written by Mimpikita 13th February 2018

Well..well, we all knew MKITA has just released their new styles (have you guys seen it?!) and that just means our blog series of STYLECHATTER is back! Ok, new series means another interesting-inspiring story will be shared!

So we met this 25 years old lady through one of our Mimpikita friends for a small collaboration for MKITA and goshh, the whole team just won’t stop admiring her (well, apart of her beauty!) effortless talent in front of the camera! We present to you…Acacia Mardiana;

1. Tell us a bit of yourself…& how to actually pronounce your name *wink emoji* Hi! My name is Acacia… and it’s pronounced A-ka-sha. I know, it’s different. My mother was studying in Australia when she heard of the name and fell in love with it (it’s actually the name of a plant!). A lot of people get confused and some even ask why I chose that name – I didn’t. It’s really on my IC. If I wanted a ‘nama glamour’, I would’ve picked something easier lol! I’m a Part II architect, I graduated last year from University of Greenwich in London (it’s such a beautiful campus guys). I love travelling and photography, and my dream destination is Bolivia. Why Bolivia? Have you SEEN the Salar de Uyuni! I’ve wanted to go there since I was 12! Other than that, I’m the eldest out of 3 siblings, I was born and raised in the UK til I was 13, and I love pau kaya!

2. What makes you shift from an architecture graduate to a Designer/Brand Consultant? A lot of people seem to think that you have to pursue a career in what you study. Especially architecture, which is a professional course, and takes a long time to complete! (6 years for a masters). But I enjoyed the various practices within architecture – design, visual communication, photography, conceptuals, and I also wanted to diversify my skill into business, marketing, and branding. When this company recruited me, it felt like a great opportunity to grow. My superior is one of the best branding minds in the country, with a portfolio that includes Leo Burnett, Petronas, and Air Asia. I don’t believe in pigeon-holing or defining yourself in one singular pursuit. People are multidimensional, and your interests or your life should be a reflection of what you enjoy. Technically right now, I’m still utilising my favourite parts of architecture, but with the added exposure to explore something new!

3. We noticed you have this hashtag #Karyacacia on your Instagram with many interesting places being hand sketched on your journal. Mind to share what it’s all about? #Karyacacia is a pet passion project. Before I started travelling, I’d always dream of all the places I could go to. When I did the first sketch, it was of Sydney in 2013. I did it because I wanted to keep the location as a memory, as a drawing on my journal, because I didn’t know if I would ever be lucky enough to jalan-jalan anymore. That trip was a graduation gift from my parents, they bought the tickets, and I paid for everything else and stayed at a friend’s house. On the flight home I made a decision to work hard and save up so that I could continue going on trips. It was a pretty defining moment, because almost everything I did after that was to fulfil that dream. My ultimate takeaway from travelling is that it enables you to be who you are, without society’s definitions of you, and allows you to learn from other cultures too to become the best version of yourself. Somehow, alhamdulillah, with a lot of hard work, I got to travel to a lot of places after that Australia trip!

I’ve tried to do a sketch at all the destinations, just to keep it as a tradition. Sometimes I prepare the drawings before the trip, other times I’m sketching it out at the airport, and some when I’m already on the trip and have to go to the nearest supermarket to buy some colour pencils! The project is also to remind myself that once upon a time, all these beautiful venues existed as dreams in my head! It’s a great way to stay grateful. Sharing it out, and having people enjoy viewing it, is something I never expected. It even led to a side project called @La.karya in 2015, where I invited friends to draw out and share their destinations and notes! So thank you for noticing #Karyacacia!

4. How would you describe a day in the life of Acacia Mardiana? Ah..  this is a tough question. I don’t really have a typical day or a specific routine. My work doesn’t require me to come in to the office at 9-5 (I sometimes go in after lunch!), and everything happens depending on the projects that we have. But on a daily basis, I’ll come in to the office, have lunch, do a photoshoot, meet up with clients, and develop some projects. In the evening I’ll go meet up with my friends, maybe have dinner and a game night with my family, or I’ll squeeze in a workout session! In general, a daily mix consists of projects, friends, family and being active!

5. Apart from travelling, what else do you do during your free time? I enjoy being active, and I take up a lot of sports in my spare time. So far this year I’ve been consistently doing yoga. It’s really good for stretching your muscles even though I feel like a potato on most classes. I also do wall climbing and swimming when I can. I used to go to the gym twice a week so I really need to get back on track with that! Other than sports, I dedicate some time in the week to do a bit of charity work. Whether it’s donating, volunteering at soup kitchen, or visiting orphanages or retirement homes. My parents are both active and community oriented, they participate in marathons, and my dad founded the local farming society, so I take a lot after them.

6. Last one before we wrap this interview, what is the ultimate quote that you lived by? It’s a mix between Carpe Diem (latin for ‘Seize the day’) and كُنْ فَيَكُونُ (Arabic for ‘Be, and it is’). Fair and equal reminder to work as hard as you can, and to make the most of life. But at the end of the day, to acknowledge that there are forces bigger than you, that the universe knows the best and worse for you. That everything and anything that happens is the result of both what you put in, and what is destined for you. Thanks MKITA for this!

Acacia and her inspiring project, Lakar x Karya are also on Instagram, in case you guys wondering! Also style seen on Acacia is MKITA Oversized Batwing Shirt in Red in UK6 that is available for purchase online and all stores (Bangsar & Isetan KLCC) as well FashionValet .

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