When we think of what it means to be an IMBIBE woman, Tess Robinson definitely comes to mind. Mama of 2, born designer and Director of creative agency Smack Bang, Tess is a certified wonder-woman.
We recently sat down with her to discuss her career, lifestyle and the moments that have made her who she is today.
1. Hi Tess! Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do…
I’m Tess — Mum to my 2 year old daughter, Dylan and 4 month old, Marlo, as well as Founder and Creative Director of Smack Bang, a creative agency.
What that title means changes from day to day, but I essentially work with the areas of the business that need my support and input most. It might be working with our design team, writing strategy or copy for a client project, meeting with our finance team to talk budgets and forecasts, refining our portfolio and case studies, or meeting with my team to discuss marketing objectives and ideas.
Officially though, my job is to make business decisions, give creative criticism and steer our own marketing approach.
2. Star sign? And moon and rising if you know?
Taurus, through and through. I’m definitely known for my sheer determination and a willingness to just get shit done no matter the circumstances. Ever since I was a baby, I’ve worn my head-strong, stubborn Taurean badge like a soldier. For better or worse, I’m the Taurean that goes to war each day.
Moon is in Leo, and Rising Virgo. Again, these are very indicative of how I operate in the world.
3. Why did you start your agency and what advice do you wish someone had given you before you did?
A total born design lover, I tried my hand at university, and after a few failed attempts, decided to drop out to start Smack Bang. I always knew I would work for myself in the design space, so bringing Smack Bang into the world has felt like a natural extension of my own identity.
I’d grown up with the old adage, that ‘patience is a virtue’, but I had to learn for myself thatimpatience is in fact, a virtue. Potentially even more-so, when it comes to business. I’ve always been impatient and being in business has taught me that tenacity will get you places. You can never underestimate hard work, progress and dynamism.
4. The most memorable project you’ve worked on to-date?
A recent high point was building the Worn For Good brand as part of our Pro-bono Foundation. Our work for this project was recently awarded a Good Design Award, which was certainly a great honour.
5. Day-to-Day beauty routine?
At the moment my ‘routine’ is a bit all over the shop due to the chaos that is two young children, moving house and working in spare pockets of the day. (The stereotype of a busy working mum is scarily accurate!).
I try to keep a good foundation in place, like my daily Imbibe collagen, drinking plenty of water, going to bed early and using a range of good quality, effective skincare products. We’re currently living in our little holiday house in a little coastal village so I’m enjoying the make-up free life!
6. Favourite way to spend time off?
These days, with life being so full, my favourite things are the simplest things. A good book, good tunes and good food. Hitting the road and finding a deserted beach to spend the day with my family. Pitching the tent in a national park and waking up to the sunrise and smell of coffee. ...Anything that connects me back to my loved ones, myself and nature.
7. Go-to dinner party dish?
Smoked trout, soba noodle salad with loads of fresh ginger.
8. How do you balance work, health and home?
Juggling business with babies is no joke, so I’ve learnt to just try and take each day as it comes and not overwhelm myself with too many grand future plans. When it all boils down, you’re not going to care about your task list on your deathbed. A work life balance is a great aim to have. Although it often feels very much out of reach, I think it’s important to continually strive for this so-called ‘balance’.
I’m super organised which means that I can prioritise the ‘right’ thing at the right time. I also have an incredible partner who is very much dedicated to our family and ensuring we make time to switch off and relax.
9. Favourite Book/Album/Movie/Podcast?
Gosh, there are too many to name! Last book I read was the Vanishing Half, last album I listened to was J.J Cale and last Podcast, Beyond the Bump.
10. Most defining moment in your life to date?
Birthing my daughter Dylan in 2018. What an incredible and beautifully gratifying experience — One that has defined me more than any other in my life.