a part of you | Kristen Sutherland
Authentic and inspiring Kristen Sutherland is someone who makes decisions with her heart. After facing challenging health issues in her 20s, she chose a life that felt true to who she is and what she needed. Supported by her husband Scott, the pair completed their family with their dog, Alby - an addition that brings them joy, love and contentment.
We spoke to Kristen about what love means to her, how she's learned to practice self-care and we found out a little more about the meaning behind her NMJ Sonder Bracelet too.
Can you share a bit of background about your life to date and some of the defining moments that led you to where you are?
I have always lived my life in quite an intentional way, always trying to be true to myself and my values even if that was outside the “box”. I am a believer that everything in life happens for a reason, so whenever an opportunity has presented itself and felt right, I have taken it because for me life is all about the organic journey. After some challenging health issues during my mid-teens into my early 20s, I was finally diagnosed with Lymes disease and was eventually treated in Germany (which is an entire other story) but basically, I was able to start living my life again at the age of 25 with a newfound perspective and energy. This was a very defining moment in my life and has led me to live the way that I do now, I aim to live a sustainable, low impact, healthy lifestyle. I run my own race, only aiming to break my own limits and outgrow my past self to live my best life.
You have a beautiful fur baby, Alby, how would you describe your special bond?
Alby is a very beautiful little boy, and we are absolutely obsessed with him! He has been such a great little addition that now makes us the trio we are. My husband Scott is away a lot for work, so Alby and I always keep each other company. We give each other the love and attention we need when it’s just the two of us. The unconditional love (no matter what) that Alby gives is my favourite. He puts a smile on my face and always makes me laugh, I love coming home to be greeted by so much happiness and excitement (with the biggest bum wobble) Alby allows me to really put things into perspective, things I may think are bad or have upset me simply fade away when I see him – he senses if you’re not 100% and always gives extra cuddles and I love that bond I have with him. Our path as a family isn’t set in stone, like anything in life, but at this point in time becoming a mother in the traditional sense isn’t part of my journey, but to me Alby is like my child yes, he is a fur baby, but he completes our little unit. Scott and I have chosen the path that is true to us as individuals and as a couple.
At NMJ, love is what guides so much of our designs and our intricate & dedicated craftmanship. What does love mean for you?
Love is unconditional and selfless. It’s about being each other’s strength when you don’t have your own and always being there as a constant for each other, love is ever changing. When you finally find that one person who you love with every bit of your heart, that’s the moment when you find full purpose and happiness in your life.
We have chosen a life that feels right to us as individuals and that truly aligns with us as a couple, life is fluid, and we are always moving forward on our own journey. To us our little family is Scott, Alby and I and we are very content with the life that we have chosen to live as it feels right for us. Due to Scott’s work, we really treasure the free time that we have with each other, and we like to spend that time with Alby going on adventures and exploring new things.
How do you practice self-love?
This has always been a hard one for me growing up, but with age I have learnt the true importance of self-love. With time and being in a loving and supportive relationship with Scott, I’ve discovered what is truly important to me. Scott has always loved me for who I am, this allowed me to start practicing self-love in a way that feels right to me. My self-love takes form in different ways, for me it may be checking back in with myself, ensuring I’m being true to myself, going on adventures or bush walks with Scott and Alby, but my main go to is the ocean!
At NMJ, we believe jewellery should be a considered purchase and create our pieces so that they can be passed down through generations, telling the stories of family who have worn them before. What story does your Sonder Bracelet hold?
My Sonder Bracelet is very special to me and each time I look at it is a reminder that we are living a life that is true to us as a couple. The single element represents the choice that we have made as one and the journey that is authentically true to us. At some stage I would love to pass this special piece of jewellery down to my beautiful little niece Isla, to signify always being true to herself and what’s in her heart, and so that she knows I am always with her no matter what.
The pieces which tell Kristen’s story ~ The Sonder Bracelet & Golden Wattle Pendant.
Captured by ~ The Noun Collective