For very many people, happiness means freedom. Freedom to do what you want, when you want, how you want.
When Dr Earle Haas first invented the tampon in 1930s (fun fact for the day!), that’s exactly what he was giving his ballerina wife, plus billions of women to come…freedom.
80+ years on, that’s the philosophy that TOM’s is still spreading through their social conscience and entirely organic range of products.
And at the core of their world-changing work is Sales and Community Manager Sarah, who works to make TOM accessible to all women – on retail shelves and through education and partnerships.
She’s a strong believer that healthy, happy women start from the inside out, and shares seven of her own simple but powerful strategies for a happy pick-me-up!
HS: WHERE IS YOUR ULTIMATE HAPPY PLACE?
SJ: Byron Bay. Catching waves. Swimming in waterfalls. Dinner parties. Freckle collecting. Rosé. Dancing to live music. Family. Close friends. Random locals.
While I love to keep one toe in Melbourne, the antidote to city life is to chill out at the beach.
I grew up spending weekends and our holidays on the Queensland Coast. My three brothers and I made our own fun, spending endless hours in the surf, on or off boards, catching fish until the sun set and would gather around the table together for a big dinner at night.
The sun and salt still grounds me and takes me back to the simple pleasures and my love of adventure
IF YOU ARE NOT PHYSICALLY THERE WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP EVOKE IT?
- Music – turning up some killer tunes is an instant mood lifter for me. Flight Facilities, Rufus, Disclosure.
Sometimes I’ll bring out the R&B bad boys – Pony by Genuine, Kanye, some Drake, and dance around like I am one of Channing Tatum’s back up dancers.
- Exercise – A good sweat out with a long run, a boxing session or a Pilates class. To center myself I always feel better after a hot power flow or Yin yoga class.
- Girlfriends – I have a close group
of friends who are like my sisters. We are fiercely honest with one another and they always know what to say. We laugh. A lot. A night out with them is always a fun way of shaking things off.
- Get writing – I write down all of the positives in my life and get clear on the things I want to improve.
Once I’ve done this, I feel like I have more clarity and trust that things will fall into place. They always do.
- Take time out – spending a day outdoors, booking a weekend away or a vacay is the best way to reset.
A change of scenery always clears my head and lifts spirits.
- A sassy blow dry – who doesn’t feel amazing with good hair?
- Wine, it’s always a good idea.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU HAVE TAKEN IN THE NAME OF HAPPINESS?
Leaving the corporate world to join a small team of four at TOM Organic. It was a big jump in my career trajectory, leaving behind a company with an established brand, structures, and systems.
Over two and a half years ago – when I was looking to join the team – the business was in its early stages. There is always an element of risk joining a start-up, you don’t necessarily have the same job security that you get in the corporate world, and you often have to work a lot harder and smarter.
DID IT PAY OFF?
Working at TOM is a dream. It doesn’t’ feel like work. It aligns with my own personal values and allows me to thrive professionally. I can completely be myself and it feels like I get to go to work every day with my friends. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we are incredibly trusted in our roles and we are supported to succeed.
Most of us spend more time at work than we do with with our partner, family or friends, so you have to get up and love what you do every day; otherwise, what’s the point?
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE WORLD WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN EVERYONE IS DOING WHAT THEY LOVE?
Everyone would live with more purpose and meaning.
There would be fewer egos because everyone would be passionately doing what they enjoy every day.
People would take more risks, and not be afraid of failing, which would mean there would be even cooler products and concepts available to us.
WHO IS THE HAPPIEST PERSON YOU KNOW?
My niece Emily and nephew Oscar. They are always cheeky and happy.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST THING THEY HAVE TAUGHT YOU?
Laughter is natural, they let go of things easily, they are present, they have wild imaginations. The sky is the limit.
TALK US THROUGH A HAPPY DAY FOR YOU…WHAT’S INVOLVED OR PERHAPS NOT INVOLVED?
6am Yoga with a mediation at the end.
A dip in the ocean.
A coffee and a healthy brekky at my local café OR a snuggle up with Oscar and Emily eating raisin toast in bed.
My morning chat to Gran and Mum.
A laze at the beach with the girls.
Markets and a cook up at lunch.
A few hours buried in a juicy book.
An afternoon run.
Vino. An Italian feast, dessert.. and sometimes the best plan from here is to not have a plan.
DO YOU HAVE A LIFE MOTTO?
If it’s still on your mind, it’s worth taking the risk.
WHAT’S A SIMPLE PICK UP THAT WORKS FOR YOU EVERY TIME?
Music. It can calm you, lift you, motivate you and quickly switch your mood.
WHEN YOU WERE A KID, WHAT DID YOU ENJOY DOING MOST?
Anything that involved being creative or an adventure – climbing trees, riding my bike, performing dances, playing games with the kids in my neighbourhood.
ARE THERE ANY ELEMENTS OF THAT IN YOUR WORK TODAY?
My job is so diverse and every day is one big adventure. One minute my head will be in a spreadsheet, the next it will be working on the design of a tote bag or jumping on a plane to Sydney for an event.
I have always thrived from being around people so hanging out with the team is always something look forward to.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’D LOVE TO TELL YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Stop caring about what people think.
AND YOUR 80 YEAR OLD SELF?
I’d like to think my 80-year-old self would have a few things to tell me!
But to her I’d say, gracefully rock being 80. Have passion for life. Still wear perfume every day (even if just for me) and to remember to pass on your dating memoirs (and disasters) to my grandchildren.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHEERLEADER?
My Aunty Annie. She is outrageously fun with a zest for living a full life. Annie always encourages me to see the world, to grow and to live beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone.
WHOSE GREATEST CHEERLEADER ARE YOU?
My brothers. The fever for happiness is grounded in living a life that you love and waking up every day and enjoying what you do, so that’s what I encourage them to harness.
It’s about finding a nice balance, getting curious and seeing the world and having fun.
I want them to enjoy the process and understand that it’s not just about the result. I tell them that mistakes are ok and are all part-and-parcel of growing and learning.
PLEASE FINISH THESE SENTENCES:
If I wasn’t afraid I would… launch an organic underwear label.
(That might come between working at TOM though, which would be a tough decision.)
I come alive when…
The sunshine is out, I am with a fun crew (work, friends or family) and when I hit the dance floor.
If I ruled the world… I would create an education system that is a platform for social and emotional development. Our current system is performance-based and not purpose-based. It fails to teach children passion and sometimes positions failure as a source of shame.
Daily meditation would also be part of the curriculum. Everyone needs to be taught this skill and it’s important to create time in your day to get a little Zen.