Welcome to Top Three Takeaways, where I give you bite-sized life lessons from the She Built That episodes. Tune into the podcast every Tuesday, and get your recap every Friday.
Sarah Bancroft doesn’t like to sit idle for too long.
The co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Vitamin Daily is in the process of shaking up her life: she has sold Vitamin Daily and is taking a year-long sabbatical to travel abroad with her husband and children; converting a farm into a vineyard; and establishing an Air BnB. If that doesn’t inspire you to pursue your passions and try something new, I don’t know what will.
Bancroft has experience in the fashion, lifestyle, and media industries through careers at Aritzia, FASHION Magazine, and Vitamin Daily. A lot of these opportunities have come through Bancroft forging her own path. And I mean that quite literally: Bancroft can only think of one job that she “applied for” in the traditional sense.
“Every job that I’ve ever had didn’t exist. It wasn’t like I applied for a job. I sort of created the positions that I eventually had. So, to be honest the last time I applied for a job was when I was 15 and I walked into the Robson Street Aritizia and handed over my resumé and did an interview with the founder of the company, Brian Hill.”
Bancroft proceeded to work 30 hours a week at Aritzia while completing her honours degree at UBC. She worked her way up Aritzia to become the technical buyer, building on her existing skill sets and gaining a foundation of business experience. Since then, the commonality in her career has been an “entrepreneurial thread,” as Bancroft puts it. She creates her opportunities, rather than waiting for them to come to her.
Change it up every 12 years.
I mentioned that Bancroft doesn’t sit idle long. This is partly because she recommends changing your life up every 12 years.
“I’m a firm believer that you need to shake things up every once in a while […] I’m actually in that year this year, which is kind of exciting,” said Bancroft. “So 12 years ago I was starting my company, I was getting married, I was buying my first house, and I got pregnant all within three months.”
It can be easy to fall into a routine—and many of the entrepreneurs on our previous podcasts have recommended having a routine, so there’s one less thing for you to think about. Routine just doesn’t work for Bancroft though: “I abhor routine. I do things differently all the time. So I can’t say that I get up at the same time, that I do yoga every morning, or make a green smoothie every morning.”
I think this mentality of doing things differently every day, of switching it up, plays into Bancroft’s changing her life up every 12 years. It’s a spirit of creativity, and not letting yourself get too comfortable or complacent.
Aspire towards simplicity.
Personally, I struggle to downsize and restrict myself to the absolute essentials. I attach sentimental value to objects although realistically, if they were gone I wouldn’t miss them at all.
“Knowing that we’re going on sabbatical year it’s been really liberating, because I haven’t been buying clothes […] Why would you buy clothes in Vancouver and take them to Paris? It’s like bringing sand to the beach.
“I read a story just recently about a film director from New York who moved to Paris with a rolling duffle bag. He said that’s all he ever wants, is his possessions to fit in this one duffle bag. That’s where I’m aspiring to. It’ll be one suitcase—and probably be the biggest suitcase I can find—but that’s what I’m aspiring to.”
It’s refreshing to hear from a human being who is so focused on simplifying their life—and especially someone in the fashion industry which, as Bancroft and SBT host Tarah Ferguson discussed, can be so acquisitive.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Nothing ever happens in the comfort zone.” – Sarah Bancroft.
Bancroft quoted this phrase, and I feel that it really encapsulates her interview for me. Bancroft seems like such an adventurous, creative spirit. It’s inspiring to hear about her ambition, and the way she pursues new experiences.