Ingrid Starnes: How I keep well

Fashion designer Ingrid Starnes
Fashion designer Ingrid Starnes

Growing an eponymous fashion label while working from home with three young children can be stressful at times, but staying fit helps keep things in perspective, designer Ingrid Starnes says.

Making a work from home regime work

I've got twins that are six and a little girl who just turned two.

I work from home - I've got a workroom down the back at our place - and I do work a lot at night. So once the kids are in bed, four or five days a week I'll go back to work and I'm there until pretty late.

The kids are all sleeping through now, though, so when I do get to bed I feel like I have a great sleep!  

Keeping court

Court sports are fun and social - but that doesn't mean you have to check your competitive spirit at the door.

I've got an indoor netball team I play with every Tuesday and lately, depending on when I can make it, I've also been playing on Thursdays.

All through high school I played netball and when I came up to Auckland to study at university I was on a social team, but then it fell away.

I picked it up again last winter. I play on a mixed team with my partner Simon, and we've all become really competitive since we won our season!

It's social but I still like to compete. I think it's good to push yourself with stuff like that. And it's fun - often on a Tuesday night we'll be driving to netball and be a bit stressed about work stuff and then we'll play a game and we're like different people when we leave. I love it. 

A family affair

I've been running for quite a while. I did the half marathon in November, but then I rolled my ankle at netball and had to take four weeks off, so I've eased up on it a bit since then.

I run three days a week now. I've met a woman down the road who runs, so we've started running together - just to make it a bit more enjoyable and less of a chore. We can also run lots of off-road tracks when there's two of us.

Often on the weekends I'll also run with the double pram and we have a tandem bike, so as a family we'll go off and find places with bike tracks and run and do lots of things like that.

We're total nerds! I'm from Gisborne originally, and since we've been doing that I've seen so much more of Auckland. We love to find undiscovered places and it's a way we can incorporate going out and getting fit and seeing the world.

Stress less

When I rolled my ankle and couldn't do anything, at times I thought I would combust.

It can be really stressful, running a business and with three kids - it's not an easy run, so exercise really helps.

It also definitely helps with mental alertness and focus. Often when I run in the evenings I find I can work until quite late. It really does put you on a high and makes you feel amazing.

I think the biggest thing is to keep moving, keep going, even when things are really hard. Sometimes when you feel it's all too much and you're swamped just go out, have a 20 minute run and it can change your entire perspective on things.