A Day with Rachel Ritfeld
Today Actress, Model, Writer and mum to Rosalia, Rachel Ritfeld tells us how she juggles it all.
I set my alarm for… 6.30am, I used to have terrible insomnia so now that I am able to sleep better I cherish it. Alarm time also depends on what time I have to be on set (at times as early as 6.30, in which case I’m awake much earlier). Every day is different as a model, bookings can vary greatly but the majority of photoshoots start at 9am these days in which case I would wake up at 6.30
I actually get up at… 7am at the latest.
My morning ritual(s) is/ are… Not very exciting.
I have friends, family and clients all over the world in different time zones so I often have a few messages waiting for me by the time I wake up. I like to respond to as much as possible at this time because from 9am more emails and calls start coming in so this is the best way for me to stay on top of work and not neglect my loved ones.
Organisation and preparation are important to me.
Around 7.10 my focus is directed to Rosalia, I like to wake her up with loads of kisses and cuddles and then I tell her a joke while she’s sleeping. I love it when the first thing she does when she wakes up is smile.
What do you do next? At this point it becomes a military operation that requires minute to minute precision otherwise we are late for breakfast which we have to start eating at ideally 7.30am at the latest to ensure we are leaving on time for the school run. So it’s teeth, shower, make up, hair, clothes and make sure Rosie remembered all of it too.
To wake my kid up I… Stroke her face and cuddle her. And then I say “I love your nose” and I kiss her nose, “I love your cheeks” and I kiss her cheeks, “I love your eyes” and I kiss her eyes… and I carry on until she responds somehow and then I say something funny if she still hasn’t opened her eyes. Works every time and it feels nice to start the day with love.
For breakfast I have… Avocado on toast with the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea with almond milk and honey.
My go to outfit is… A bright summer dress in summer and when it’s not summery: skinny jeans with a colourful blouse.
I chose my career because… I was scouted for modelling at the age of 15 in Brussels when I lived there with my mom. I fell into modelling that way and I really enjoyed it. I certainly enjoy it more as I’m getting older because the emphasis is a lot less on size and more on natural beauty which I believe sends out a much more positive message to young women.
My writing career started with a blog I started a few years ago called “Once Upon A Sexy Time” which I started after my divorce, covering life as a newly single mom. It was a very successful blog but a year into it I had a reader who was stalking me and I found that quite hard to deal with, so I wrote less and less about my personal life as a result of that and focussed on modelling instead.
I have always enjoyed travelling especially with my daughter and eventually magazines and newspapers starting noticing us and my hashtag #lifeisRosie and asked me to write a column. I had a column in Suriname in a national paper and I currently write a monthly column called “one mum and her daughter” for The Voice newspaper, in November I will start a column as a travel expert for Socanews and I am a luxury lifestyle correspondent for The Hype Magazine USA.
Describe your typical work day… When I get to set, after the school run, I go around and introduce myself to everyone and then I have a wardrobe fitting to enable the Stylist and Client to figure out which outfits work best, then we start hair and make up. Usually while they are doing hair I’m communicating with my Agents via email to arrange the schedule for the upcoming days. Once I’m ready, we go to the set. I shoot until we have the image the client is happy with and then we move on to a different “look”.
It tends to take a while to change the set and lighting around for the next look. So I take that time to call my daughter’s nanny, make sure everything is ok and she knows the schedule for after school activities and I let her know what I would like her to do before I get home.
For lunch I… Usually have a salad or whatever catering there is at the shoot. If I’m at home during lunch time it’s my favourite extra crunchy peanut butter on toast. Mmmmm…
My biggest career related achievement is… The awards that I have won over the years, I guess. This is hard to answer because a great achievement in my eyes is continuing to work in a business where everyone had warned me for years that as a model, I have a short shelf-life. I am still going from strength to strength; that is a great achievement and good for my confidence and self esteem. Now, I have expanded my entertainment career into writing. Next phase is acting, with a film I starred in doing the festival round in the coming year and a TV show I will be presenting in the coming year too. The achievement is in the focus, perseverance and creativity that I find inside of me which has the ability to inspire not only my daughter but also the ladies I mentor.
The success and life I live and love is over a decade in the making with planning and clear direction to follow my passion even when almost everyone tried to talk me out of it. I was my own mentor and beacon of light. That is my greatest lesson: that self-belief and perseverance are all that matters.
I dread work when… I never dread work because even on days when I’m working with people who could be nicer or the job could be better, I’m grateful to be able to work in a field I love, where I get to be my own boss, because many people don’t get that luxury. Working and earning money enables me to do the things myself and my daughter love to do. So I’m always grateful.
If I could exchange my career for any career in the world it would be… I would love to one day own a family-friendly travel agency that focussed on tailor made tours and sustainable travel, which doesn’t charge unfairly for package holidays and tours which only include one adult and one child. I’m very passionate about making the experience of luxury travel more accessible to everyone.
Traveling has been the greatest joy that I share with my daughter so it is exciting for me to be able to inspire that in other families through my writing. And perhaps one day be directly responsible for bringing their holiday dream to life, would be very rewarding. So it wouldn’t be so much exchanging one career for another, but I see this more as a progression from what I already do.
At the end of the work day I love to get home and start cooking while Rosie tells me about her day. I am a keen gardener so I love checking to see if anything is ready to be harvested in the garden like tomatoes, fruit and some vegetables.
The first thing I do when I get home is… Get all my ingredients ready for dinner and change out of my clothes into “home clothes” for cooking. After cooking and before dinner I take all my make up off (it’s a lengthy process of triple cleansing) and shower. I LOVE my showers, it’s almost like a ritual process. I talk to my body while I do it, I thank every part of me for carrying me through the day and say that I love them. In fashion every insecurity is highlighted and it is easy to take it to heart and become self-conscious, so it’s good to keep it all in perspective and be grateful for everything you have to be grateful for and find ways to feel beautiful within yourself.
My go to dinner… Is oven baked salmon with carrots, rice and broccoli or spinach with a side of plantain. I love cooking and picking up spices from my travels. Rosalia and I love our food. Salmon is our favourite and often we have 2 or 3 different types vegetables for dinner too but as long as there is plantain on our plate, we are happy.
I unwind with… Cuddles. Usually after dinner I start to think of what work I need to do before bed. But my cut off point for work, unless I’m writing an article, is 8pm when it’s Rosie’s bedtime work time is also over. So while she is entertaining herself after dinner for an hour I will finish up the last few messages or emails and get my head around what needs to get done for the next day and get everything ready that I need to make my work day a productive one. I know it doesn’t sound like much unwinding but for me, feeling organised and prepared is relaxing. I can’t relax if I have tonnes to do so I like to be as efficient as I can during the hours I set as work hours so that when we are home together I can pay attention to home life which is important to me.
Before I go to bed I pray with my daughter and we talk about everything we are grateful for in our life. This is this best time of day because she likes to open up at this time and ask me loads of philosophical questions about life. And after that the kisses and cuddles come. It’s magical.
Since she was born when people would ask me “how are you?” I would answer “I’m good, life is Rosie”
With her name being Rosalia, it always made me smile and it’s become my tag line in all my business ventures. It makes me happy because when I can answer something with “life is Rosie” I know I’m at my most honest and purposeful.
My website will get revamped soon but it is www.rachelritfeld.com
Use hashtag #rachelritfeld for my modeling, #rachelandrosalia for our adventures together and #lifeisrosie for my travel writing.