The Downtime Agenda

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  • Words — Julie Haslam
  • Images — Marnie Hawson

Sasha Titchkosky, entrepreneur and co-founder of Australian furniture company Koskela shares with us the importance she places on the health and wellbeing of not just herself, but those she collaborates with.

Sasha Titchkosky, design with a conscience.

What do you do to unwind?
I love getting out in nature. It’s the best medicine for a busy life.  Walking around the foreshore of Sydney Harbour is amazing.

Why is downtime important to you?
It’s very important to be able to put work to one side. I get really drained when I don’t get enough time to do this and find it hard to think more creatively and objectively.

You left the corporate world in 2000 to found Koskela, how have your work stresses changed?
It’s not the easiest thing to have your own business. It’s a big responsibility to feel that you have your family and 20 or so other staff whose livelihood depends on you.  But I have definitely had the benefit of being able to work more flexibly which has been good with our family and having that control has certainly helped.

What strategies do you have in place to effectively manage stress?
I attend a fortnightly meditation session, which is very helpful. I also know that exercise is a huge help but I don’t do enough of it!

Tell us a little about your passion for ensuring the health and wellbeing of the workers who make your products.
This is something that’s really important to me. I don’t want anyone to suffer in the making of our products. I want to know what’s gone into them and how they’ve been made so people can treasure the pieces we make.

What are your favourite downtime related brands that can be found at Koskela?
Rohr Remedy skincare and some of our candles.

How do you maintain a sense of calm in your home?
This is very trickly with two active young boys.  I don’t think I have found the secret to this but would love to know if someone else has!

We know you are a bit of a bookworm. What are your favourites?
I love fiction as a relaxation tool. Reading novels is a really  important de-stressing tool for me. I find it’s the best way for me to switch off or get my brain to focus on something else if I’m feeling anxious or stressed, particularly in the middle of the night if I cant sleep. At the moment I am really interested in historical fiction that combines fact and fiction, particularly focussing on early white settlement of Australia.

Do you have any daily rituals?
I love to ride my bike to the local café on the weekend and get a morning coffee or do my shopping. I have a basket on the front and I always feel happy and energised when I do this.

Describe your ideal day off.
A swim in the ocean, walk by the sea, beautiful breakfast, bit of time for reading on the beach and then some playtime with the boys. I don’t mind a massage either to really feel like I’m unwinding.