Peony interviews Mandy Keillor

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Mandy Keillor from Studio Australia Barcelona

Since my arrival in Barcelona more than thirteen years ago I’ve come to meet many wonderful people which have become close friends. People both from Barcelona and foreigners who like me have decided to make this our home. One of those persons which are special for me is Mandy Keillor, an Australian that first came to Barcelona in her late twenties; fell in love with the city and who decided that she would one day live here. Fourteen years later she returned and realized that she still felt the same way, so after returning to Australia and closing house and her own building company Mandy moved to Barcelona with her partner. Once here she realized that the building sector maybe wasn´t the smartest business choice of the moment. Mandy’s partner is a Pilates instructor and contemporary dancer and Mandy herself a competitive body builder and a passionate person about health and wellness, so together they decided to start a Pilates studio in Barcelona in order to provide new natural therapies and practices.

It was while I taking Pilates classes at Studio Australia Barcelona that I met Mandy and we immediately we got along with our common passion for natural health and wellbeing and as we are both foreign entrepreneurs in Catalonia. So it was a natural choice for me to have Mandy share some of her thoughts through my questionnaire, which is like a Proust Questionaire, but shorter and lighter:

What’s the best advice ever given to you? “Never try and navigate the Spanish tax system.  Find a good accountant and lawyer who live there.” The Spanish Console Adelaide, South Australia.

How do you celebrate successes? Sharing them with my partner, family and friends.

And how do you “heal” from bad experiences (a broken heart, bad news…)? I have a good cry for as long as it takes, then once again I realize that these are just life lessons that make us the people we are, and then I get on with it.

What’s the best time of the day for you? Afternoons.

Two or three references to keep you informed (blogs, press, sites, etc) Springwise.com 7.30 Report from ABC Australia.

Your favorite place in Barcelona is… Our Studio!

What’s your motto in life? Eagles fly, bees make honey.

What makes you feel feminine? My wife.

Your essential beauty routine is…Face Pilates.

A beauty product you can’t live without…Moisturizer.

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Susan Moody on changing the world and other inspiring thoughts

Categories People

Susan Moody is a fellow American living in Barcelona. I love Susan’s energy and outlook to life so I’m happy to have her tell us a bit about her life here with her family and her work.

How did you end up in Barcelona? I arrived in 1999 to do an MBA at IESE and the idea was to stay for two years and to go back to San Francisco, but I just fell so much in love with the city, and 14 years later my husband and I are still here. Now we have two beautiful Catalan daughters and this has definitely become our home now.

On my blog I love to talk about wellness and beauty, could you explain a bit how you keep fit. This year I have an important personal goal on which all my exercise and training is focused; along with three other friends on the 6th of July we will be swimming across the Straits of Gibraltar to Africa, one of the most difficult open water swims. Due to strong currents we will be swimming between 18.5 and 22km across to a rocky outcrop of Morocco, but it is for a great cause; this feat is to help raise 100.000 dollars for Worldreader. We are very excited about this challenge and there is also a blog so you can read all about the project’s progress.

Susan Moody Worlreader ONG Barcelona

Susan Moody showing us some of her favorite photos at the Worldreader offices

You’re working at Worldreader, an amazing non-profit based in Barcelona, tell us about it. Our aim is to change the way that people in the developing world are coming upon books. In many African schools, children are missing the key elements of reading materials and Worldreader wants to help change that through the use of digital books. In just two years we’ve been able to put more than 428,000 e-books into the hands of children in sub-Saharan Africa.

How did you get involved with Worldreader? I’ve always been a great book lover and I was actually self-publishing children’s books with the idea of helping young children understand different cultures. The idea came when I noticed that my own kids were a little bit confused about who they were and where they were from; I’m American, my husband is Mexican, they were born here in Cataluña and they go to French school…so I first began writing the books for my girls. I realized how important reading was for them, as it helped them figure out their lives, so I decided to self-publish books so that other children could better understand and appreciate different cultures. Continue reading “Susan Moody on changing the world and other inspiring thoughts” »

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Sonal Uberoi: from Wall Street to beauty

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Rosa Esteva: el alma de Cortana

Categories People

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