Here at Feather & Noise we love Makin’ Noise with inspiring women we discover & love! So, come and get to know the co-founders of ‘Circle In’ Jodi Geddes and Kate Pollard. These inspiring ladies launched the amazing and supportive network called ‘Circle In’ back in October 2017 – To sum it up, they are a company committed to supporting working parents as they move through the parental leave journey as they return to work. They are the go-to destination for parental leave career support and filling the gap in the resources available to parents and employers.
Firstly, tell us about the business you co-founded, Circle In and your plans for 2019?
Where to start?! We are blown away by the success to date and still cannot believe that in just over a year, we have reached 72,000 unique visitors to our site! Like every good idea, it came from a real need. We both went through 2 lots of parental leave and really struggled to return to work as our confidence had taken a huge hit. What we found is that while there was so much parenting advice around setting up your nursery, what pram to buy and how to settle your baby, there was nothing that helped you to navigate your career through such a big life changing event. After talking with over a thousand women, we found we weren’t alone and that women often really struggle to return to work and juggle a career and family. So we launched Circle In in October 2017 to help support women through every stage of parental leave and parenthood with practical tools, advice and real stories. We like to say that we are a bit like the book “what to expect when you’re expecting” but from a career perspective.
The start of the year is busy with holidays (school going back, back to work, childcare) – it’s manic, what are your tips in getting back into a rhythm?
Funnily enough, we are now living and breathing the real juggle of motherhood. We’ve both had our eldest start school this year, so it’s a bit of an adjustment and the juggle just became so much tougher. The hardest part is actually keeping track of who needs to be where with the multiple drop offs and pick-ups each day. To help us and other busy families like us juggle it all, we’ve just created this weekly planner template. It’s made such a difference in our daily lives and our wonderful Circle In community have also absolutely loved it! https://www.circlein.com.au/your-must-have-drop-offpick-up-schedule-for-school-and-daycare/
You’ve both made the leap and started your own business, Circle In, supporting mums and women find their ‘work life harmony’ – what things have worked for you both to find your harmony?
Starting a business with 2 little kids each has been really hard at times but also the most rewarding thing we’ve done. To find your work-life harmony, you need to be clear on your priorities at work and at home and then structure everything around that. So at work, we have divided up all the different parts of our business so that we each lead certain aspects of it. It means we are a lot more efficient and we get to work on the things we enjoy the most. At home it’s about making sure we spend enough quality time with our husbands and kids. Running your own business can be really demanding on your time but it’s also quite flexible. We want to spend our time doing the things that matter, so we always make time for the important things such as our big kid’s first day of school or going out to dinner with our husbands.
How do you describe your personal work style?
We like to dress in a style that suits the modern working mother. It is about being comfortable and dressing in what suits your body. Sophisticated, yet relaxed. Dresses, skirts and tops that can take us from the school yard to work.
You’ve spoke openly about focusing on wellness and slowing down in 2019 – how are you both going? Any tips so far?
The hardest thing about being a busy working mum is that there is very little time for yourself. We’ve found that the only way to fit it in is by getting up in the morning before the kids get up to do some exercise or meditation. We also both try to eat healthy, nutritious food to keep our energy levels up. And make sure we go to bed at a reasonable time!
Jodi: I personally can feel quite stressed at times, so this year I’ve joined an amazing new health and wellness studio and I’m loving it. I can do unlimited pilates, yoga and meditation. I am finding it is making a huge difference to my stress levels and health.
Kate: We also love Cat Sanz’s wonderful approach to always finding at least #fiveminutesofmine every day. Even when you are super busy, just taking those five minutes for yourself can make all the difference.
What are your top three ways to stay organised when it comes to juggling work / kids / school?
It’s really tough actually! For the first time this year we have one child each in pre-school and school, so the juggle just became more complex. This has meant that we’ve needed to get super organised this year.
Our top 3 tips are:
Having a joint calendar which we share with our partners. If it’s not in the diary it doesn’t happen!
Having lunch boxes to fill and pack every day is another pain point, so we’ve found it’s good to do a big cook up and stockpile the freezer. It makes it so much easier to pull some healthy home-cooked food out each day that’s ready to go.
Be open with your friends about how you are feeling. With school being back this week, we have found ourselves relying on friends more than ever. If you are struggling or need help, then you need to ask!
What are your go to outfits for weekends with the family?
We both love practical comfortable clothes that look good. You’ll often find Kate in a pair of jeans and basic T and runners. While Jodes is mostly in a long skirt, dress or jumpsuit with comfy sandals.
How do you wind down at the end of a busy day?
We both try to have some time with our husbands over dinner where we switch off our phones and talk about our days. If we have time, it’s also nice to fit in a bit of Netflix, or a nice warm shower and cup of herbal tea. If it’s the weekend, you can’t go past a nice glass of wine to unwind!
Mornings are always a rush to get everyone ready – what’s your tips on getting everyone out the door on time?
Gosh isn’t it crazy in the morning?! Now our biggest kids are at school and have a uniform, it’s made it a bit easier as they can get dressed themselves. That helps immensely! Other than that, it’s trying to get as much ready the night before, such as school bags packed, clothes laid out etc. We both always plan what we are wearing the night before and it makes a huge difference.
What were your favourite looks from your photoshoot with Feather & Noise?
Kate: I loved all of them and they could not have been more perfect! The beautiful soft pink dress teamed with a gorgeous black blazer brought in at the waist with a brown belt was something I felt works so well for me. It’s so comfortable, yet elegant and perfect for those client meetings (and still practical enough to pick up the kids after work).
Jodi: I too loved them all! I feel like my entire wardrobe is F&N! I especially loved the pink linen skirt as I am obsessed with anything that has pockets! It was so sophisticated, yet comfy. I also love that you can dress it up or down, depending on the look you are after. I am all for looks that can go both ways and are practical.
Fashion: Feather & Noise
Photography: Leah Ladson
Hair: Cat from Colourist.Cat
Stylist: Jess Dean @Ivorymoth
Circle In Instagram: Circle In