CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Gabrielle Requena, Founder & CEO of Wrinkles Schminkles

Gabrielle Requena is the Founder & CEO of anti-ageing skincare company Wrinkles Schminkles. She has been featured on shows such as The Real Housewives of Sydney, Shark Tank Australia, Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge TV Show and The View.

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

I am the founder and CEO of Wrinkles Schminkles, an anti ageing skincare range that is a fun name, backed by real science.

My career background was founded on Management Consulting before moving inhouse to work for many eCommerce and Technology companies – eBay, MyTickers, Temando.

I left corporate as I was burnt out and exhausted by it and I started my now consulting company for 10 years – purely to give me work life balance coupled with financial gain.

Once I created the brand and range concept of what become Wrinkles Schminkles I slowly transitioned over a 2 year period from its launch to then operating it full time.

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

My current schedule is not a pretty one and not the usual work-life balance I like to have or perform best with! As our business is growing in the USA at the moment my days start around 7am in front of the laptop to engage with all of our USA partners.

On a good day right now my day starts at 6.30am with a live online class with my favourite yoga teacher. At 7.30am I immediately cross the road and get a coffee from my favourite local before sitting down at my desk by 7.45am to content with our USA partners and support they may need to execute on our deals over there.

By 9am, I am working with our Australian team – all still working remotely. By 4pm I begin to wrap up my day, meditate and unwind, cook dinner. After dinner I start attending to a few UK based emails with our partners over there.

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

Absolutely. I grew my business and team from day one to be a lean team with flexible work hours. Not because of the pandemic but because I have always believed it’s possible.

A lean operating model staffed with flexible WFH roles eliminates expensive overheads and enables the business to more easily pivot when required or handle any sudden environmental changes.

The added bonus is expanding your business and growth globally is a strategy more possible if you are operating with a lean and flexible team.

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

It means everything to me! I am a better person if I do yoga and meditate, personally and professionally. So at least two days a week are structured around a morning yoga session and every afternoon a meditation is a must.

I also encourage my staff to have their own commitments to work around so we can all be working with some space in our lives and achieving what we need to, while balancing the businesses needs and goals.

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

The most profound new habit is journaling on waking in the morning.

I have always heard of the benefits, but the impact for me is a much clearer mind throughout the day and less anxiety, no doubt around the same ‘floating’ topics and thoughts that we don’t realise we repeat over and over.

Journaling has this quite mystical ability to organise your thoughts and calm the mind.

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

My favourite podcast at the moment is – The Tim Ferris Show. Not only are the guests inspiring but his interview style is not about his own ego and proof, but truly pulls out the most incredible topics of his guests.

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

Right now we have just moved to Shopify eCommerce platform and I am LOVING the Shopping ap on my phone that gives a ‘chi ching’ noise with each sale that comes through!

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

I am not sure who does this perfectly. But two recent video/audio based interviews on enjoyed was Hugh Jackman’s interview on the Tim Ferris Show where he discussed this morning routine with his wife Deb.

They rise 30 minutes before they need to and sit in bed with a coffee and a tea and read a book together and then meditate together, before their day gets started and they lose time for each other.

I thought this was an incredibly commitment to a relationship, no doubt while balancing two very busy lives.

The second one I enjoyed was the Masterclass session with Bob Iger, CEO of Disney. He discusses his daily routine to ensure he has a workalike balance including exercising alone and in quiet every morning before being the first person in his office everyday.

This enables him to get on top of his work in a quiet space so he can be as effective as he can throughout the day with the intention of finishing his work day by mid-afternoon to be home for his varied aged children and be present in his family.

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

If you have started your own business and are focused on growing it, work life balance will be a constant juggle. Be kind to yourself when you get it wrong.

Surround yourself with people who understand and communicate with them the extra support and understanding you may need during an unbalanced period. And most importantly, focus on quietening the mind and giving yourself space when you can. It pays off in indirect ways when you need it most.

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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.