Today we’re talking to our first American witch! Are you excited? I’m excited.
Not least because she’s an especially stylish, intelligent and self-assured young woman. We talk about kinks, aesthetics and how she doesn’t consider herself goth; introducing Haleigh Schiafo.
If you don’t know her already through her work at Babe Coven or her writing with Dirge Magazine, then I’m positive you’ll love her after reading this.
Talk me through your average day
My average day is honestly pretty routine and uneventful!
I wake up in the morning, usually later than I should, and get dressed and ready for work.
On days that I wear makeup, I like to use it as a self love ritual, setting my intention for the day and reminding myself to be strong, tough, and confident.
Once I get to work, I make my coffee and breakfast and have that while I catch up on emails. My work day usually consists of emailing vendors, creating and analyzing selling reports, processing incoming inventory, and various meetings, all of which keep me very busy.
After work, I go to the gym for an hour or so, and then head home to have dinner with my roommates (who also happen to be my partner and my best friend). We usually watch an episode of whatever show we’re watching at the time; recently we’ve watched Game of Thrones and Firefly.
After dinner, I’ll spend some time working, whether I’m writing for Dirge, packing orders, or planning new products and events for Babe Coven.
Sometimes I end up working until it’s time to sleep, but I try to spend some downtime snuggling with my partner, reading or listening to a podcast.
You have your fingers in so many delicious pies. You write for Dirge Magazine, you run your own business with Babe Coven and you organised the Witches’ Night Out… what keeps you motivated and organised?
It’s definitely not easy! Coming home from a full time, demanding job to more work can be really overwhelming, and sometimes I just don’t have it in me.
I keep a to do list and a calendar, and I do my best to manage my time. I have a tendency to spread myself too thin, so I try to be honest with myself about when I need some me time to focus on my mental health, as well as spending time with friends and loved ones, and what can reasonably wait and what cannot.
It definitely helps that all of these projects are things I choose to do. While it’s very hard work, it’s all work that I signed up for, and that I’m passionate about.
You talk quite openly about your kinks on social media, and it seems to form an important part of your identity. What made you be so open with something that’s so private?
I’m a very sexually comfortable and confident person, and I find a lot of empowerment in that.
I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly revolutionary by posting a picture of a flogger and ball gag on IG, but I like sex, I like BDSM, and while my sex life remains personal, I see no shame in sharing bits and pieces of something that is a big part of my life.
Especially as women, we’re taught that we should never talk about sex, especially if we’re talking about enjoying it, and so it becomes this shameful thing for women to be confident about their sexuality.
So perhaps it’s a small act of defiance or reclamation. It’s also an act of self love by honoring an important part of myself.
Kink also inspires me aesthetically; many of the toys I use double as decor in my bedroom!
You have a strong sense of style, who and what are your style inspirations?
Especially thanks to social media, I draw inspiration from a variety of sources. There’s so much art and fashion right at our finger tips, and I’m inevitably inspired by so many of the beautiful people that I follow on IG.
I’m constantly learning about new small brands and artists and adding unique pieces to my wardrobe.
As I said earlier, I’m definitely very inspired by kink and BDSM. I like to incorporate a lot of harness and leather details.
I’m also very inspired by texture. I like layered knits, velvet, lace, and leather.
What’s your favourite go-to outfit? One that always makes you feel good.
I really like to be comfortable, and I’m a big fan of lots of cozy layers with tough details.
My current go-to would have to be a black maxi dress with a vegan leather harness and pointy boots completed with my Phantomlovely cloak (which I wear almost daily) and a giant knit scarf. And I’m never without two clawed hands full of sterling silver rings.
Who’s killing it at the moment for you?
I’m completely in love with Mercury Hour’s new This Will Hurt collection. I have two pieces coming my way soon and I can’t wait.
And Noelia Towers! I’m obsessed with all of her work; I love the way she explores BDSM, feminism, and finding power through sexuality.
Your writing is very empowering to read; what audience do you write for?
Essentially I write for anyone looking to find a sense of empowerment, whether that’s through witchcraft, makeup, fashion, sexuality, or some combination of the above.
However, I write what I know, so I definitely prioritize women and queer people in my writing.
How do you stay body positive in a world filled with such negativity towards bodies?
That’s definitely a daily struggle.
Back in my Tumblr days I used to deal with an insane amount of hate and negativity, which while terrible and very difficult, definitely gave me a thick skin and taught me not to care what other people think.
I won’t say that I feel confident every day, but I’ve definitely done a lot of work on my self esteem and I generally love my body and what I look like.
I wear what I want, regardless of arbitrary “rules”.
A big part of loving my body is taking care of it, so that means moving it, feeding it well, and resting when it needs to.
I exercise a few days a week, I’m vegan and eat a fairly healthy diet, and I do my best to listen to my body.
I still have days when I’m feeling less than great, and on those days it really helps to have a strong support system. I have a partner and a best friend who are always my biggest champions and there to pick me up when I need it.
Tell me something really UnGoth about yourself.
Well probably that I don’t really consider myself goth! I like to wear black, but it’s not because I feel connected to the subculture necessarily as much as I just like the color.
It’s effortless and timeless, and I feel the most myself when I’m swathed in all black, but I don’t think I fit into what most people consider “goth”.
Otherwise, I really love to be outside! I love hiking, swimming, camping, and just being out in nature. The peace and quiet of the woods is so comforting, and I like to explore and be active.
Thank you Haleigh! Follow her on her personal Instagram here.
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