Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Maddy Scarf, Founder of TECMASK

Maddy Scarf is the founder of the 100% Australian owned and leading provider of stylish disposable masks, TECMASK.

She founded TECMASK upon her return from Japan after she picked up a nasty bug while on a plane and soon appreciated the use of disposable surgical masks in the Japanese culture to prevent germs from spreading any further.

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1. To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

From a young age, I was introduced to the world of fashion and retail as I would go to work with my Father at his menswear business. From there I worked across various Industries, and initially juggling a number of jobs to save money to travel the world.

I also studied full-time, a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing; and it was after a few years of travel, I decided to really put some thought into my career and TECMASK was born. In my current role, I still find myself juggling various tasks and being exposed to all aspects of running a business.

2. What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

A typical day for me begins with a morning workout, I feel I am most focused and energetic when I am fit and healthy. I’ve probably already taken a few calls and responded to some emails, I’ve spent some time with my husband and then I am off to the office.

Throughout the day, I change hats very often, I can go from working on sales pitches to accounts and budgets, developing new ideas and of course the “normal” business admin.

3. Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Operating your own business comes with perks such as setting your own hours and does allow for flexibility. Technology also makes flexible working easier, allowing me to work from anywhere, which means I can still be working but not physically be in the office.

My business is product-based, which means I have ensured I have a reliable pick/packing, logistics company who ensure our products are delivered in time. My husband and I are expecting a baby soon and this type of flexibility allows me to attend to all my appointments and listen to my body.

4. What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance is very important to me, as I believe we need to live all aspects of life to the fullest. However, as a business owner, I acknowledge that for me, work-life isn’t always achieved.

Sometimes I will be “off duty” but the work continues. I will still think about work, respond to emails, think about new ideas, goals, processes and sometimes the list goes on.

I feel I am best able to achieve balance by prioritising exercise, I feel this assists me to overcome stress and allows me to zone out of everything and focus on my work out. Also, since becoming pregnant, I am more conscious and focused on achieving a more balanced work, life ratio.

5. What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

The most important and effective routine I have developed is exercise and a regular work out regime, as it helps with my overall wellbeing and positively impacts my ability to make decisions, deal with stress and keep focused throughout the day.

I have also learnt to break down a problem rather than look at it as a whole, and this helps me to avoid feeling overwhelmed. I also believe that surrounding myself with a great network of friends, family and work team who are aligned with my visions, values and goals helps with achieving success.

6. Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

A standout book is Shoe Dog, a memoir by Nike Co-Founder, Phil Knight. I found this book to be truly inspiring for me, as it tells the story of a business starting out to becoming an iconic brand.

It highlighted and encouraged me that successful brands like Nike have also encountered and overcome huge obstacles and pitfalls; and is a great reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel with hard work, perseverance and belief.

7. What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I write a comprehensive to-do list and cross out and highlight each task as its completed – this gives me a sense of achievement, keeps me focused throughout the day and holds me accountable to stay proactive.

8. If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Bethenny Frankel – I am inspired by her career journey as an entrepreneur and her ability to maintain and manage all of her commitments from running a successful business, family, humanitarian role. And the challenges she has endured dealing with negative publicity and media scrutiny.

9. Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I think it is important to recognise and remember that sometimes whether it be a work commitment or personal commitment, it is not always all achievable and that is ok! And that’s why it’s important to surround yourself with the right people.

It is also important to listen to your body; some days you feel you can accomplish the world, and other days you feel you can barely get through a quarter of the work. Remember, this is normal, we are human and not robots. No matter how bad the day, always look forward to tomorrow, as a new day and new beginning.


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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.