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Amy Roberts, Founder at atotheme

Remote leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and have a diversity of experience, knowledge, and ambition to share with other remote leaders looking to pave their own way. In this accomplished peeps interview, we chat with Amy Roberts, Founder of atotheme, an ethical homeware brand that is about to launch this August 2021.

Amy shared with us the habits and practices she follows daily to stay sharp and grow her remote company successfully. 👇

What's the why behind atotheme?

Atotheme's ethical homeware brand covers a range of products that are crafted by local artisans in Southern Africa using either 100% natural or recycled materials. Atotheme started as a result of wanting to bring more conscious, low-waste homeware options to the consumer that doesn't want to harm the planet while at the same time, uplifting the lives of the artisans who craft our products.

What does a typical workday look like for you when working remotely?

I typically start my day at 6:30 with a cup of tea and engage on @ato_theme's Instagram followed by an hour of exercise. Once my morning routine is complete, I sit down at my desk with breakfast to check emails, Slack, and Trello. Atotheme is my ultimate dream, but also my side hustle, so a typical day currently starts with an hour of work on that, thereafter I jump onto all other projects for clients where I work independently as well as manage a team of freelancers for a start-up marketing agency that I lead alongside Sean Xie.

What's one habit or ritual you need to start and finish your day and why is it non-negotiable for you?

My desk has to be tidy before I start any work. I feel like a clear and ordered physical space creates a clearer more focused space in my mind. I finish my day by closing all the open tabs on my laptop before I close it. I've found that if I don't do that I open my laptop on one of many Trello boards which send my brain spinning.

How does your team use asynchronous communication to stay in the loop while working remotely?

We use a combination of Slack, Trello and Notion to manage our projects and the communication around them. Slack's ability to turn off notifications in non-working hours has been particularly helpful for our team across multiple timezones.

How do you limit distractions while working from home...or do you?

My noise-canceling Airpods are a lifesaver when I want to zone out and dive deep into a task. I put on a focus playlist on Spotify and plow through my list. Some days I am just more distracted than others and I don't know why. I find that on those days I'm better off taking a solid break away from my laptop and then coming back to my to-do list with a clearer head.

Is there one particular podcast or Youtube channel that you can't stop listening to or watching?

Yes, both! I love the podcast, How I Built This by Guy Raz. He interviews some incredible start-up founders like Sara Blakely and Tobias Lütke to hear their stories about how they founded their successful businesses. My guilty pleasure on YouTube is Sailing La Vagabonde, an Australian couple who've been sailing the world for over 6 years. Recently I've been binging 'Never Too Small', each week they feature a new tiny apartment with a super cool design and it's amazing to see what you can do with just 40m².

If you could be doing anything else than what you're doing, what would it be?

I'd be living on an open space of land, farming my own organic produce whilst opening the space for others to enjoy in a few Airbnb's dotted throughout the property.