Christine Zotos & Anna Hrist
Co-Founders, Contrology Active
Your #LifeInBag flat lay exposé. In 1 sentence, please explain.
CHRISTINE (CZ): My favourite red Chloé wallet (red was Anna’s tipoff … pretty much so I can see it, because everything in my life is black), keys, Mi GOALS notebook, pen, liquid highlighter (of the makeup variety - to keep me looking alive), 2 x lip glosses, AVÈNE facial spray, phone, toothbrush & paste, hand sanitiser, hair ties, rogue business cards, receipts and always sunnies.
ANNA (AH): I’m a chronic over-packer. There’s a strange feeling of security that comes with having all your essentials with you at all times, even if you only use them once in a blue moon! I’ve tried to cure the problem by buying smaller handbags, but that just results in having to take a second bag … hence why I absolutely love the idea of Sparro Designs. Everything is together - if you haven’t decided what perfume you’re wearing that morning, you can fit both.
Things I can’t leave the house without are by far my phone, my portable phone charger, lip balm, perfumes, powder and you will always find something to eat in my bag - I often get called the 7 Eleven for carrying various flavours of gum, a protein bar and nuts. There’s not always time to eat, so my ‘snack pit’ keeps the metabolism going!
Sparro is a testament to high flying females known for their love and dedication to work, and working out. But also…to the one who may have been known to arrive at the gym with her top on inside-out (or backwards – sometimes both). Sound familiar?
AH: I can absolutely relate to this! Time is of the essence, so I find myself always rushing to my Pilates class with never any time to spare for changing in a proper change room. My change room is always the car, so I’ll often find myself in a class with leggings back to front, or my top inside out.
CZ: Ha - nope! I generally arrive at the gym or studio polished and ready to go. I’ve always been like that … even at 6am I’ll be there with a dusting of bronzer on the cheeks (looking) fresh-faced and awake. I’m not a makeup person but my bronzer is a must - blame the Mediterranean in me! Guess I’d call myself organised when it comes to working out, and keeping myself in check!
We love working out for many reasons, but mostly because a solid sweat gets us offline, sharpens our focus and gives us the confidence and energy to smash some serious life goals. Tell us about your current targets (career, life or otherwise).
AH: Oh a physical level? Hmm, I’ve recently started weights training, which is a huge change from Pilates classes. It’s something very new to my body, and me but I have a great trainer. My personal goal is to dead lift 100kg in the next 6 months. I’m half way there!
The daily workout. AM, PM or somewhere in between?
CH: Somewhere in between. In an ideal world, 7am is my prime time. More often than not, however, it’s a quick self-taught session in our Contrology showroom. I’m also super lucky to have a reformer at home, so if I’ve missed a session, I’ll do it with my little guy (5 y/o Alexander) before he’s off to bed each night.
Essentially I fit it in when I can, with a goal of 4 sessions a week.
AH: This will forever and always be AM. There’s no better feeling than having accomplished something before the morning begins. I feel like it sets the tone for the remainder of the day and it’s just so easy to talk yourself out of a workout as the day goes on.
Your #LifeInBag breakfast of champions looks like …
CZ: Definitely scrambled eggs with a little goats cheese feta on a slice of gluten free toast. Cherry tomatoes and salmon on the side … oh, and a ¾ almond milk latte.
AH: For a long time I was a two boiled eggs girl, buts that’s just not enough anymore. These days I usually have a couple of pieces of turkey, cherry tomatoes and avocado. I cut them up and make the meal into a mini salad.
Canned tuna for lunch on the go. Legendary, or LEAVE IT BEHIND?
CZ: LEGENDARY! I had it the other day for the first time in a long time and absolutely devoured it. Any Italian brand (with Italian sourced fish inside … yep, there’s a few shifty brands out there) that’s canned is great.
AH: I say LEAVE IT BEHIND! I generally prefer a can of sardines instead to be honest. I try to meal prep as much as possible … can’t quite match the week in advance, but do take time at the end of each evening to make my meals for the next day. I eat quite often, at least 4 -5 meals a day, so it’s important to have them ready so I’m not snacking on anything unnecessary.
Seriously smart, understated, Scandi-style design gets our wings flapping. What destination, space or event has recently inspired you?
CZ: My last trip to Europe. I find that travelling and moving away from everyday life inspires me. Specifically I love the ocean and the relaxation it brings. Straight after a trip I tend to find incredible internal clarity more than ever before. Taking the time to invest in getting away is always SO worth it.
AH: I recently watched a documentary about Tinker Hatfield who was the designer of numerous Nike shoe models and his design philosophy really stuck with me. He said good design is not just aesthetic, it’s also about assisted function – he believed good design must help you perform better, not just look better. We really believe in this philosophy at Contrology Active, hence why every piece is tested on the reformer bed before it’s approved to production.
Any amazing products, brands or things you’re loving because they ‘ease the load’, minimised tailspins or saved you from ye old form-function compromise?
CZ: Because I’m always on the go and pivoting from one thing to another, I’ve recently started having my weekday lunches delivered! Every Monday my dear sister drops off 5 x delicious, healthy and wholesome lunches for the week. I’m taken care of – it sustains me for the day and is one less thing to remember (or not forget)! This little initiative has truly changed my life of late.
AH: Definitely Uber Eats. The fact that you can have healthy, clean options delivered now takes such a load off if there’s no time to cook.
Simple words of wisdom to other Sparro fans looking to mirror your success?
CZ: Great things come to those who hussle. Work hard, always believe in your dreams but stay realistic. Execution will get you there. Putting too much pressure on yourself creates an environment of stress and nothing great comes of that.
AH: Look at failure as learning. The difference between you and anyone else you think is ‘above’ you, is simply the fact they’ve tried and failed at a certain something many more times than you have!