Y21: Why did you decide to start @hellocrazycat?
Sarah: It really stemmed from my own journey of self-discovery in my mid twenties! In 2013, I started using the hashtag #shineonyoucrazycat on my personal Instagram posts whenever I shared about inspiring women I’d met. The hashtag was more of a collective for me to look at on bad days to spur me on. But I've always wanted to do something more with that hashtag. I realised that if collecting these stories made me feel less alone on my journey, then it'll probably make other women feel the same as well. I also realised that at that time, there were plenty of women networks and organisations around but they mainly catered to more elite women, women in power, and also the more privileged.
What about everyday women? Women like myself, or the baristas, the stay-at-home mums, the teachers –– essentially women who do their best every day and live life serving their own purpose, and are not without struggles. I wanted to build a community, a safe space, a platform for us, everyday women to come together either at our events and workshops or through viewing our content, to feel that they're not alone; that there are other women who may come from an entirely different background or profession but are also going through the same/similar experiences. We are all works in progress and there's beauty in that.
Also, Crazycat’s mission is to remind everyday women of their worth so they can shine. I think the ability to recognise one’s full potential stems from first knowing your worth. If more women are able to do that, and step into our power (whatever it is we know we’re meant to do, whatever our calling is), then we’d be doing society more service and justice!
I also struggle with self-doubt and limiting beliefs a lot and I learned that women struggle with these more than men. I really believe that everyone has a story to tell but I think women tend to discredit our unique strengths and the stories we carry. So I was inspired to encourage as many women as possible to share their story as no story is insignificant. You truly never know who’ll be able to resonate with your story and how your story could exactly be what another woman needs to learn to help her shine.
Y21: What does your typical day look like?
Sarah: I'm in a little career-transition situation at the moment so no two days are similar. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I provide freelance communications expertise to an international humanitarian organisation and the rest of the days I'm strategising my next steps for Crazycat and other services I can offer. I'm also seeking inspiration by reading a lot more, meeting different people and also working out! The best parts of my weekdays are the moments I spend with my three-year-old (typically mornings and evenings) and then of course the weekends with her.
Y21: What challenges do you face in your day-to-day life?
Sarah: I'm honestly still healing from a traumatic incident that happened to me over a year ago that really impacted my self-confidence and so this is something I'm struggling with. It definitely gets in the way in my day-to-day life, especially when I try to put myself out there which is necessary for my business and career at the moment. I seek therapy for it and I'm grateful to be able to have access to that.
Y21: Where do you look for creative inspiration?
Sarah: Books, podcasts, speaking to different people and also my own journaling!
Y21: What's your personal style?
Sarah: I think my personal style has really changed over the years, and honestly even more after I became a mum. I would say my personal style right now is relaxed and elevated with accessories (statement necklaces/earrings etc.) I still love a structured top or bottom though!
Y21: What makes you happy?
Sarah: My little family - my daughter and husband. Being able to celebrate my growth and small wins. The community I've been building and hope to continue to support. Dancing and spinning! (I'm now that person who's hooked on endorphins :D)
Y21: What does freedom mean to you?
Sarah: Freedom means the ability to show up as myself fully. It means the ability to fully recover from being a perfectionist and a people pleaser. It means being able to maintain the boundaries I've set for myself.
Y21: Any tips on maintaining a healthy work life balance?
Sarah: Boundaries are so important! I also have a transition mantra when the working day ends so that I can remind myself of those boundaries and that I am now leaving work mode and it's time to be fully present with my child and family. Apart from that, I think it's also all about managing our own mental health and filling our own cups. For example, I make sure I carve out time for journaling and exercise during the week.
Y21: You’re a mum and founder of Crazycat. How do you balance your time between the two?
I am incredibly grateful for all the caregiving help I receive for my daughter. She's not in school yet but she's in trusted care while I work (with either my mum or mother-in-law) and I am just so grateful for this support and I recognise this privilege that not all working mums have. I also don't like the word "balance" because I don't think it's possible to ever achieve work-life balance as a working mum. I prefer to think of it as maintaining my own rhythm that I've created to the best of my ability. I also deal with mum guilt from time to time. I've gotten better at managing it and remind myself that it's not productive to spiral when I feel it. The best way to resolve it is to remind myself to be fully present when I'm with my daughter.
Y21: What advice would you give young mums?
Sarah: It's so important to listen to your gut. I'm a really intuitive person and I've been following my gut with motherhood the past three years. I think we all have that maternal instinct, so listen to it. Everyone around you will probably have their own opinions and I think it's great to recognise that most of the time, they come from a place with your child's best interests at heart (knowing that has helped reconcile a lot of things for me!). It's also so important to make sure that your cup is filled! Please prioritise your well-being and mental health too because you may only end up projecting your exhaustion or anxiety to your child and loved ones. Everyone wins when we take care of our own mental health!
About Sarah Bagharib
Sarah believes that everyone has a story to tell and has made it her life’s mission to lend her voice so some of those stories can be heard. Her humanitarian efforts span across many different projects and spirit of community-building is imbued in all that she does.
As a woman who’s still on the journey of self-discovery, she finds it important to support and empower other women who like her, may tend to amplify their weaknesses and discredit their strengths - that’s how Crazycat came to light! This INFJ recognises that she’s a work in progress and has a long way in learning how to cope with her anxiety and self-doubt, but she finds strength and courage in knowing that she is not alone.