Todays '5 minutes with' is activist, artist and presenter... Mary Mandefield
A self described 'mover, shaker, content creator and all round happy gal', Mary Mandefield is our kind of women. The activist, artist and positive energy badass is taking the world by storm through her broadcasting, illustration and dance to name a few and we're loving every minute!
Mary also draws her talents and focus towards humanitarian and environmental issues, having worked with organisations such as Oxfam, Comic Relief and Greenpeace. She's proud to have worked hard supporting Otjikondo Primary School in Namibia for 8 years and has travelled all over the world spreading her positive energy and help where she can.
We came across Mary over lockdown, where she has been continuing to work through educational videos on the BLM movement on her instagram @mary.mandefield and having important, honest conversations on race that are accessible for all.
So we caught up with Mary to get to know her a little more - from using her platform to her best night out and what makes her tick...
"My beauty is a reflection of what’s important to me. My beauty is the time I’ll spend to write a letter to a friend. My beauty is the Spotify playlist I’ll make when I know my mates down. My beauty is the time I take to explain something in detail for a relative. My beauty is the research I’ll do to understand something that’s important to those around me." - Mary recently answered Grazia's question: What Does Beauty mean to You? over on her instagram.
A force to be reckoned with - even with a broken ankle!
5 Minutes with Mary Mandefield
How would you describe your personal style and where do you normally shop?
Mary: In all honesty, I love to dress like a children's TV presenter or workshop host! I love bold, bright colours and anything that's comfortable, most of my wardrobe is made up of bright jumpers, matching tracksuits, colourful coats or dungarees! Sustainable fashion is so important to me, most of my clothes are from depop, gumtree, charity shops, clothes swaps or my sweet sister Georgina who reluctantly hands me the items she no longer has space for.
If there’s one main message you want to get out there on your platform, what would it be?
Mary: To speak boldly on what you care about. I am so lucky to have a small platform to get my messages out, but I think we're getting to the point where we know that everyone has a platform and it's so important to use it for whatever gets you fired up - chances are, it will resonate and help someone in a similar position.
Your ultimate night out… you can take 3 people with you, (living or dead)… who would they be and where would you go?
Mary: Ah, a night out! What I would give for that right now. I would have to take Beyonce - that needs no explanation. I'd like Dolly Parton because she'd look after us as much as she'd party with us. And I think Tina Turner would be a lot of fun too - a proper girls night out! I've not been to Vegas before but the parties sound incredible. If it wasn't Vegas, I'd choose Cape Town - we could have pre-drinks on the beach, enjoy live house music and then move on to a hip-hop club and end the night with karaoke and then back to the beach to watch the sunrise. IMAGINE!
What’s your failsafe ‘get the party started’ song and why?
Mary: Kotch by RDX - the girls I dance with are obsessed with this song.
What’s the most memorable moment from your career so far?
Mary: When I was 21 I was given the opportunity to speak in the Houses of Parliament on behalf of The Malala Fund (Malala Yousafzai's charity). I was amongst lots of established campaigners and activists and I really couldn't believe they'd let little old me talk so freely. The thrill of standing up there will stick with me for a long time.
If you could send your younger self a message what would it say?
Mary: Firstly, you are so blessed. You have all the skills you need to be great. You don't need to just choose one thing; your life and career can be made up of all the little things that make your heart sing. Oh, and stop caring about the popular girls at school, you will never be like them and that's a good thing.
We feel that you embody the Burnt Soul vibe to wear what makes you happy and live your brightest, boldest life. Do you have a favourite saying that encapsulates this, or a phrase that sticks with you?
Mary: I've learnt this from my gorgeous housemate and friend Tete Bang - Exist loudly and take up space. You deserve to be heard and seen.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Mary: Your clothes are such a creative outlet and a reflection of who you are - people might comment on your choices because they don't fit their mould of what's 'the right thing to wear' but that says a lot more about them than it does about you.
"Life is short, wear that outfit and feel good about it!"
What a legend! To keep up with Mary, follow her on instagram @mary.mandefield and check out her website here.
Don't forget to sign up in the tab below for exclusive deals & news on all things Burnt Soul!
Let's face it, 2020 has been one stressful year! It's more important than ever to look after yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally. We've laid out four easy daily habits to relieve stress and help you live a calmer life.
Here at Burnt Soul we know there's no such thing as one size fits all, which is why we offer a broad range of sizing options and the info to help! In this article we explain our shorten and lengthen body options, leg length, the importance of fabric stretch and our handy 'How To Measure' guide! Are you ready to find your most comfortable, contouring and flattering fit?
I am beyond in love with my catsuit! I am a 36 D Size 6 (US) and it fits like a glove, it’s very comfortable and flattering, didn’t need a bra at all and made me feel super sexy. What especially won me over was the amazing customer service, I had ordered the wrong print and noticed after purchasing so I sent a few emails and social media messages to try to see how to fix it. I received help immediately, got one on one advice on fit and shipping date information as I needed it for a specific date. I am so grateful for the friendly attitude received which only made me fall in love with this company and the amazing women behind it even more. I will be purchasing more items
I already had this same catsuit in the silver/white combo, but I'd had my eye on this rainbow one because it's just such a fun outfit. It fits perfectly and I'm in love with the colors. Also works great with just the bottom half showing as leggings with a sweatshirt over it.
The fit is just right. I decided to go for the 8/10. I’m an 8, generally quite small and small chest and it’s fits perfectly. I didn’t know whether to size down or up (6/8 or 8/10) and I’m glad I chose this size.
Looks amazing, love the high leg and colours. Will buy in other patterns!
My diva leggings are a new staple for me. I love all my burnt soul pieces but as they are mainly cat suits and sparkly numbers these leggings are the perfect way to wear my burnt soup every day. The fit is ideal and super flattering! I can’t stop wearing them- perfect for dressing up or down and working-from-home comfort 👌🏻 Love the print- the pink shock is so well placed and gives them such a dynamic effect when seen in real life 😊
I love everything I buy from Burnt Soul and I’m absolutely in LOVE with all the recycled Lycras. They’re really well made and fit me like a glove. Feeling like a million dollar goddess. Thank you ladies xxx
I cannot recommend this catsuit enough. Shipping to the US was fast and it's gorgeous in person. I was a little nervous about trying one of the less-stretchy fabrics, but found the suit comfortable and breathable.
Great catsuit for going to a party or dinner (rather than a festival or rave).. Looks really classy and feels great, the longer sleeves make it better suited to winter/colder events. I love the hanging fabric and neckline which really makes your waste look slimmer! Only downside is I feel like I'm going to rip it when I'm taking it off but other than that it is a really well designed and made piece of clothing. Love you guys x