A Personal Chat with Rituals' Creative Director Dagmar Brusse

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Rituals want to help you transform everyday routines into more meaningful moments. With products that inspire you to slow down and find happiness the smallest of things, we’re spreading this important message around the globe. Meet Dagmar Brusse, our creative director, who shares why this philosophy is so important, how she finds her inspiration, and of course, her personal daily rituals. 

 

Rituals Cosmetics stands for slowing down. Can you tell us how this message came about and the inspiration behind it?


This is and has been the brand’s core philosophy since it was launched 18 years ago. Our founder and CEO Raymond Cloosterman traveled the world in search of inspiration for new and exciting things.  When he visited Asia, he experienced that in the East the pace of life feels slower, less hectic, more at peace. He discovered that it was actually ancient wisdom that inspired him to focus his new endeavor exactly there. 


In many Asian cultures people practice daily rituals, be they related to religion or something else. They take the time to be in that moment to be aware and pay attention. This realization formed the foundation of the Rituals’ philosophy.  And that’s how Raymond’s mission to change everyday routines into more meaningful moments came to be. Being aware of your actions and routines, however mundane or insignificant they might seem, and really enjoying it, that is how you will eventually find happiness in the smallest of things. And that is basically the ultimate art of slowing down.

 

Being aware of your actions and routines, however mundane or insignificant they might seem, and really enjoying it, that is how you will eventually find happiness in the smallest of things. And that is basically the ultimate art of slowing down.


We’d like to know more about your creative process. What inspires you? How do you
develop an idea and turn it into a full-fledged concept?


People ask me this all the time and I’m afraid I don’t have a clear-cut answer to that. For me, creation is not a conscious act, but rather something I need to do, a necessity of sorts for my well-being. Whenever I create I feel alive, I feel energized, I feel happy. So where do I find inspiration? Life in itself is my biggest inspiration; the people I meet, the places I visit, the books I read, movies I see, art, the conversations I have with friends or strangers. You name it and it can unfold a million ideas. Creativity is all around us, you just have to find your passion, tap into that and it will all start flowing. That’s how it works for me anyway.

In my job it always starts with a story, something that resonates with me or which I feel might interest or benefit other people as well. It all begins with a concept of the why, the actual ritual, and the how. To me it is important to add some benefits for the soul as well, if possible. A wisdom or tradition that makes life more meaningful, but which is easy to adopt in modern life. When the concept phase is concluded, the visual conception starts: how are we going to communicate and translate this visually to our audience? 

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Behind the scenes of the Oriental Essences shoot in India.

The location, the clothing, the models, the activation ideas. And of course, it is very important that it’s iconic in a sense that it will be recognized as Rituals, read like Rituals and is fully deserving of our beautiful brand. I work with an amazing team of passionate creatives who not only develop all our creative assets over multiple disciplines on and off line, but who are also the guardians of the brand identity. That’s such a cool experience.


Then in the final stage of creation we embark on the execution: the shoots, the videos, the copywriting of everything, the add-ons. And that is ideally also the moment when it all comes beautifully together. That moment when concept and execution are exactly aligned, and we are all happy is extremely fulfilling. I have the best job in the world, if you ask me.


Unlike most cosmetics companies, Rituals has a definite spiritual side. Why is this so relevant?


To me, spirituality can be seen as the essence of humanity; it is life at its very core. Sadly, most of us in the modern western world have gotten out of touch with it, yet I believe spirituality is essential to your emotional and physical well-being. I get inspired by the philosophies of Osho, Sadghuru, Alan Watts, Rumi and Kahlil Gibran because their words resonate with my own search for more meaning and purpose. I try to adapt aspects of their wisdoms into my own life.

Rituals has always promoted the idea that you need to slow down, to find that moment of reflection where you can align body, mind and soul. Where you can find out what makes your soul, your heart, happy. Because finding this, is what brings you fulfilment.

We aim to promote more awareness of this by inspiring a lifestyle with luxury products that help you find a moment to reconnect with what your soul and heart need at their core. Call it spirituality if you like; I think it is living with a little more attention.

 

To me, spirituality can be seen as the essence of humanity; it is life at its very core. Sadly, most of us in the modern western world have gotten out of touch with it, yet I believe spirituality is essential to your emotional and physical well-being.


As Creative Director, how do you slow down and “live the brand?”


If I feel passionate about something, I will pour my heart and soul into it. I am a creator. I love to create things whether this is painting furniture, working in my garden, adding to the interior of my home, creating visual art or writing. I love my job, so that can offer challenges on a personal front. It can consume me completely, so I need to be aware of that and unplug from work and make myself available completely for my family. Not just when the girls need me, but at any time.

To slow down, I do various things. I sort of meditate during my hour drive home after work, with our guided meditation in the Rituals app. Even if I only do it for 5 minutes, I feel recharged. And I always play music. It helps me empty my mind and make room for calm. I also love working in the garden—the solitude, my hands in the soil, the scent and sounds of nature. But I admit, I lack the time to do it often and I’m still struggling to find the perfect balance. I am afraid that will be a life-long journey.

And what are your daily rituals?


I start my mornings with a cappuccino, which I often take outside into the garden. This helps me stay in relaxation mode: no noises, only silence. Then I take a shower and I take my time. I need that to awaken my senses because I’m more of a night owl than a morning person. And I love perfume. I always wear it and never leave home without it.

At home, I love lighting candles; they soothe me. You’ll find a gazillion candles in and outside of our home. The scent, the flickering light, the atmosphere they create, it just feels so very good. So, it’s a good thing I work for Rituals…haha.