Rukaiya Daud makes it easy for us all to create a calm and elevated home environment. Her impeccable eye is evident as you view her beautiful online store Fourth St, where she hand picks fundamental and exceptional pieces for the home. We catch up with Rukaiya to discuss her latest move to Sydney and finding a good balance in life.
What is your current state of mind?
Content, inspired, grounded.
What led you to create Fourth St?
I’ve always loved collecting and hunting for items not readily available or with a story. I got back to home (New Zealand) after living in New York and knew I wanted to start something, even if it was just as a hobby. Something I could chip away at while I learn something new. Having worked in corporate jobs I also needed a creative outlet. It started as that and has organically grown. When I began I knew nothing about freight, retail, margins or ecommerce. There’s been a lot of learning so I’m grateful I started when I did, although underprepared and naive!
What are some simple ways you can elevate a home environment?
Keep it clean. Get rid of friction – this can be mental or in the form of an object. If something annoys you each time you look at it, then let it go. Items that no longer serve us can be gifted and enjoyed by another – the beauty of the cycle/recycle! We are constantly evolving and it’s key to do a shed every now and again.
When purchasing I think it’s important to make considered, not frantic decisions. If you’re unsure of a purchase there’s no harm in letting it sit with you for a while. Channel your own quirks and interests opposed to copy and pasting a look you’ve seen on Instagram. Your home environment is special and should be reflective of you. Do you feel calm with neutrals – channel that. Do you feel more inspired when surrounded by colour or more – channel that. We are all unique and individual and our spaces should be too.
What is your main source of inspiration?
The internet, books, conversations, Instagram, friends and different perspectives. My cup always feels full after a trip to the gallery or around people out of my usual bubble.
What is your favourite part of the home and why?
I’ve recently moved in to my own place in North Bondi. It’s the first time I’ve lived by myself and am loving it! If I had to pick one I would say my bedroom.
What tools form part of your daily rituals?
Coffee in the morning, always. I’ve reignited my love for reading. I’ve been loving retreating into the pages of my book each night and the feeling of accomplishment once it’s done. I have also been enjoying writing in my journal and have recently realised the power of putting pen to paper.
What book has recently influenced you?
A tale of two planets: Stories of climate change and inequality in a divided world. Edited by John Freeman.
The book is a collection of perspectives from some of the best authors around the globe. They each tell a tale through the lens of their own country. The tales are in the form of short stories, reflections and poems. Some more dense and some lighter. I found the range of perspectives, voices and global world view incredibly powerful. It’s a poignant reminder that climate change will not affect us all equally. The most vulnerable societies that have contributed the least to rising temperatures will be impacted the most, if not already. A reminder of the collective duty we all have in the world to do what we can to mitigate these effects.
What are some personal strategies you use to bring yourself back to a state of happiness?
I do think the odd dip of feeling low is somewhat normal and part of life, as long as they don’t last too long. I find challenges or feeling out of balance reminds me to dig deep and are a reminder to stay on top of my wellbeing and routines. It is an active process. I find I need a good balance in life. Too much socialising and I need alone time / too much alone time and I need a good chat. I think being able to recognise what is depleting you is a start. What is making you feel depleted and what can you do with what you have to change that?
What is a favourite meal to enjoy with friends?
Unfussy and home cooked.
If you had no constraints what would you do?
What excites you most about the future?
The constantly changing landscape and all the innovation that will take place. The next generation of young activists.
What words of advice would you offer to your younger self?
Be yourself, don’t stop learning, trust the process.
Rukaiya wears the Sabi Robe in Light Blue