I got an interview on aging with style, self expression and living your dream, with beautiful Sarah Jane Adams!
Sarah Jane Adams, at the age of 60 you became the Instagram It-girl with over 40 000 followers. What happened?
Actually I now have 58k followers, but who’s counting?! 18 months ago, my husband took a photo of me wearing a red Adidas varsity jacket. It was the first picture of myself that I’d ever posted on Instagram. Prior to that my Instagram page @saramaijewels was used for my business, where I had only shared photos of my Antique and Antique style jewellery.
Ari Seth Cohen (whom I’d not heard of), happened to be in Sydney doing preparation for the release of his film, ‘Advanced Style’. Ari saw the photo, contacted me, and came over to my place the following day en-route to the airport to reshoot the image. On his return to New York, Ari wrote about his Sydney trip on his blog Advanced Style, and included my picture. Shortly after, Adidas Originals contacted me asking for permission to repost the picture, and of course, I said yes. That was really the beginning.
People say it’s an iconic photo, whatever that means. I’ll let others be the judge of that.
Has this changed your life in any way?
My life has changed quite considerably over the past two years, although how much of this change is as a direct result of an Instagram post is questionable.
Throughout my life I have often taken different routes, different directions, constantly challenging myself. I believe that new opportunities have come my way, and I have been blessed to have made new friendships. Some opportunities I have chosen to take on, some to reject. I have been offered modelling jobs, sponsorship requests, interviews, etc. Some I have accepted, such as the Åhlens campaign, although much I have chosen to reject as not reflective of my persona and core being.
I do not wish to be the spokesperson for other people’s missions, agendas, or political ideologies. I was, and remain, a very private person, and my private life, lifestyle and outlook has not changed significantly.
I know you travel the world. What do you do for a living?
I have always been self-employed. I started dealing in Antique jewellery as a teenager, and traded jewellery and bric a brac in the street markets of London as a young woman. I couldn’t stand the European winter, so travelled to warmer climes; India, SE Asia, South America, for 3 months of the year, always looking for different sources to find and learn about jewellery.
It was an incredible apprenticeship, where I also learnt many other things along the way. That way of life became a viable basis for running my business, and I continue to work in a similar, although modified way.
You dress in the most fantastic, colourful way. Did you always?
Yes. I am a chameleon. My being needs colour, always has. I never wear black. Life is colour, and colour is life. Having always been self-employed has meant that I’ve never been forced to wear the uniform of monochrome. For the past 40 years India has been a home to me. The Indian use of colour is genius, and has influenced my aesthetic greatly.
You are not the “ordinary” 60+ woman. What reactions do you meet?
Generally I am oblivious to people’s reactions. They are the same as they have always been. Strangers either give me the up-down, the n avert their eyes, (embarrassed/disapproving/ whatever), or they give me a nod of approval.
When I meet young people they generally think I am younger than my years, and then make ‘compliments’ about how ‘amazing’ I am, (for my age). They say I am an inspiration, and want to be like me when they grow up. However, I believe they are referring to my lifestyle, as much as to my clothing style. My clothing style has been similar, although now more ‘refined’, throughout my life. It’s not something which suddenly came to me once I turned a certain age, therefore isn’t something which a person can suddenly achieve once they ‘grow up’. Older people who know me well know that this is the way I am and this is how I have always been.
When I meet new older people they are generally more guarded in their reaction to me. They either get it or they don’t. Often I prefer it when they don’t. It’s a good filter.
Many Swedes know you from the Åhléns commercial were you talk about clothes not having an age. Can one really wear anything at any age?
I can only speak for myself. I wear what I like and my age has absolutely nothing to do with it. My age is irrelevant. I wear clothes in which I am comfortable, which reflect my personality and my mood, and which are, in my opinion, appropriate for the situation I find myself in. Some of my clothes have been with me since my teens, and I continue to wear them. My age, and the age of the clothing, is neither here nor there.
Sarah Jane Adams, you inspire me and many women around me to be more self expressive and to live our dreams. What advice can you give us?
Live your dreams!
Listen to your heart, have courage, strength and integrity.
Be kind to yourself and make time to work out who you are, what you really need or want from life.
Stop being self critical, and don’t listen to other’s opinions of you, however close a ‘friend’ they may be. Recognise the positive in your life, and work on resolving or getting rid of the negative.
Throw away those magazines, stop following celebrities, trends, bullshit bloggers and advertorials.
Find your own form of self expression and explore it. Life is not a popularity contest, nor is there a formula.
Find your own dream and own it.
Thank you, so much, Sarah Jane Adams, for letting me spend some time with you.
All photos courtesy of Sarah Jane.
Vill du följa Sarah Jane? På Instagram heter hon @saramaijewels och på Facebook hittar du henne på Sarah Jane Adams.