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Interviews / Founders

Balancing the Grind with Maddy Edye, Co-Founder of Sonny & Felix

Maddy Edye is the co-founder of Sonny & Felix, a suncare company creating feel-good SPF products for everyday use.

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

Digital has been my bread and butter since I started my career. I managed to coax a Digital Strategist at a prominent creative agency to take a chance on me and I’ve never looked back.

Working as a Digital Strategist for three years agency-side, I jumped ship to media, working as a Digital Commercial Product Director at one of Australia’s largest audio and entertainment companies.

From there, I’ve taken my digital know-how into the start-up space as Director of Sonny and Felix, a suncare company creating feel-good SPF products for everyday use.

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

The one constant in my daily routine is my morning coffee and downtime. My days are never the same, but if I can start with a fresh mind and fresh brew, I’m a happy human.

Usually after my morning coffee, I’m straight into packaging boxes. Keeping our operations small, particularly in COVID times, I’m on the front-line packing deliveries.

After a trip to the post office, the rest of the day is spent organising and managing marketing, social, website, inventory, etc., you know the drill – a jack of all trades.

At the end of the day, I will always find time to chat to my sister Genevieve, the other co-founder of Sonny and Felix. Despite currently living in London, we’ll always find the time to debrief.

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

Absolutely. I’ve been lucky enough to start this company with my sister and together we share tasks and responsibilities equally, creating greater flexibility.

We play to our strengths. Genevieve has a background in law so our tasks naturally align to our specialities (lucky, because policies and agreements could be written in a foreign language for all I know). Sharing responsibilities means we don’t have to be everything to everyone, alleviating the pressure of running a small business.

Of course, with Genevieve living in London, remote working is essential to our operations. Being online helps with that. Using the tools and resources at our disposal we can be nimble, efficient and effective from near and far.

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

Work life balance is a science. As a small business owner, you can find yourself falling into bad habits quickly as your start-up dances between business and pleasure. When you love what you do, it can be tough to put down the tools, but establishing good routines up front always helps.

You also don’t want to be hard on yourself when work peaks and troughs. Sometimes routines don’t always work when you have multiple orders to fill in one night.

You can’t always plan for life, and you certainly can’t plan for small business, but giving yourself a break in those moments and identifying your limits, is golden.

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

I’ve started and stopped so many, I’ve lost count. When we started Sonny and Felix, I established quite rigid routines, but as our business has grown and life has happened, I’ve had to adapt. The one thing I’ve kept fairly consistent is my morning coffee and my afternoon sister chats.

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

There are some wonderful, Australian small business podcasts to get around:

  • Future Women Leadership Series
  • Brand New World with Russel Howcroft
  • Fast Track, Career Conversations with Margie Hartley
  • Superwomen We Ain’t, Janine Allis & Margie Hartlely
  • 7AM for a quick news recap

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

  • Planoly for Social Media scheduling
  • Evernote for note taking and task management
  • Shopify app for working remotely
  • Foodie app for funky photo filters
  • Mail Chimp for email comms

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

I’d love to hear from Adore Beauty founder Kate Morris. Co-founder of one of Australia’s largest e-commerce beauty retailers, Kate is an entrepreneur, beauty pioneer, podcaster, investor and start-up mentor. I’m sure she’d have amazing tips to maintain a work life balance.

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

Be kind to yourself, take care of your health and find the fun in what you do.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.