Balancing the Grind with George Dovellos & Rory Kennedy, Co-Founders of Peachy As

George Dovellos and Rory Kennedy are the co-founders of Peachy As, an alcoholic peach flavoured seltzer that is brewed in Sydney, Australia.

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

George Dovellos: Having graduated high school in 2018, university was the starting point of my adult life, enrolling in the double degree of Commerce / Economics which I graduated from in May of 2023.

While studying, I have worked the equivalent of full-time hours in everything from high school tutoring and sports coaching to labouring and scaling fish, however most recently being the Operational Manager of The Phoenix Woollahra. This experience in the hospitality sphere has been paramount to the early success of PEACHY AS and one day I would love to have a venue of my own. 

Rory Kennedy: Originally, I grew up in a rural area of the Southern Highlands and eventually made my way to Sydney as I got a bit older. I loved Sydney and the energy it brought and fell in love with the design and marketing industry it offered.

I started my own business after I left school, focusing on helping boutique corporate brands with their social media marketing to land more clients (B2B) and this then journeyed into the interest in the product marketing world (B2C). Bring on Peachy Drinks and PEACHY AS! Currently I still operate both businesses with a main focus on Peachy Drinks. 

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

George: My main role for Peachy Drinks is focused towards the finances and logistics of the company. Because of this, my days mainly consist of invoicing, stock take and of course looking for new potential stockists. Now that we have launched our product and have had some early success, I have now added aspects of philanthropy and we have recently partnered with The Black Dog Institute through “A table in the gardens dinner”. 

Rory: Typically, my day is very relaxed as I work for myself, so I fully encompass the “flexible workspace” trend. I usually get up early and go on a walk with my partner Francesca and our puppy Rollo (who tends to run off and get lost and do his own thing), before firing up the computer and going through emails.

I then probably pace around my home office space and go through a million different ideas – 99% of which will never work, but that’s the fun of it! By the end of the day, I’ve had about 15 phone calls with my business partner, George and probably another 10 from external clients and then I log off and try to do another family walk. Hit the hay. Rinse. Repeat. 

An interesting day recently was when George and I hand delivered 60 cases of our product to businesses and we accidentally left the back of the van open and drove about 2km with all of our product just open for display. (They were all secure!)

The following day, George and I were dressed in bright hot pink suits with signs and walked around Bondi Beach with signs that read; “Drink Peachy” to market our brand and product. George and I don’t have the mega budget for marketing right now like other brands, so getting involved and doing cost effective and fun tactics like this is our bread and butter. 

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

George: Work life balance is something that has become less easy in this generation. However with Rory and I being best mates, we’re lucky that our work doesn’t always feel like work. We usually plan our meetings to take place in the sun, weather permitting of course, so yes, this industry is extremely stressful at times, but it certainly has its perks.  

Rory: Work-life balance is an area that I am not so good at. Especially at the moment with our brand launching so fresh. Work tends to take up most of my time, whether it is actually practically doing something or just thinking creatively about avenues to go down with our brand.

It sometimes takes serious restraint to not talk about ideas 24/7 to my partner, however we’ve implemented a “no work talk” time when we go on our walks, and it really helps with clearing our heads and starting fresh. I am also hoping to get back into the gym because this winter has been… delicious.

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

George: Having graduated from university has really loosened my schedule during normal office hours, and to compound this working hospitality is mostly night work. As a result, I haven’t had to make too many lifestyle changes to fit PEACHY AS work into my weeks, but my days are definitely looking a lot busier as of late with the official launch.

Rory: This past year I have really tried to implement a time where I can just be quiet and present with my family and friends away from work, and although it has been tough at some points I feel as if I am slowly getting better at finding this balance. Summer is also a great time for creating good habits and I am trying to implement going for swims at the beach with the family more often as this helps with refreshing my mind and calming everything amidst the chaos. 

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

George: I recently read a non-fiction philosophical work by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi called The Courage to Be Disliked. This work is less about how you are perceived by others and more about the concepts behind what it means to have internal happiness.

This book taught me a lot about life and the little nuances surrounding internal battles that our generation faces with a real pressure for speed, for example rushing to buy property, finish university or be deemed successful.

It really helped me through a rough patch of life caused by a combination of many controllable and non-controllable forces and is one that I recommend to my mates constantly after actually being recommended by one of my good friends. This is why Rory and I’s brand is so focused on slowing life down, savouring every moment, not taking life so seriously by embracing the cheeky. 

Rory: I am not much of a book reader or podcast listener, but I think my variation is movies. I am an actor myself and have acted on productions such as Home and Away, and have a serious attachment to the film medium. I often listen to movie soundtracks from productions like Lord of the Rings or Arrival to help both calm me and reset my brain for creative thinking. 

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

George: Something that I cannot stress enough is to just go and have a crack! Yes, Rory and I have been working our tails off since January to form this brand but that is literally all it has been. We didn’t know the first thing about how to make a seltzer, how packaging works or how we were going to deliver kegs.

Learning as you go is a privilege and one that we do not take for granted. Rory and I are also very lucky to have such a strong network of friends and family who have been our biggest fans since day one, a testament to this were our two launch events which saw 350 of our friends and family go to the Phoenix Woollahra and the London Paddington over two weekends to support us at our launch events. 

Rory: I think in the case of Peachy Drinks, the only words of wisdom I would have is that to generate interest and generate sales you have to put your whole person into the brand.

Relying on services to do things for you lessens the “feel” or “authentic touch” of the brand, and George and I have been adamant in making sure we have a hands-on approach in each step of our production, delivery, relationships with venues and branding/marketing.

We believe this is the secret to success with brands – no Shortcuts, and being proud enough of your product to market it through your whole person. 

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.