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Balancing the Grind with Rachel Baker, Founder & CEO at LBDO

Rachel Baker is the founder & CEO at LBDO, a company that is on a mission break down taboos and stigmas around pleasure and intimacy by normalising the surrounding conversation.

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

My background is in marketing and PR, where I’ve been lucky enough to learn and work at some great companies, with the most recent being  L’Oréal Paris. 

I was the Digital and Communications Brand Manager for L’Oréal Paris when the pandemic hit, and like many people, I spent a lot of that time in lockdown contemplating and re-evaluating my priorities and where I wanted to invest my time and energy going forward. 

And so I eventually decided to leave my role there and start a modern sexual wellness company built on a foundation of inclusivity, safety and thoughtful design called LBDO.

As founder and CEO, I lead LBDO on its mission to create timeless and uncomplicated pleasure products for everybody and everybody, as well as nurture a safe space for our community to come and learn about how to get more in touch with themselves.

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

Definitely! Well, every single day starts off the same for me no matter what, and it’s also easily the highlight of each day: my morning coffee. Like most Melburnians I tend to be pretty obsessed with my coffee, so every day I walk to my local coffee shop while listening to music or a podcast, before coming back home to grab my stuff and drive into the office. 

From there, my days can be really unpredictable as is the nature of running a startup! Managing a small team as we grow quickly means that I’m still involved in most areas of the business.

So my work days can include meeting with my team and agency partners to discuss marketing and social campaigns, meetings with suppliers and retailers, interviewing for new hires, and continually looking ahead and planning for the future of LBDO. 

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

Absolutely. I consider myself very lucky to be running an online business which allows me to work remotely and flexibly as needed. At the moment, I like to go into our office/warehouse space most days as I’m a bit sick of our house after the last few years of lockdowns!

But over the last year or two I’ve been able to structure my work so that it fits around my life – not the other way around. It’s truly one of the best things about running your own business and not something I take for granted.

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

I truly love running LBDO and working in an industry that I’m so passionate about, so often it doesn’t even feel like work. But to me, even if you love what you do, work-life balance means not allowing your business to encroach on the important things in life.

At LBDO, we champion the idea that where possible you should make time for things that feel good. When we say this we truly mean it in a holistic sense. It’s important to me to do things that make me feel good, such as spending quality time with family and friends, travelling, eating good food and spending time in nature.

These can all be hard to fit in sometimes when you’re busy with work, so for me it’s important to set boundaries for when you need to close the laptop and go and enjoy the other beautiful things in life.    

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

Yes! I’ve done two things which have changed my life (even in a small way). First, I bought myself a little alarm clock so I no longer need to leave my phone next to my bed which has meant I can get into bed and read or meditate without the possible distraction of checking an email or our Instagram.

It also has the added benefit of setting a music alarm, so every night I get to choose a new song to wake up to in the morning and it always puts a smile on my face!

The second thing I’ve done is reconnect with my yoga practice. Over the years I’ve come in and out of the practice – at one point I actually completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training while travelling a number of years ago. But when I started the business it was one of those things that I was neglecting, so being able to incorporate it back into my routine is something that I’m proud of and currently enjoying.  

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

It’s a funny thing to answer because I feel I’m the one always asking my friends or family for their recommendations! But yes, I recently enjoyed How We Love by Clementine Ford and would recommend that as a good read.

I like to listen most mornings to the 7am Podcast which a close friend of mine produces – it’s a really informative and engaging way to keep up to date with what’s going on.

And for extra reading, I subscribe to the Signal newsletter by GZERO which drops into my inbox and gives me a quick rundown of global news and insights that you don’t tend to get with mainstream news on a daily basis.

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

Like most people, I’d say my phone and laptop for work. Outside of that, I’d have to say my headphones for music, my soda stream (because plain water is so boring when you can have sparkling), and my little alarm clock!

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

Esther Perel. For no other reason than I admire her immensely and would love to hear how she prioritises certain things in her life.

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

Everything is connected. In the same way that LBDO looks at sexual wellness in a holistic way, I think it’s important to look at work and life in a holistic way.

I think it’s important to remember that no matter how much ‘balance’ you have in your life, if you hate your job then it’s going to be difficult to be truly happy and fulfilled. And the reverse is true; if you’re not finding happiness outside of work then your enjoyment and productivity will suffer in your job. 

10) What has been one of your biggest successes since launching your business? 

Having come from L’Oréal, it was always my dream when I first started LBDO that I would one day be stocked at a major beauty retailer. So having recently launched into the sexual wellness category at Adore Beauty – Australia’s leading online beauty retailer – I can safely say its been a huge highlight and one of our biggest successes so far.

Finding a home for LBDO at Adore demonstrates the huge shift in attitude towards sexual wellness as a category. It’s so important that other brands and companies – both in category and out – continue to help us normalise the conversation and work towards breaking down taboos and stigmas around intimacy and pleasure.

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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.