3 days and counting until the A.C.F 2017 Fall collection launch. We want you; our friends, family, valued followers and customers to get to know us a little better. So what makes A.C.F tick? Who better to ask than our CEO & Founder Alexandra Foster.
What’s your regular workday like?
The best part about being an entrepreneur is that everyday is different! I check emails as soon as I wake up, I know, it’s a bad habit, but I just can’t help it! Finally I’ll put the phone away and walk my dog Mr. Cooper around the neighbourhood. This is incredibly important to let my mind prepare for the day without distractions. A brisk walk brings me to my studio to greet team A.C.F – Lucy, Gregory and Tanu. I’ll go through my daily “to do” list based on priorities, but I usually like to tackle accounts and business matters first thing and leave the more creative, fun things for the afternoon to give me something to look forward to as the day progresses. Although lunch is usually spent at my desk, I will always give myself a good hour or so away from any screens to have dinner. This is the time when my boyfriend and I catch up and debrief on the day, plan future adventures and conspire new business ideas.
How do you define success?
I think you need to have quite a few definitions of success in your mind, to keep you going when it seems like you’re very far away from your ‘ultimate’ success. For me, success is every time I launch a new collection, and some ‘success’ touch points would be reaching profitability and creating a company ethos where every staff member loves to work and be apart of. I really do believe that it’s important to stop and smell the roses. You need to be able to step back every once in a while and celebrate whatever aspect of success your business may be achieving at that time… even if it’s the littlest things! I call these micro-successes.
Other #GirlBosses you look up to?
Yes of course! I think there must’ve been something in the water in 1989 (the year I was born) because many of my lifelong friends are entrepreneurs in their own fields, whether it be starting up the trendiest cafés in London, Hip Hop Yoga studios or other fashion labels in Australia. A little closer to Hong Kong, I was recently on a panel talk “Green Is The New Black” held at Campfire Collaborative Spaces where 3 other amazing #girlbosses talked all things sustainability in Fashion. These women were Sarah Fung (Hula), Michelle Bang (BYT) and Divya Hira (Divya Hira). Participating in this event and connecting with these women on matters we all hold close to our heart is so inspiring!
Your ultimate productivity hack?
Prioritize! I see so many people spending hours on insignificant jobs and it drives me mental! We use a project management tool called Asana, which really helps the whole A.C.F team stay on track as it schedules your ‘to do’ list by due date. If you don’t already use a task management system, get onto it! It’ll save you so much time. I’ll throw in another one for extra measure; give yourself tighter deadlines. This will help you naturally work more productively and will also give you extra time at the end to go over all your work to ensure it’s great – I firmly believe that if you want something done, give it to the busiest person.
Self-care method of choice?
Baths. I’m a massive fan of having a long soak at the end of the day. Light a few scented candles, throw in a few bath salts, dim the lights and you’re ready to go. Extra points for having a face mask handy for a little pampering.
What is something you’re honestly still struggling with (or still working through)?
I suppose this is a good problem to have but since hiring my team, I have been working really hard at delegating. I am a control freak and struggled to sit back and watch other people do tasks that I would usually do in a different way. This is all part of management. The busier I was getting, the more distracted I became and things were starting to fall through the cracks, so now I’m stepping away from areas of the business that don’t need my direct expertise…and that I’m not necessarily the best person to do anyway!
Favourite quote that inspires you endlessly?
Not so much a quote, but it’s the A.C.F company mantra which is: “It’s better to do a little of something, than a lot of nothing”. This basically means that in every thing you do, no matter how small, it is such an achievement because you are doing it! So many people are afraid to even try for fear of failure but even in failure you will gain so much.