Who’s Naima Cinosanda?
My full name is Naima Cinosanda Sandele, I am Angolan and have lived in the Netherlands since 2001. I’m very passionate about style / fashion and grades, that’s why I launched my blog in 2016 right after my graduation. I am also a mother of 3 children, an 11 year old girl and two boys of 7 and 5 years old. I believe in God and I am a dreamer. I believe that it is our dreams that give meaning to our lives. Whether they are small or big. From them comes the energy that feeds us every day. That is why I like to be surrounded by optimistic people. I also like writing, reading, cinema (mainly movies based on true stories, novels and comedies) and I like listening to music.
How old were you when you came to the Netherlands?
I came to Holland when I was 16 years old.
Tell us about your first years in the Netherlands?
I like to share my first years in the Netherlands in two phases: curiosity and adaptation.
Before I came to the Netherlands I had lived nowhere else than in Angola. I was inundated with curiosity about this new world. Angola and the Netherlands are two totally different realities. For example in Angola you have two seasons, the summer that lasts 9 months and the “cacimbo” winter that lasts 3 months. The Netherlands on the other hand has 4 seasons. I came to the Netherlands in January, in the middle of winter. I remember it snowed a lot. I didn’t like the cold but I loved the snow so much! Shortly after that a beautiful spring started, followed by a summer that reminded me of Angola. This period was also followed by a party period, the carnival in February, Queen’s Day and then the tropical carnival in July. It was fun and I had the feeling that I had a long holiday.
This was followed by the adaptation phase, which was also the most difficult and important phase. Suddenly it seemed like the holiday was over and it was time to return to real life. It started with missing my family, (I was in Holland alone with my youngest sister of 7 years old), loneliness, fear of the unknown, cultural differences and so on. I remember crying a lot at this stage as well. But it was also the phase in which I realized that my life here was actually a great opportunity that many people in my situation didn’t have. That’s when I decided to take this opportunity and make the most of it. I stopped crying. I adapted and I started to have a good time in the Netherlands. I still miss Angola very much, but I am happy in the Netherlands.
What was your main motivation to become a content creator?
When I opened my Instagram in 2015, I realized I could inspire people with what I shared. Not only because of the outfits I shared, but especially because of the message I shared in combination with the outfits. I was super happy and surprised with the positive feedback I got from my followers. I love writing, expressing my ideas and emotions behind my style gives me a lot of satisfaction. The ability to share that with the world and at the same time inspire others was my biggest motivation to become a content creator.
Who is your great inspiration?
My parents. My dad, because he taught me the most important lessons of my life. He taught me to be ambitious, to dream and to believe in my dreams, no matter what the circumstances. My father was also very stylish and confident. As a child, I always thought he was very cool. Because of him, I later understood that style is not about trends, but about the reflection of our personality in our clothing choices. Although I didn’t know my mother (she died when I was a baby), I always admire her pictures. She had a sense of fashion and she had a lot of style. She made her own clothes. I dreamed of looking like her when I grew up. My dreamy soul and my love for vintage comes from her. Because of my mother I appreciate life much more and everyone who belongs to my life. I have become a more thankful person and I take nothing for granted.
What distinguishes you from other content creators?
I believe there is always a story behind every style. In my content I tell the story behind my style. And I believe that every person has a unique story.
How do you find balance between work and private life?
It’s not always easy. Especially because besides Angodiva I also have a job as a Financial Assistant. I have created a daily structure that helps me keep the balance. For example, I wake up every day at 5:15. I always take 45 minutes to prepare myself first. At 6:00 I prepare my children’s breakfast. Then I wake them up 1 by 1. Usually around 7:30 everyone finishes eating and I let them watch TV for another 15 minutes. At 8:00 we are out the door. After work I really try to be there for them and do things with them. Often we have in-depth conversations about what they did that day at the school and at the BSO and we do nice things together. At 8:00 I put them to bed. After that I clean the kitchen and then it is “me time”. Usually I write or read a book or watch a movie.
My work as a content creator is actually a combination of hobby and work. I try to involve my children as much as possible. For example, if I have a photo shoot in another city, I try to make it a weekend away from it when I can. So that I am away from them as much as possible and we can build beautiful memories together. Whenever necessary and it suits her, my sister takes care of her regularly.
It doesn’t always run smoothly, you know. Sometimes the house is a bit messier than normal and sometimes we are just a bit late for swimming lessons or at the church, haha.
If you could share one personal life lesson, which would it be?
Start where you are with what you have, do what you can and everything will take its place (Eric Thomas). I try to apply this as often as possible. Actually, I wouldn’t be giving this interview if I hadn’t applied it.
What dreams do you still want to realize?
I have several dreams to realize, but first I want to take my blog to the next level: grow more, create more partnerships, etcetera. And then I want to start my own clothing brand and write a book.
What’s your favorite Halsduk item?
Hasduk has grown so much in the past year that it’s hard to choose. So many new beautiful items have been added. Kimo Denim Luxe long DB and the Kimono Jacket Marni are great and super stylish. But I have to say that the Halsduk Fåglar Kimono has captured my heart. It is beautiful, unique, elegant, timeless and comfortable. I love that at Halsduk, quality, durability and exclusivity always come first. As a blogger, it is an honour to represent such a unique brand.
How do you prefer to combine your Halsduk?
The Halsduk Fåglar Kimo is actually a very versatile garment. I prefer to wear it as a dress or combined with white trousers and blouse. And heels of course (fun). But combined with jeans, boots and a simple top you can also create a nice casual-chic outfit.