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Borgo de Nor

Elizabeth and Nelli talk about the generosity of laughter, dancing the night away, and magical thinking

We took a moment to interview powerhouses Elizabeth von der Goltz and Nelli Kim, who through laughter, mind reading, and "magical thinking" support each other continually and show us how powerful and stimulating friendships can be. Their unique sense of optimism, empathetic intellect and profound connection will surely inspire you to call that special friend that always makes you smile.

Elizabeth, lives in London and is Chief Commercial Officer at MatchesFashion. She has had an impressive career in fashion working for the likes of Bergdorf Goodman and Net-a-Porter as Global Buying Director .

Nelli lives in New York and is the Founder and CEO of RĒDEN, a purpose-driven shoe company that makes radically comfortable shoes developed with an orthopaedic surgeon. 50% of their profits are donated to charity and as a cancer survivor, Nelli partnered with cancer-related charities for the launch.

After a year and a half of being apart due to the pandemic, Elizabeth and Nelli have been connecting via FaceTime on a weekly basis and are counting down the days to reunite this month in the Hamptons.

What makes you smile about each other and what quality do you most admire about each other ?

Elisabeth: Nelli has the most amazing positive attitude towards life - she’s always up for any new adventure, ready to embrace everything around her and infecting all of us with her positive energy. Her level of empathy and understanding is admirable as well as her championing of important causes and supporting those less fortunate than her.

Doing anything together with Nelli is always fun, enlightening, educational all at the same time. Even our weekly FaceTime calls this past year and half since we haven’t been able to see one another always have us in tears of laughter and learning something new too.

She’s always up for any adventure - we’ve traveled the globe together and always have unexpected super random really fun adventures when we’re together.

Nelli: One of the things I admire most about Elizabeth is her outlook on the world, I call it "magical thinking." It is her generous ability to assume the best of the possible interpretations, give people the benefit of the doubt and to manifest magical adventures through her attitude. It is a reminder to me that the outcome of events can be shaped by our attitude going into it. To quote Viktor Frankl, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Tell us about your connection and why it's so meaningful?

Elizabeth : Nelli can read my mind so whenever we’re together we can just look at one another and instantaneously know with one look what we’re both thinking. Usually the minute we’re alone we rehash it all and what we found so ridiculous and funny. When we play games like charades or games like Heads Up we literally only need one expression or movement before we guess what the other is trying to do.

Nelli: Joyful and optimistic! Elizabeth's energy is infectious, and we laugh constantly -- at ourselves, at each other, at life. She is a generous laugher and makes me feel like the funniest person (although I'm aware I'm not).

Is there a song that you both love that describes or reminds you of your friendship?

Nelli: I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li. It's a fun dance song, and reminds me of us dancing the night away at E's bachelorette in St. Tropez. We somehow always end the night dancing, even at dinner parties.

Tell us about your next adventure planned together?

Nelli: We are reuniting later this summer in the Hamptons for a long overdue weekend with all the girls!

How do you feel about supporting Smart Works with this campaign?

Elizabeth : Nelli and I are both huge advocates for women’s empowerment and are passionate about using our voice, our privilege to help others. Helping women entering the workforce is first step to helping women’s independence and self reliance.

Nelli: I love that this campaign supports and empowers women as they strive to secure employment. Mentorship, coaching and advice can make such a meaningful difference in the trajectory of someone's life. It certainly has in mine!