Amie Fitt, Sparro Designs
1. Tell us what this quote means to you and how it inspires you on a daily basis
“Wing it til you bring it” was recently introduced to me by the talented Andrea Clarke (Career CEO). It struck a chord and has become my new mantra! So much of starting Sparro has been navigating uncharted waters. I experience at least one moment every day that either throws me a completely new challenge, or one I feel utterly unequipped to manage. Thus “Wing it…” has been a powerful and positive reminder that to succeed I need to step up, take control and keep moving forward.
2. Miss Collective is all about helping women Level Up. Who's helped you Level Up in your career?
Throughout my career, I’ve had the fortune of being surrounded by a number of remarkable colleagues who’ve inspired me to be better – to level up in my work, but also in my life at large.
Unbeknown to them, many of the most influential women in my career have been those who’ve simply lead by example. Furthermore, many of these women are those I’ve met during mascara application and chats over gym shower cubicles in the early hours of the morning. These are the women who inspire me to be the best version of myself – the ladies who are up before the sun, juggling careers, relationships and life, always striving to be the best version of themselves.
3. Tell us a bit about your amazing new business Sparro Designs? What inspired you to create it?
Proudly Australian, Sparro Designs is a brand of sleek, strong and seriously smart carry-alls for women who work, and love to workout.
Sparro exists to ease the load of women so typically caught struggling under the weight of multiple bags as they travel from the house to the gym/studio, office, dinner, and everything in between.
A Sparro Carry-All isn’t a gym bag, a work tote, laptop case or dirty laundry carrier … it’s an intricately engineered single-stop solution for all of these bags combined!
The Sparro story began when a Hong Kong (HK) adventure presented itself in late 2014. Originally from Melbourne, I’ve spent the last three or so years living in overseas with my partner – a fellow Aussie working for a large multinational company.
Before relocating, my week days were like that of many busy, working women. I was up and out of the house before sunrise, running or in the gym before heading to work. For me, exercise was critical. I needed it not only for my physical health, but to keep my mind in a good, balanced place. My morning workouts were like quality therapy sessions!
With this AM routine, I typically found myself showering at work or the gym. I’d leave home every day carrying clothes, shoes, toiletries, a hair dryer, laptop, keys, earphones, my wallet, breakfast, lunch, snacks, stuff … lots of STUFF, and lots of bags. My life in bags!
Upon settling into HK life, I quickly realised this regime was truly universal. Every busy, fitness-focused working woman I came across was carrying her life in bags. Moreover, we were all making a frustrating compromise between form and function. We’d either be using a stylish assortment of bags that looked good but were functionally useless, or an armful of functional bags that were, well, daggy.
The more fashionable bags would break under the weight of the 'life'; offering little or no room for sweaty post-workout apparel, while the more functional options were masculine or a bit ugly. Surprisingly, none appeared to be designed with women in mind (umm ... where do I put my steaming hot hair straighter or protect my lovely patent pumps?!)
So, therein lies the essence of Sparro. My mission is to offer a range of genuine, yet stylish carry-alls that consolidate the many bags we typically carry from workout to work, and everything in between.
4. How do you keep the balance between work, life and play?
Good question! Merging work and home life has definitely required some navigating, as has finding a way to relax in the same space as that of my office. I’m not sure I do this terribly well - it’s a WIP!
After some challenging periods in the past 2 years, I’m learning that routine, exercise and sleep ARE critical (the books don’t lie!). My most productive and successful days have definitely been the ones with those boxes ticked.
I love to run and have learnt that it’s incredibly important to my mental health. While living in HK, I really struggled to run – the climate was far from ideal. Since moving to Chicago in late 2017, I’ve ‘levelled-up’ my running again, and have noticed significant emotional and physical improvements as a result. The simple act of getting outdoors and clearing the head does wonders for productivity!
Living overseas and away from family and friends has added another layer to the challenge of all things ‘balance’. While being away has afforded me solid focus time when i’ve needed it most, I’ve definitely missed my nearest and dearest. I’m looking forward to building my Chicago and US based network in 2018!
5. With your jam packed lifestyle I’m sure you’ve got some great Spotify playlists or Podcasts lined up to keep you motivated! What's on your playlist at the moment?
I get great energy from hearing stories from women doing amazing things in business and life. The #NoFilter Podcast hosted by Mia Freedman is a fave, as is Rachel Corbett’s You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere.
Music wise, I’m listening to a Spotify playlist called Acoustic Covers A LOT! This subdued but familiar music seems to get me in the zone and stay focussed!
6. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Only one?! Hmm, I’d most definitely encourage myself to “consider and embrace alternate life adventures” rather than be scared by them.
I’m (very!) conservative by nature, a forward-planner who generally opts for all things safe, comfortable and familiar by default. However through recent leaps of faith and embracing associated bumps along the way, I’ve learnt these adventures are the most rewarding ones. I’ve surprised myself, emerged stronger, more resilient, more capable than I ever thought possible. I also have a greater sense of who I am, what I REALLY want from life, and now trust that things have a way of working out.
7. Our three go to pieces of Tech at the moment are Canva, UMUN and Slack to help us be more organised and on top of things! What piece of tech are you loving that helps you work smarter not harder?
Living abroad and working across multiple time zones, Meeting Planner by timeanddate.com has been a savoir! Without it, my head seriously spins coordinating meetings with contacts in Chicago, Hong Kong, LA and Melbourne.