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Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Naomi Rheinberger, Marketing Communications Manager at VANITY GROUP

Naomi Rheinberger is the Marketing Communications Manager at VANITY GROUP, an Australian company that curates, markets, manufactures and distributes an ensemble of leading bathroom amenities within the hospitality industry.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I always wanted to be a journalist. As I neared the end of my degree, journalism was entering a turbulent period (I guess the turbulence never stopped, hey?!). I was determined to be able to control the news to some degree, and Public Relations seemed to be the next best fit.

As I found my feet in PR I was fortunate to be surrounded by insanely intelligent and fearlessly creative leaders. The first was Kelly Müller during my time at iconic Australian beauty brand ModelCo. She ignited my obsession for the industry and showed me just how fulfilling a life in Public Relations could be.

The second was Annalise Brown. Annalise mentored me during my time looking after communications for one of the world’s leading creative agencies, M&C Saatchi Group. She was water. I was a sponge. Wring me and her knowledge will seep out. It’s a privilege to still list her as my mentor today.

From there, I moved into what I consider to be one of the greatest jobs in the world – looking after PR & Communications for QT Hotels & Resorts. It was here where my passion for brands became an obsession. There’s something about the QT brand that breeds creativity.

Today, I look after global Marketing & Communications for VANITY GROUP. We work with the world’s most luxurious brands to create hotel amenities and activate them via creative services. It’s serendipitous that my most memorable career moments have so beautifully led me to this point.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Every day I wake up between 4.45am – 5.15am – early, I know!

I love being up before the sun and working out. Knowing that nothing in my day will be as hard as what I’ve already put myself through at 5.30am helps me to operate at my best.

I’m also unapologetically competitive, so I will admit I get a kick out of knowing I’ve already worked out while others are still sleeping.

I’m at my desk before 8am and commit to three things that need to be ticked off my to-do list. Around 9am, you can usually find me in our creative studio checking in on existing briefs and usually sneaking in some new ones.

The rest of my day is a gorgeously chaotic mix of championing the VANITY GROUP brand, amplifying our brand portfolio, and supporting our hotel partners with creative services spanning traditional marketing, content, PR and events.

I love that at any given moment I can be brought into a fragrance matching session, new product development meeting, or new business pitch – as I said, it’s gorgeously chaotic!

I aim to leave by 5.30pm where it isn’t uncommon for me to be meeting friends for dinner and sipping on a glass of Chardonnay (or two!). I’m a massive foodie and aim to leave no restaurant unturned.

Because I’m up early, I sleep early. I play a guided meditation around 9.15pm and have drifted off to sleep by 9.30pm.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Can I start by saying it’s 2021, so we need to stop treating workplace flexibility as a privilege. It should be woven into existing structures.

Generally, I’m in the office four days a week and work from home one day. I love the energy of a bustling environment and work best when surrounded by people, riffing ideas and being able to give face to face feedback.

However, because travel is ingrained in my role, I often need to work remotely and surf different time zones – I couldn’t do my job without flexibility.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

It means being present and letting go of self-judgement. There’ll be times when life is more work than play, and that’s okay. But you better believe when I’m in play mode – whether it be with friends, family, working out or meditating – I’m wholeheartedly “there”.

The best thing I can do to achieve this for myself is to embrace life for what it is. Minimise labelling of good vs bad and take each challenge, celebration, deadline, or social occasion as it arises.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I stopped binging Netflix and started meditating and journaling. It’s made me infinitely more present and more self-aware.

I try to remind myself that my inbox is everyone else’s agenda for my time. At the end of the day, I’m in charge of determining what’s important. Admittedly, I wasn’t so great at this in the past!

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I’m podcast obsessed! It’s an opportunity to learn at any moment of the day. My rotation consists of Jay Shetty, Aubrey Marcus, Joe Rogan, Tim Ferris and Lewis Hamilton’s The School of Greatness. I may not always agree with the opinions they put forward, but embracing a different way of thinking is never a bad thing.

When it comes to books, I’m in it for the escapism. I read Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray at least once a year and Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One has been one of my life’s biggest literary influences.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I’m rather boring on the gadget front. It took me years before I even made the switch to Airpods!
The Balance meditation app is something I’ll never delete. Ever. Oh, and Instagram. Some of my best ideas have been inspired by something I’ve scrolled.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Tricky! I’m not sure there is any one person who I could single out. Elite athletes would be the most fascinating. Their livelihoods are their work. They are in the top 1% of their field, being “always on” both physically and mentally is part of the job.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

If work doesn’t play a role in fulfilling your purpose, reconsider if that’s where you want to be spending so much of your life.

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.