For our July/August cover, we champion Tania Santos Silva in The Free Spirit.
A businesswoman that knows how to still leave room for the freedom that enhances her creativity, we have admired Silva’s fierce independence and vibrancy for life along with her sharp mind and quick wit. A truly incredible EW woman.
How do you balance your business side and creativity?
On and off, I connect and disconnect. It’s hard but doable to be focused on the business and its daily management and be creative simultaneously. It’s like two sides of the same coin. It’s almost like mastering self-control; it’s a daily effort, sometimes exhausting, but the results are super rewarding.
You have multiple businesses – are you driven by an entrepreneurial mindset, and what is your latest venture?
I do; sometimes I wonder why!!! But this buzz inside me tests me and pushes me to do more and become more. I love to multitask; usually, my “ideas” come from my need to have something, and my last venture was just that. I hate to wear tampons or intimate pads during those monthly “hormonal” days, especially if I’m going to the beach… so after some lengthy research for the right technology I launched MaiSwim. This is not just another leak-proof swimwear because there are a few already, it’s sustainable, has cool, clean designs and we even support the cleaning of the oceans with every order. I’m super proud of the concept and the team. We launched only last month, and of course, it’s made in Portugal.
How do you know when to push forward and when to give yourself space?
I learned this very young as I’m an only child, so I had time alone. Now I adapt the learning to daily situations. I invest a lot in my sanity, from therapy to mindfulness, ice baths, and breathing techniques that help me build the emotional intelligence and insight I need. I love some “me time,” and being completely alone – it’s like food for the soul. This comes when my body talks to me and prepares me for the overwhelming emotions approaching; in those moments, I disconnect. Usually, I’m back on my feet within 24 hours feeling recharged.
What have been the biggest signs you’re on the right track, and how have you learned to follow your gut?
It’s unbelievable how cliché this is, but the gut is always right. I have a very close group of people who trust, invest in, and listen to me. That alone is invaluable and is the biggest sign that I must be doing things right.
You’re able to think outside the box – have you always been able to do this, and how has it served you?
Being able to think outside the box sometimes makes me “the odd one out,” I have to be honest, especially during my teenage years. I’m from a tiny city in Portugal, Coimbra. From a very young age, my closest friends told me: “You’re not a fish of this river” and that stuck with me. I’ve never let one opportunity go and I’m never afraid of leaving my comfort zone; you grow and truly evolve when you do step outside our comfort zone. My creative self still thinks outside the box – I adapt the thinking to the business without getting too emotional.
What does freedom mean to you, and how do you create it for yourself?
What is freedom? The dictionary says it’s the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants. But when my freedom violates others’ freedom, then it’s not freedom anymore. It’s exercising power. Freedom is love; freedom is to breathe, to travel wherever you want with whomever you want. Freedom is to hug and be hugged; freedom is sun and light, moon and darkness. Freedom to me means everything and nothing. I fight daily to adapt my freedom to my familyʼs freedom. That’s one of my biggest challenges.
Where has been the best place you’ve visited globally, and why?
I’ve been to so many places; I’m pretty lucky… but I have to say, Tibet. Landing in Lhasa is out of this world. The smiles I’ve seen there still fill my heart today. I went with my husband, we decided to visit Everest base camp before my pregnancy, and we did it. Some crazy and intense days of no potable water or shower, but reaching base camp at 5500 altitude at 5 am was all worth it. The sky there is different… I love this type of experience that pushes you to your limit. Next one? Summit Kilimanjaro.
Where has been the place that has given you or your business the most growth?
Well, I would say my second home country: Angola. I lived and worked there for almost ten years before moving to Dubai, and I still have a lot of family there. I grew so much in that professional environment, which is extra demanding for a woman, that I can face any professional environment honestly.
This is The Summer Escape Issue – where will you be escaping to this summer?
From Portugal to Porto Cervo in Italy, from Mallorca in Spain to Montreal in Canada. I will enjoy a bit of the other side of the world, take inspiration and insight from these places and breathe in new cultures. I never stop working obviously… we don’t have holidays when we work for ourselves!
July/August’s – The Summer Escape Issue with Tania Santos Silva – Download Now
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