After noticing a gap online for blogs showcasing fashion for young boys, Carla Rodan decided to create one. Styling the Tribe, features fashion styles Carla uses with her ‘tribe’ – sons Tevita, Maikeli, Tomasi and Salesi.

Carla uses her keen fashion sense for each style, and a mix of mainstream brands and luxury labels.

Carla was one of 10 Australian entrepreneurs to be featured in a stunning photoshoot for International Women’s Day 2019, organised by the founder of Australian fashion label Mastani, Kudrat Makkar.

The photoshoot celebrates the rise of Australian female entrepreneurs and aims to inspire younger and older generations alike to discover and live out their true purpose.

Carla spoke to The CEO Magazine about her proudest achievements so far and how she will celebrate International Women’s Day.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

A. Having the freedom and flexibility to work around my young family. The variety of exciting projects we get to work on – no two days are identical. My children are my colleagues and the ability to experience incredible opportunities with them by my side is absolutely priceless.

Q. What career achievements are you most proud of?

Being able to create a career that complements our family’s lifestyle, personal interests and aspirations. Using my platform to raise awareness (and funds) to support humanitarian causes I’m passionate about, primarily child-focused initiatives. Working on incredible campaigns with brands and organisations I’ve always admired including the AFL, Mimco, Seed Heritage, Country Road, Fila, Uniqlo, Officeworks, Swisse, Mattel, Cotton On Group, Lego and Tennis Australia.
   

Q. What do you wish someone had told you at the start of your career?

A. Anything! The influencer/social media blogging space was relatively new when I started out, so there were a lot of unknowns. My background is teaching, so I was completely out of my depth. It required a very different skill set.

If it scares you, go for it. Often the most exciting things happen outside your comfort zone. Value where you dedicate your time and energy. Learn to prioritise and get a whiteboard!

Q. What are your top three tips for building a brand?

  1. Authenticity is key. Live by your core values and have integrity. To be respected in your field is invaluable. Keep a sharp moral compass.
  2. Don't be afraid of change. Evolve, seek to improve and never stop learning. 
  3. Create your own path. Go that extra mile to manifest opportunities you wish existed or want to attract. Persevere; there is no substitute for hard work.

Q. How do you overcome doubts?

A. By looking at my journey to date and acknowledging how far I’ve come. Revisiting my mission statement; what makes me tick, what excites me, why I love my job and goal setting. Removing the ‘noise’ and emotion that can often cloud difficult moments. Talking things through with my circle of friends. Keeping perspective; failure and setbacks are inevitable, but don’t let them define or discourage you.

Q. What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Will you be doing anything to mark the day?

A. It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come as women while acknowledging how far we still need to go in the social, economic and political fields to achieve gender equality. It’s a moment in time to reflect on the incredible women who paved the way for our generation and raise our voices to advocate for women’s rights. We want to make tomorrow a better place for ALL humans.

As a mother of four young boys, I’ll continue to advocate for gender equality by challenging stereotypical norms, highlighting female role models and practising gender inclusiveness.

Q. Why was it important for you to be involved in the Mastani shoot?

A. I was immediately drawn to the concept of gathering like-minded women from various fields to celebrate their achievements on International Women’s Day. I was honoured to be featured alongside emerging and established female entrepreneurs – it was a ‘pinch me’ moment! I adore Mastani; not only for their luxurious, handcrafted garments but also for their sense of social responsibility. They are ethically in line with my core values and committed to sustainability.

Mastani International Women’s Day photoshoot credits:  
Wearing Mastani Label AW19 collection – Edit 1 – available online Monday 4 March
Wardrobe – Mastani Label
Photographer – Liane Hurvitz
Stylist – Jessica Alizzi
HMU – Chantelle Baker
Location – Studio Gallery Melbourne
Artwork – Kerry Armstrong Art
Floral – Flowers Vasette
Jewellery – Fiorina
Furniture – Grazia & Co

Looking for more inspiration? Australian model Brooke Hogan reveals her tips for staying motivated.