The influential lifestyle expert, Contributing Editor of Vogue and mum of two gives us a glimpse into her job, overcoming her biggest work challenges and her top career advice
From being an intern in the fashion cupboard at British Vogue to Wellbeing Editor, Contributing Editor and now influential health and wellness coach, Calgary Avansino’s list of accomplishments reads like the type of resume that only dreams are made of.
Having had two children along the way too, Calgary can now also be found working on her new website ( www.calgaryavansino.com ), a book and a range of healthy juices in addition her writing duties. Named one of the Evening Standard’s most influential people last year, she’s currently working on a project with the Crowne Plaza exploring how the definition of success has evolved through the eras and its meaning today, so we caught up with the respected beauty and wellness expert to ask her about the ins and outs of her job, how she stays organised, overcoming her biggest work challenges and to ask her what success means to her.
Extremely friendly, focused and passionate about what she does, juggling it all isn’t easy however her drive, ambition and her attitude towards wellness and fitness is infectious and provides ample inspiration for anyone looking to get into her line of work or hoping to make some healthy tweaks to their lifestyle.
Image: Nancy Neil
Here’s a glimpse into what she does and how she makes it work…
GTG: Could you describe what you do for us? What does a typical day look like?
CA: Right now it’s pretty varied - I’m working on my website which is launching in two weeks’ time, so I’m finalising that and also my book which is out in January 2016. I’m launching a range of juices with Itsu on the 20th of November which are delicious, but also the lowest sugar vegetable juices on the market. I’m just working on the last details for them.
I do a variety of different thing in terms of writing. I write for Vogue Magazine and Vogue online every week and also Sunday Times Style - I’m a columnist and write for them every other week. I’m still Contributing Editor of Vogue which involves me running and organising the Vogue Festival which takes up a lot of time. We’re in the beginning planning stages for 2015. I also consult for different fitness and fashion brands and I’m a mum of two, so it’s very busy!
I get up between 6 and 7 am because I always try to get a bit done before the kids wake up. I try to exercise before 10 as then it definitely gets done. Every day is completely different. I try a lot of exercise classes and visit new venues to check them out and cook a lot too. Sometimes I’ll have back to back meetings, filming, or recently I had a radio day for a project I was doing, so it’s totally varied. I like that though, I’m never just doing one thing or am ever in one place.
GTG: What’s the most challenging project you have worked on?
CA: I would say that my website has been the most challenging because I’m too much of perfectionist and a website is a changing body. I’m always tweaking it and perfecting it for before it goes live which has been so challenging. It’s hard to ever say you’re ever done with it. I always find though that the most challenging thing is the most rewarding. However, in a few months’ time my most challenging project will probably be my book! Usually what I’m working on at that moment is always the hardest.
GTG: What does success mean to you? How do you stay on top of your game?
CA: In the project we’ve been working on [at the Crowne Plaza] the studies have shown how people’s views have really shifted in terms of how they view success, that’s why I chose to do it. People are no longer obsessed with stereotypical symbols of what success used to mean, like the bigger salary or the corner office, blingy watches etc., people want balance and a sense of wellbeing and you only get that through having time for you and what’s meaningful to you and not focusing on work.
Success to me means being able to love what you do and feel good about what you do, speaking your mind and following through with the dreams that you have. If you set goals, dreams and visions for yourself and you start achieving them, that’s success no matter the field you’re in.
GTG: What motivates you?
CA: I’m very motivated in what I do because I believe in it so passionately. I see how better people live and feel when they’re healthier, balanced and when they focus on themselves. I’ve seen the effect it’s had in my life, so to see someone making small changes in the lives and doing the same, that’s what really motivates me.
GTG: How do you organise yourself?
CA: Very precisely - I’m a huge list maker! I really believe in the power of a list and getting to tick things off of it. I always know that being late and not having enough time really stresses me out, so I try to avoid it at all costs and try and give myself enough time in between meetings and calls etc. Otherwise I end up stressed, possibly letting someone down and not being very professional. I’m very conscious of time management.
The other thing that I do is plan ahead, for example with food, meals and snacks. I always have snacks in my bag so I’m never caught out, I plan what breakfast I’ll have the night before and pack the kids’ snack bags then too. I don’t like the feeling of being stressed or rushed and not knowing what’s next. I always make lists for each aspect of my life too, whether that be for my website, my kids, my work with Sunday Times Style…just so I can see the plan in front in me.
GTG: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to do what you do?
CA: First and foremost only do it if you really really believe in it. It’s something that I’ve believed in, championed and lived for a very long time. You have to be very true to it. If someone wants to do it, just try - start cooking and put it in a blog, so many people do it so beautifully and give us so many inspirational recipes.
Be original and be truly yourself even if it’s not popular. If people disagree with you, all the better - get the discussion going. The more we talk about health, fitness and nutrition the better; we’ve seen what the discussion has done with regards to the government and taking a stand. Stand up for what you believe in and stick to it.
Calgary Avansino, lifestyle expert and Contributing Editor for British Vogue, is working with Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts to explore how modern day values have evolved our perceptions of success. Find out more about the Crowne Plaza Evaluating Success report and check out Calgary’s top tips for success by visiting crowneplaza.com/youfirst . Follow Calgary Avansino on Twitter via @CalgaryAvansino.