BLACK MINIMALISTS: PASTAVEIA + SEAN
Also known as the Eco-Conscious Minimalists, meet my favorite minimalist couple, Sean and Pastaveia. I found them, where I've found many black minimalists, on YouTube. They have an informative and fun channel together and Pastaveia also vlogs about natural, eco-conscious beauty and wellness on her personal channel, Pastaveia Monique. Keep reading to learn more about their journey to simple living.
When and why did you start your minimalist journey?
Subconsciously we started our minimalist journey when we sold our home in Idaho and moved to California in the fall of 2008 - we were a dual military couple in the Air Force.
We didn’t realize there was a name for the concept of getting rid of things that had been “taking up space”, outside of decluttering and we were not very active on online at that time.
When packing up the house, we noticed boxes that had never been opened from we moved back to the states from the United Kingdom, in more than one closet and there were items with tags on them. In addition, the long list of kitchen gadgets that seemed to never end and it didn’t help that I was a huge Pampered Chef junkie at the time - you get the picture?
However when we moved to San Francisco to LA back to the Bay Area between 2011 and 2012, is when we had a huge wake up call. Moving will do that to anyone, I think. The living space(s) were smaller than our house and there was no time to “accumulate stuff”, because there was literally no room.
Once we sold, gave away, donated and threw away items we noticed we didn’t really need to replace them and only kept things that brought value and had with multiple uses, plus it makes moving so easier.
What lessons have you learned since going minimalist?
A major lesson is that we have more time to spend with each other and friends. We’re not spending the weekend “managing” our stuff ( i.e. cleaning, sorting, organizing on repeat). With that new found time, we spend most of it outdoors, especially since we live a block away from the beach. We were married on a beach and being close to water is very sentimental and calming for us both.
We have more time to connect and create and our blog and youtube channel has been a direct result from that creativity.
What are you goals in living simply?
As we talk about on our blog, we want to be able to show others that you don’t need any special tools or rituals to live simply - it’s really just a choice. We truly believe that regardless of the situation, the decision or choice you make, not ya’ family but you as an individual, will help you live a simple life. In addition we want to be able to teach our children to not fall suit to the overconsumption habits of society and what better way to do than to lead by example. It really is a journey for us because our little tiny humans aren’t even here, yet.
Has minimalism impacted other areas of your life?
Minimalism has impacted the way we consume in general — our food, clothing, healthcare, you name it. We’re more mindful of the “who/what/when/where” and how the product was made and the overall journey of the person you made it. We ask questions such as: Is the item fair trade? Organic? Ethically sourced? Sustainably made? Etc. It’s more than a fad, as some people would think, its a lifestyle and new way of living.
What if any surprises or challenges have you encountered?
The biggest surprise was and is, being perceived as the “Eco-police” by friends and family. We’re not preachy people and don’t hold judgements. We understand that everyone needs to grow and adapt at their own pace. However we’ve had friends and family apologize for not eating organic if they invite us over for a meal. We let them know we aren’t here to judge but enjoy their company and friendship - we’ve learned it has more to do with the story they are telling themselves and nothing to do with us personally.
What mindset changes have you experienced?
Less truly is more. We’ve found that our home feels larger because its not cluttered with stuff. It has given a us room to be creative and share with others via our YouTube, Blog and maybe even a podcast - we’re trying to figure out all the logistics but we’ll keep you posted.
What advice do you have for someone interested in simplifying her life?
This may sound strange but I would suggest reading a good self help book, particularly about awareness. Once you enter the realm of awareness - its no going back. You can not unlearn the connection once introduced - suppress it - yes, unlearn - no.
There are so many out there but find one that speaks to you. I personally am a fan of anything by the astute, Brene Brown and as a current graduate student in Clinical Social Work, I have a great admiration for the work she’s doing in the world. The information that she’s sharing can really be used to any part of your life, to include a minimalism journey, change in food and lifestyle overall.
Where can we learn more about you?
Anything you would like to add?
Yes, we wanted to publicly thank you, Yolanda, for showing so much love on the subjects and showcasing all the beautiful black minimalists on the inter-webs.
Learn more about Black Minimalists.