When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Gabriela Hearst is a luxury ready-to-wear and accessories designer from Uruguay. After spending more than a decade designing in New York, Gabriela honored her family’s heritage through the launch of her eponymous label in Fall 2015. Today, her brand tells a story of the places she loves that made her who she is, combining inspiration from both Uruguay and New York.

In her Thrive Questionnaire, she opens up about manifesting ideas, prioritizing her time, and dealing with disappointments.

TG: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed? 

GH: Go to the bathroom, and then get back into bed. I’m always up by 7 a.m., but I don’t look at my phone during the first hour of the day.

TG: What gives you energy?

GH: Exciting ideas, but even more, manifesting them.

TG: What daily habit or practice helps you thrive? 

GH: Daily meditation, exercise (recently for health reasons), and reading.

TG: Name a book that changed your life. 

GH: So many, this question is unfair. But anything from Joseph Campbell or Borges has marked me. 

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? 

GH: I hate my smartphone! No, he doesn’t sleep with me. He is locked in a drawer in my closet. But I am trying to activate a vintage Nokia I bought on eBay.

TG: How do you deal with email? 

GH: I go through my inbox and flag what needs responses.

TG: How do you prioritize when you have an overwhelming amount to do? 

GH: I write to-do lists in a notebook. I prioritize what needs to be done in writing, and then scratch it out once it’s completed. It’s the ultimate pleasure.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it? 

GH: Call someone I love or someone that makes me laugh.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why? 

GH: I am currently in a state that I can see how the burnout is around the corner. But I am determined not to hit the iceberg.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it? 

GH: The last time I failed was related to a hire that I did that wasn’t a good fit. But in general, failures are part of growing for me. My quota is quite full, but if I do, I try to resolve it quickly.

TG: What advice would you give your younger self? 

GH: Take care of yourself better. You are going to need this body for a long time. Use sunscreen. And your mom is right.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace. 

GH: “To move freely you must be deeply rooted.”

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  • Born in Uruguay, Gabriela Hearst grew up on her family’s ranch surrounded by horses, cattle and sheep. Gabriela attended the British School in Montevideo and studied Communications at the O.R.T. University of Uruguay. After more than a decade spent in design in New York, Gabriela honored her family’s heritage through the launch of her eponymous label in Fall 2015, as well as taking over the operations of her father’s ranch in Uruguay. Gabriela wanted to create a brand that reflects a slower pace and process: where things are made with care and detail, where tradition is more important than trend, where there is a purpose to every piece.

    Gabriela’s commitment is to make a strong and modern collection without compromising her ethics and key values, taking into consideration where materials come from and who is making them: luxury with a conscience or in other words, “honest luxury”. Each garment is an item into which Gabriela can pour her desire — made with impeccable construction and uncompromising, noble materials. Together, they tell a story of the places she loves that made her who she is: Uruguay and New York.

    Combining the utilitarian and the beautiful, she wanted to design long-lasting garments that hold memories for the woman who wears them. She is a real woman, alluring and powerful, but there is much action in her life and these clothes are her uniform, her armor. She launched in 2016 her Nina Bag which started as a limited edition series bag and now has an extensive waiting list. Gabriela is the winner of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear and the 2018 recipient of the Pratt Institute Fashion Visionary Award. She was nominated in 2017 for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent and in March 2018 received a nomination for the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year. Gabriela currently serves on the board of Save The Children.