Balancing the Grind with Sophie Doyle, Founder of The Fable

Sophie Doyle is the founder of The Fable, a Sydney-based fashion label that specialises in creating the ultimate silk shirt. Everything is also ethically made from accredited factories.

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

I used to work at L’Oreal in their luxury division. I was in marketing and worked on Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics and fragrances. I was with the group for four years and loved it but didn’t see myself in corporate long term.

I resigned in 2014 and went to live in an ashram in India in the yoga town of Rishikesh. On my travels in India I discovered the silk factories. I had always loved silk shirts and worn them as my working “uniform” at L’Oreal but had struggled to find the perfect one.

With no job or set plans I decided to try my hand at making this silk shirt myself. Six months and countless samples later, I returned to Sydney to sell my car which funded the first batch of shirts. Today, The Fable sells in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, online and through the Iconic and has expanded the range to include sleepwear and other silk staples

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

I have an eight month old baby so no work day is the same however it always involves a juggle. My current routine involves working in the mornings. I try to be as efficient as possible as I have my son in the afternoons and like to enjoy time with him without being distracted by emails. I’m lucky to be able to work from home which I do some days. Others I’ll be in our office / warehouse working with our team on up and coming projects and making sure operations are running smoothly.

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

The balance of having a baby and a business is a tricky one and is constant work in progress for me. What I always prioritise though are the evenings. Once my son is in bed, my husband and I always enjoy catching up on the day.

Having a glass of wine and debriefing on what’s gone on is always something we look forward to. He has his own business as well, so we both get the challenges it can come with. I try to fit in an early yoga or pilates class in the mornings but depending on what’s going on this doesn’t always happen. I find the days are always so much better if I get up and exercise though so I do try and prioritise it.

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?

I’ve had to become more organised. I used to be a last minute gal and enjoyed living spontaneously. A lot of this has had to go otherwise life with a baby would be chaotic so now a lot of life is planned out in advance.

I try to do what I can to make day to day life easier too. Literally everything I need for my son is ordered on Amazon and all grocery shopping is done online. Whenever I need to do something which takes time I try to stop and think if there’s a more efficient way to do it which ultimately makes for a happier household.

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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?

I love a good podcast. MamaMia Out Loud is a favourite. Such a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the world but in a fun way. The Squiz and the AFR morning emails are also a great snapshot of world events. I also love YouTube pilates and Yoga classes. I love Home Body Pilates. They do short 20 minutes workouts which are intense and perfect if that’s all the time you’ve got for you that day

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?

If I’ve had a bad day or have a series of problems on hand I always try to have perspective and think about them in the scheme of things. While this doesn’t change what they are, I find that way of thinking is helpful. Plus wine of course. Perspective combined with a glass of chardonnay is a good combination.

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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.