Why I do what I do: Annaliese Allen, Honeybell Waterwear

Last month, Annaliese Allen shared some gorgeous advice that her dad gave her for our Father’s Day blog series. We were intrigued to learn more about Annaliese and her business, Honeybell Waterwear, so this month she very kindly shared her story of “Why I do what I do”…

1.Tell us a bit about your job and how you got to where you are now?
I am the founder of Honeybell Waterwear, an Australian boutique sun protection clothing label for women. All Honeybell Waterwear garments are made in breathable fabric that is certified as providing UPF 50+ protection, the highest possible rating available, blocking 98% of the sun’s damaging UVA/UVB rays.

I have the type of skin that burns, so I was always pretty good at practicing the Cancer Council’s the Slip! Slop! Slap! message. A key component of this message is “slip on clothing”, and I thought that wearing a t-shirt was enough. But when I started looking into it and learned that the average white cotton t-shirt only has a SPF 5, it motivated me to buy a ‘rashie’ for myself. But finding a rashie that fitted me properly was not as easy as I thought – they were terribly unflattering and unfashionable.

The experience got me thinking; if wearing a rashie is making me feel body and fashion conscious, then other women are probably feeling that way too. So I decided to design rashies I wanted to wear. 

Other than providing a high level of sun protection, in fact the highest possible level, the end result is a looooong way from the regular rashie!

2. What do you love most about your job?
I love that it doesn’t feel like a job!  
When I was in the corporate world there was this constant struggle to maintain a work/life balance. Then, when I had kids, my outside life became more of a priority and I was never able to get that balance back (if I ever did have it in the first place!).

When I became my own boss, there was no longer a need to balance my time. Time working on the business is enjoyable, I look forward to it and it gives me energy, rather than draining me! Yes, I’m probably working more hours running my own business, but it sure doesn’t feel like it!

3. What’s your life mantra?
Stress is good.
Embrace your crazy, busy, stressful life and enjoy! A stress-free life does not provide happiness. High levels of stress come along with the things we want: purpose, meaning, community, love. 
Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk on stress, titled “How to Make Stress Your Friend” was a life changing 14 minutes for me!

4. What else would you be doing if you didn’t do what you do?
I’d be dressed up in a suit managing a strategy project for a corporate client. I am an accountant by trade and have always enjoyed numbers and problem solving. This type of work just doesn’t fit into my life right now.

5. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

The best gifts I’ve received are always ordinary items that I would have never bought for myself. Like so many other women, I am great at buying nice things for my partner and children, but never splash out on myself – so it is amazing when I receive something special just for me.  

6. What’s the best gift you’ve ever bought someone?
Post-Poo Drops. A life changer for the recipient and their partner! Just a couple of drops after activity has occurred in the bathroom to neutralise disagreeable smells. The first time I bought this as a little bit of a joke, but they actually work and I’m now giving these to everyone who has to share a bathroom! 

Annaliese Allen, founder of Honeybell Waterwear

Want more? You can learn more about Annaliese and how she is redefining the rashie with Honeybell Waterwear.

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