As the Managing Director of Bondi Active, Briony Oayda is focused on creating classic and unique activewear designed to pair with the Australian beach lifestyle while inspiring her community and Bondi local aspirers to live an active lifestyle.
To kick things off, could you tell us a bit about your background, how you’ve navigate your career path, and what you’re currently working on?
I grew up as an only child in a household with two parents who both owned their own businesses and family time often meant discussing business plans and opportunities. I think through this I always knew I wanted to own my own business, whether that be something of my own (I did go through a phase of wanting to own a doggy daycare and almost launched a dog accessories business), or taking over for one of my parents.
Eventually l landed on working with my Dad at Between the Flags, navigating my career path centred around how I could best arm myself to eventually run it. This meant leaving BTF to do my MBA and then going into customer strategy consulting across Australia, NZ and then the US. Eventually leading me back to Sydney to run Between the Flags and re-launch Bondi Active as a standalone activewear brand, which is what I am currently focused on.
Our audience is always curious about how others structure their days. Would you mind walking us through a recent typical workday for you?
My day-to-day varies considerably but my non-negotiable is my mornings. I normally wake up ~5:30am, walk from Bondi to Bronte with my dog and go to gym class.
Work starts around 8/830am and I’ll either spend the morning taking calls from home or head straight into the office. A normal day in the office will involve me working with various team members on their part of the business, whether it is design, production, operations/store management or marketing.
This is normally mixed in with meetings with the various agencies and business partners we work with. I also try to get to the stores as much as possible, meet with our local gym partners, test any new samples that have come in and prep for any upcoming events or photoshoots.
The office normally goes quiet around 5/530 and I will spend some time getting through any emails or work I didn’t manage to get to and then head home for an early dinner or a dinner out with friends.
The concept of work-life balance means different things to different people. How do you personally define it, and what strategies do you use to maintain a healthy balance in your life?
I have definitely been guilty of not having a healthy work-life balance in the past but I am getting better at it. My mornings are key, they set me up for the day and give me time to clear my head before the work day starts. I also find I need to give myself at least 1-2 weeknights with friends to disconnect from work during the week and I try to limit working on weekends as much as possible.
Change is inevitable and embracing it can lead to personal growth. Over the past year, have you made any significant lifestyle adjustments to enhance your work-life balance?
Committing to social activities during the week has been a good change for me. I think through COVID that went by the wayside a little and I started to feel like the work week was for work only. In the last 6 months I realised how bad that was and have made a conscious effort to make plans after work, playing touch footy, dinner with friends etc.
Our audience loves discovering new resources that can help them in their quest for balance. Are there any books, podcasts, or newsletters you’ve found particularly helpful on your journey that you’d like to recommend?
I find when I am feeling burnt out I gravitate to books and podcasts that inspire me and get me excited about what I do and what’s possible. So I tend to listen to or read about successful people and businesses. Guy Raz’s How I Built This podcast is a personal favourite. And in terms of books Shoe Dog, Troublemakers and Red Notice are some that I found particularly inspiring.
Do you have any closing thoughts, advice, or insights about work, life, or finding balance that you’d like to share with our audience?
I think when you are excited about what you do and you have great people to work with it’s easier to feel balanced as work doesn’t feel draining. That said, no matter how much you may love your job, stepping away and giving yourself time is so important. My morning routine and making sure I am spending time away from work boosts my productivity and only makes me better when I am at work.
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