To celebrate International Women’s Day, we thought who better to speak to than Rebecca Pullar. Most of you would know her as the Director of Adrift, however she is a proud mother of four children, an ex lawyer and avid traveller (hitting the ski slopes whenever she has the chance to getaway).
Since launching Adrift in 2012, Bec has gained a wealth of experience in the industry, particularly seeing the fluctuation of retail and how the fashion industry in Australia has changed. We have spoken a lot about where we are headed with Adrift but not many knowing what it was like for Bec starting her own business and the challenges she faced during the process.
We sat down with Bec to find out more about her story of motherhood, raising children, while balancing the lifestyle of starting and growing her own business. Follow our Q & A with Bec that reveals much more than you have ever known about this incredible woman.
In a past life you were a practicing Lawyer. What did you take away from those years and what advice would you have for young women looking to get into law now?
First and foremost, that not every day at work is a good day. Some days for me were terrible... you had to be quite thick skinned to keep going. The partners I worked with were under an extreme amount of pressure, so I quickly learnt not to take things personally and to keep working hard, which is where I built a strong work ethic. My advice for young women getting into Law would be to train yourself early in good time management and when the time is right; to take on management responsibilities.
How did you balance your job while raising your children at that point in your life?
I didn’t sweat the small stuff. I prioritised kindness, fun and the kids interest and their loves, over homework, cooking and housework. There is only three years and nine months between my four kids so, we were a super happy, crazy disorganised bunch. I also made a lot of friends who were truly great mums and gave me so much support. One of whom works with me at Adrift today.
What was the defining moment in your life that kick started the idea of you wanting to start your own business in fashion?
Folding socks and realising I was doing more housework than mothering and not wanting to go back into legal practice.
How did you bring your dream of Adrift to life and what was the reality when you first started?
I grew up 'pre-computers' and I felt vulnerable in the work force because of this aspect so I knew it was the time to start my own business. Adrift started as one bricks and mortar store in 2012. When I knew women liked the product, I contacted a couple of smart young university students and asked them to make me a website. I couldn’t believe it when I received the first online orders!! The kids and I would pack them in the garage together...eventually it started to get a little out of control. I was getting up at 4am to pack (so my husband wouldn’t find out because he was sick of me being in the garage) and at that point realised I needed help and a warehouse.
How have your children changed the way that you look at life and the way that you run your business?
My children are my life. I feel overwhelmed every day that I have had the privilege of being a mother. I don’t take it for granted - I have tried to love them unconditionally always and teach them what I consider to be the only things that actually matter. These to me are kindness, respect for others, loyalty and honesty. It’s how I run my business and my life.
What is the greatest joy you have from being the Director of Adrift? Is it the people, the product, the customers?
When I first started my greatest joy was seeing such wonderful customers on a daily basis. But these days sadly I am not so exposed to this as much and now I love coming to see my team and to help guide and be there for them. I have an extraordinary team of people that work with me. These include my family - my sister runs my wholesale and has built it from the ground-up (she is amazing), old friends and a wonderful bunch of young, smart and hardworking girls.
Where do you find sanctuary in your life between running a business and looking after your health and well-being?
Currumbin beach in Queensland...it's just the best place ever.
What do you believe has changed for women over the years in the workforce?
Maternity leave although it is still resented in the workplace. I was always bemused in legal firms how the male partners in our partnership meetings happily espoused the exploits of their children but seemed to think my husband and I should be excluded from having kids by virtue of their complete lack of support for any maternity leave let alone paid.
Have there been any serious or traumatic experiences in your life that have changed your outlook and the way that you work? Have these defined you or made you a stronger person?
The sudden unexpected death of my mother at a young age made me truly understand the concept that you only have one life to live and to not sweat the small things. This as well as not comparing yourself to others and not worrying about what people think of you. Live your life, be kind, be honest and enjoy life.
Our customers are always wanting to know what’s next…can you give them a sneak peek of any exciting ventures for Adrift this year?
The only thing I will say is we will continue to be committed to dressing all women in beautiful but wearable garments. We will be taking Adrift to the heart of what I think is Australia with all its diversity and richness. Campaigns will be more spectacular and thoughtful, and I think our customers are going to love the journey.
We hope you've got something out of this q & a with our Director Bec. Have a wonderful International Women's Day and if you have any queries or questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.