Balancing the Grind with Eloise Panetta, Founder of Eloise Panetta

Eloise Panetta is founder of Eloise Panetta, a Sydney-based company creating unique botanically-dyed womenswear, accessories, and homewares.

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

My love for fashion design, sewing and pattern making started early on in life, having learnt most of my skills from my grandmother as a child. This led me to pursue a career in fashion design after school, completing my Bachelor of Fashion Design and then working full time as a designer for an Australian fashion label.

After several years working in the fashion industry, I decided to go back to university and complete my Master of Fine Arts in Sydney. It was during these years that I refined my skills in botanical dyeing, jewellery making and painting. 

In 2015, I started creating really special bespoke pieces for clients, which has now evolved into my brand as it is renowned for today. My business is based on a bespoke model, where we create botanically dyed silk accessories and made to order bespoke clothing and jewellery in my Sydney atelier.

My current role as the founder of Eloïse Panetta is incredibly hands-on, and I am still very much involved in the production process, alongside an incredible small team of inspiring women who also help bring my visions to life.

Everything we create is sustainably driven, created with a deep respect for the natural world and only available in small and considered quantities.

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

Each and every day is so varied, but I typically start my work day around 7/8am in my studio. The boutique doesn’t open until 11am, so that gives me plenty of time to get organised for the day.

My morning ritual before work is to get a coffee from my favourite cafe in the Rocks, Aslan! I then head into the studio where I usually map out my day, which involves working on the sewing machine creating products, pattern making new products and often serving customers in the boutique. I am still incredibly involved in all aspects of the business, from manufacturing the product to serving customers in the retail boutique.

Two to three days a week I have my beautiful employees working alongside me and together we create all the products for online, our retail boutique and wholesale orders. Every two weeks, I spend a few days in my botanical dyeing studio, where I create all of the beautiful botanical silk textiles for all of my products. 

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

Because of the hands-on nature of my current role, this usually means I work directly out of my atelier every day. My business has experienced enormous growth over the last year, so I really hope that there’ll be a time soon where I can step away for a day each week and restore some much needed work-life balance. 

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

Establishing a good work-life balance has been one of the most challenging aspects of running my business. Learning how to balance your work life and personal life while establishing a business is incredibly hard, especially when it’s such a huge part of who you are as a person.

Naturally my business consumes me all the time because I love what I do and I am constantly energised and inspired by the creative process, which is such a huge part of who I am as a woman.

My work-life balance journey for this year is about creating little daily rituals outside of work that allow me to feel a greater sense of joy and fulfilment. Carving out more time to do the things I love to do is one of my priorities for restoring this balance. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I live near the ocean, and definitely don’t take advantage of this as much as I really should, until recently when I started my daily walking routine again. I really don’t know why I stopped it in the first place, but each morning I now get up and do my local coastal walk.

I find it incredibly energising and refreshing to just get up, listen to my favourite podcast and get my body moving. My mind feels clear and it sets me up for a really productive day. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I am currently reading a book called Untamed by Glennon Doyle which is great! I love listening to podcasts, especially about women in business and creative businesses. Some of my favourites include: She’s on the Money, The Design Files Talks, Brandfetti, JUMBLED Loves-A-Chat, just to name a few.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I love using the Planoly app for everything Instagram, along with the Shopify and Square apps for monitoring daily sales and website traffic. You also can’t get me off the Pinterest app!

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

I would love to read any interview about Jo Horgan, the founder of Mecca. I truly admire how she created her business and would love to learn more about how she implements that work-life balance that we all need.

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

I adore running a business and though it’s incredibly challenging at times, it still energises and inspires me daily and I am so grateful for that. Growing up, I was always encouraged to pursue what made me happy in life, especially when it came to my career.

I often reflect on the journey of how my business has grown and evolved over the years, and regardless of all the bumps and challenges along the way, it is still the very thing that makes me so happy today. 

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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.