and implement always more content. This weekend we are running a Funtasia digital workshop where my son and I will also participate.

When are you the happiest?
When I am with my beloved. My husband, children, friends, family. When we laugh together. When I manage to stick to my health and spiritual routine, eating well, exercising, and having quiet time for reflection and prayer. When I am well rested.

"Whom do I have in heaven but you?"-Psalm 73 :23

What are your favorite places that you have travelled to and where do you want to go next?
Oh travel has become such a strange thought in the recent times hasn’t it! Of course I will always say Egypt as my number one, Luxor, Siwa, Aswan, the Red Sea, Cairo. What I am looking forward to in the future in a long overdue adventure in Bhutan… a challenging trip to plan with these young kids.

Biggest luxury?
Time and the sight and the sounds of nature. 

What would surprise people to know about you?
I’m more of an introvert than appearances would lead you to think. I am an only child who loves to be alone, contemplating and dreaming. Most often when my face looks serious it’s because I’m lost in thoughts. It was a funny day when during a facilitators training in Luxor, Egypt I tried to explain to the team the concept of “Resting Bitch Face.” Both of my countries Egypt and France, seem to have in common a cultural DNA habit where our faces or tone can seem to express a gravity that is most often not actually corresponding to our thinking…. Hahahahaha!!!

 

Elisa and her mother, Anna Morra Sednaoui, photographed by Alvaro Beamud Cortes for the cover of Vogue Arabia. 

 

Female hero and why?
Every mother.

How old are your boys?
Jack is seven and Samo is three.

Please tell me about your dogs.
Wolfgang (Dobermann) and Nina (a Petit Brabancon, from the Griffon breed ) are three years old. We laugh saying they are like check in and carry-on luggage because of their similar color and opposite size. Most recently we adopted Ollie, a six month old Pomeranian who has come to spice up the situation.

 

Thin Bar Bracelet and Naked Cuffs Slim. All in available to shop in gallery below.

 

How do you unwind?
I incorporate prayer in different moments of my day, which alternates in forms. Sometimes it’s more meditative, breathing exercises, sometimes, I combine yoga, or I use crystals particularly on the chakras. I do like an Epsom Salt bath as well, and indeed listening to music and dancing. Sometimes it’s just a moment to say Thank you God for guiding every moment of my day. Thank you because everything, particularly the challenges, are an opportunity to learn and grow.
I also learned a Jin shin Jyutsu technique of holding each of my fingers whilst breathing for a number of seconds. Apparently, it helps regulate all of the organs of the whole body, because we have threads in our hands that connect with all of the organs. I do personally feel an instant effect.

"What the caterpillar calls the end, the master calls the butterfly."-Richard Bach

 

Do you unplug from devices? 
I should do it more. But yes, I try. Evenings, I’ll purposely put the phone away, or during holidays, sometimes I delete the WhatsApp or Instagram app from the phone. It always feels absolutely amazing. I put the phone in airplane mode after I get in bed, so in the morning I don’t see as first thing messages when I pick up the phone.

Beauty routine/skincare regime?
I alternate three cleansers. Ultimate Cleanse by Sarah Chapman, and Coconut Cucumber Facial Cleanser (I am obsessed with the cucumber smell) by Alchemie Spa in Santa Monica. Sometimes I don’t use it in the morning as the skin should still be quite clean from the cleanse the night before, so that my skin can rest and produce its natural balancing sebum and not get too dry. If I wore make up and had a full day, its double cleanse. Every few weeks I use the Enzyme Cleanser and the Facial Scrub by Barbara Sturm. Her Hyaluronic Serum is also exceptional. I also alternate creams as I think it’s better for the skin not to get too used to the same. Dynamic Defense and Comfort Cream by Sarah Chapman, ISun Soothing Relief Balm, a face moisturizer and a mask all in one jar.  

 

 The L'Aventura III in black Napa sits on Elisa's desk. Available to shop in gallery below.

 

Bold or delicate jewelry?
Bold yet minimalistic

What KC accessories do you like to wear during day/night?
For daytime, the L’Aventura IIII in black Napa, the Hair Pin and the Thick Rounded Earrings Small. At night, I love layering the Toggle Chain II, the Ball Chain and the Disco Box Chain Necklaces.

Which pieces from the new collection do you want the most?
The Anklet, the Toggle Chain II Bracelet, and the Thin Cable Chain Bracelet.

What do you like best about KC bags or jewelry?
They are timeless, elegant staples for our lives and wardrobes that go with everything.

 

All photos by Kendall Conrad using an iPhone 11+

elisasednaoui.org
@elisasednaoui
@funtasiaeducation   

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