This week I took the opportunity to get to know Carlie, the beauty behind Real Active, a completely beautiful soul, inside and out. I have always admired Carlie and the amazing brand she has created, taking her passion for mental health and turning it into something that can touch so many lives. The amount of love she pours into the brand is phenomenal and can be seen at every touch point. From the messages on her website, customer reviews, motivational quotes she shares on social media, thank you cards with orders and even the cute little messages on packaging, it is truly evident she loves what she does.
Carlie has always been open about her own struggles with depression and anxiety, and to see someone who can manage these feelings in their day to day life and still run a flourishing business is so inspiring. I hit Carlie with a few questions to find out more about her work, life and passions.
- What is your proudest achievement with Real Active?
I don’t think there is one proud achievement, I am lucky enough to have proud moments every day. Seeing my customers tag me in their posts sharing their Real Active products along with mental health awareness messages every day makes me so happy! This is what it’s all about and the fact that my products can open up the conversation about mental health makes me very proud.
I am proud of how quickly we have grown – we started with one drink bottle and a few workout towels and in less than 4 years, we now have a whole range of bottles in different formats and materials, beach towels & clothing! We have thousands of customers from all over the world, are stocked in Australia and New Zealand and have 45k+ amazing supporters on social media.
We’ve also been lucky enough to win a bunch of business awards and I won the Sydney Young Entrepreneur Start up awards a couple of years ago.
- Do you have any "pinch me" moments?
Pinch me moments come when I am reminded of my career before Real Active – I worked in marketing and would have been considered successful, but I had little work-life balance and my mental health suffered as a result. I am now lucky enough to be able to work by my own terms and feel so much happier and more balanced.
- What keeps you going in business?
My purpose – this has not changed from when I started the business. My goal is to help make the world a happier and healthier place and I always bring myself back to this and it inspires me to keep going during tough times.
- How has Mum life affected your anxiety?
Oh gosh, there is a whole bunch of new anxieties that come with being a Mum! You just love your precious baba so much and want to protect them in any way you can! One of the quotes I have on my vision board is “the past is gone, the future is not here, now I am free of both. Right now, I choose joy.” So whenever my monkey-mind goes into “worrying about things that may or may not happen mode” I remind myself of this and bring myself back to the present.
I went through a traumatic birth with Mila and have definitely had a few very scary things that have happened since she was born but they have made me feel closer to my family and support network and also shown me how mentally strong I can be when faced with tough times.
- What does a typical work day look like for you?
Mila is now in daycare 2.5 days a week (& Mum has her one afternoon) and I dedicate those days to be my busy days – that means planning launches, meetings and events on those days. On the days when she is home, I really do try to keep my time separate and focus on being present with Mila when she is awake and having a power session of work while she sleeps (I’m lucky she does a big 2.5 hour lunch nap at the moment). Sometimes that means I am also working at night after she goes to sleep, but I would rather have it that way.
- What is something most people wouldn't know about you?
I grew up spending a lot of time with my Nan and Grandad and listening to their music and still absolutely love old school classic music. My favourite song to play on repeat when I was growing up was “Always on my Mind” by Willie Nelson.
- What do you do to fill your cup?
I love to spend as much time in nature as possible – whether that’s bush or beach walks or swimming in the ocean. Walking barefoot on the sand is so relaxing for me!
I also love cooking and love to make yummy nourishing meals for my family.
I try to schedule regular catch ups with family and friends which are usually doing one of the activities above – spending time in nature, going for walks or enjoying delicious coffee or food at home or at a café!
- How do you tackle anxiety when it starts creeping in?
As I’ve suffered with anxiety for so long and done a lot of self-work, I am very in tune to my body and can notice when things are getting too much for me quite early on now (my anxiety is also often very hormonal so peaks right before my period which I can obviously plan around).
On those weeks, I try to take it really easy. I don’t plan too many extra activities and up my self care (that means at a minimal, prioritising sleep and moving my body). I may up my meditation (I meditate daily anyway, this is the #1 tool I have up my sleeve for my anxiety and it works so well). And I make sure I do all of those things that I know make me feel good and fill my cup up.
- What is your advice for someone that's thinking about starting a business, but suffers from anxiety?
JUST DO IT! You’ve so got this and are so much stronger than you think! If it seems daunting and overwhelming, take things one step at a time. I found creating a business plan was a great place to start as with anxiety the unknown can be difficult, so while most things will still be unknown at least you’ll have a great plan in place and have a clear idea of where you’re heading.
Also make sure your business is doing something you love and are super passionate about as then the business will have longevity and it won’t feel like “work!”
A BIG thanks to Carlie for taking the time to take part in this week's blog. I know Carlie really would not see herself as an influencer (as she is so down to earth), but gosh can I say she is and of the best type! She constantly keeps it real and I personally love logging on each day seeing her stories of how she manages Mum and entrepreneur life. As a fellow anxiety sufferer I am in awe of how Carlie has created a community of tens of thousands of genuine followers that constantly lift each other up. I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing community.