Connection means a lot to us, and we believe that lots of little stories create big connection. The #Inu8women series is how we share little stories about women who inspire us through their active lives. Learning from and sharing wisdom with like-minded women helps us to feel stronger, to feel supported and to be free to follow our joy. We are better together.
We are so happy to introduce Trudi Cassin, a wonderful friend of Inu8, Managing Partner and Owner at Brand Council. Brand Council is a strategic advisory firm that guides visionary leaders to transform and grow their businesses through stakeholder engagement, powerful brand strategy, corporate purpose, and Putting Purpose into Practice (PPiP)®.
Trudi lives with her family on the North Shore of Sydney and recently took a three month sabbatical. We were so curious to find out how she spent her time given this was something Trudi had never dreamed she would do!
Firstly, can you use just a few words to describe how you live your life?
I live a relatively simply life, focused on my family, friends, community, and work. I believe in standing up for what is right and supporting people and businesses that are purpose led. I enjoy the stimulation of my work as its challenging and makes an impact. I love learning how to be healthier and fitter – particularly now that I’m a bit older and wiser.
What is the work you do in the world? (paid or unpaid)
I am a business owner, together with my business partner Peta. We operate a strategy advisory firm called Brand Council; guiding organisations through the development and implementation of brand & purpose-led strategy. Strategy that achieves transformation and measurable positive impact for customers, community, staff, and stakeholders.
As an independent firm we have the freedom to choose who we work with and we are very selective when it comes to partnering with organisations that add value to the world.
What inspired you to take a break from your work recently?
I have never taken a break just for me so initially it felt like a very indulgent and odd thing to do. The idea for taking a break was the result of a mutual agreement with my business partner Peta, who had taken a break the previous year.
As I settled in to the break I realised just how beneficial taking time out was for myself both mentally and physically, and for my family.
How did you spend your time and what did you love about it the most?
I spent three months doing a lot of rather random things I had always wanted to do, whilst also allowing space for being impromptu and creative.
Being active was important and I included my family and friends in many of my adventures. I spent ten days with family in the Northern Territory learning about Uluru and was completely moved by what I learnt, and the connection to the land I felt. I hiked the Three Capes in Tasmania with friends, I rode a horse on the beach and immersed myself (and my daughter) in a Vedic Meditation course. I also did a Rounding course with Gary Gorrow at Soma Retreat in the Bryon Hinterland.
I made the time to visit lots of art galleries and this inspired a drawing and painting practice of my own. I was also very grateful I had the opportunity to spend quality time with my Dad.
I feel especially grateful that I had total confidence in my business partner and team and could leave the business for three months knowing it was in safe hands. I recognise that I was very fortunate and this was very freeing. I will even go as far to say that we are better business partners now as a result of the trust we had for one another through the break periods.
If anyone has the opportunity to take even the smallest time away from their every day routine take it! You just don't know what might come from creating time for yourself.
What is your favourite way to move your body? What do you love about it?
Walking for hours at a time – clears my mind and moves my body.
What is your favourite activewear piece/s? Is there something that you currently own that you cannot do without?
My Inu8 black tights! I’ve worn them constantly - morning walks, multi-day hikes, retreats, yoga. They’ve been bashed around yet still feel super smooth and fit like a glove. I love the cut, the fabric, and the big pockets which fit my phone and my keep-cup. I'm not sure I'm supposed to fit a keep-cup in there but I have to say the fabric keeps bouncing back so I keep doing it!
I also love the rough cut hem on the legs. Because there is no hem around the bottom they are comfortable to wear with hiking boots.
What words of advice do you have for women who feel like they are juggling it all and find it challenging to create space for themselves?
Don’t try and find some perfect balance – it’s OK to move in and out of periods of being super busy if it’s what you choose to do. Recognise you cannot do everything yourself (I had to learn this one). Make sure you build in time for what gives you energy. Eat well & meditate.
What does taking a holistic approach to wellbeing mean to you and how do you practice this in your own life?
Not buying into fads or being too serious about the idea of wellbeing/wellness. I like to understand what works for my body and mind. For me it’s eating a mostly plant-based diet, daily meditation, regular walks, connection to family, friends, and nature.
I really love my daily meditation practice, I sit for 20 minutes in the morning after my shower and then again in the evening before dinner. It has helped me enormously in handing stress and the inevitable drama that comes up in everyday life.
What does simplicity mean to you? Is it important to you?
I try to live life simply - it keeps me happy and sane. I feel more relaxed and creative when I have breathing space and my home is un-cluttered. I also follow simplicity in clothing – quality over quantity, beautiful fabrics and cut, mostly black. Funnily enough black is my happy colour.
What does a feeling of being connected mean to you?
Funny you mention this word as ‘connection’ was the theme of my year and my sabbatical. For me it's connection to self - physical and mental, connection to family and friends, connection to community and connection to land.
In general, do you seek out new products that are created sustainably? Is this important to you when purchasing activewear?
I always seek products that are created sustainably - it's very important to me that they have a positive impact (contribute to community e.g. Cloth and Co), and are well made and long lasting. I want to wear quality products that feel good and last. I don’t buy a lot of ‘activewear’ or like the term as I feel it implies cheap or not well made.
What I love about Inu8 is that it's extremely practical but feels a little bit special. It's activewear for grown ups! I think it's because the pieces are beautifully tactile and they just feel good to wear. I also love the branding, especially on the tights. What I am also loving about a simple and sustainable collection is that I can come back in a year and know I can buy the same thing again. This is important to me.
What is exciting you at present?
Art – I just started painting again for first time since I was in my 20’s! I paint abstract and I'm not second guessing it the way I used to. I have a space set up so I can dip in and out as I choose. I'm feeling strong – more physically fit than I have been in years and I'm really enjoying what this feels like and the amount of energy I now have.
Is there a phrase or a word that you live by?
Each year I choose a word to guide me. This year it is connection.
And my phrase . . “Don’t be disappointed that roses have thorns, be thankful that thorns have roses.” I love that this is a simple and to the point reminder of looking at the positives, the details, the magic of nature.
Connect with Trudi at The Brand Council
Discover the Three Capes Track
Learn more about Vedic Meditation at Soma Byron Bay
Discover Inu8 'activewear for grown-ups!'