Live Your Best Life: Caroline Rowland
Welcome to the first in a new series of interviews with inspiring individuals who are living their best life. This doesn’t mean their lives are perfect, or that they have it all figured out.
Living your best life is all about being the best version of yourself that you can be right now. It’s about recognising the good in your life, striving to bring more happiness into the world and making the most of this one, precious life we have.
I’m delighted to bring you my conversation with Caroline Rowland. She’s an author, blogger, magazine editor, wife, mother and all round inspiring woman. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell us a bit about yourself, what your life is like and the path you took to get to where you are today.
I previously worked as a picture editor for the Financial Times, but always enjoyed exploring my own creativity outside of work, so started my blog, Patchwork Harmony, back in 2008. I also ran an online homewares boutique for a few years, before launching 91 Magazine in 2011. As these projects developed, I desperately wanted to work for myself, so when the FT offered voluntary redundancies in 2013, I snapped it up. It felt like the right time for me, as I was already in discussions with a book publisher about writing a book and had built up enough contacts to gain some freelance work.
Everything seemed to happen at once – I got married in the summer of 2013, was pregnant by the autumn and signed my book deal at the end of the year! I somehow managed to juggle writing my first book with a newborn and it published in Autumn 2015 – The Shopkeeper’s Home. At the start of 2016, I decided it was time to relaunch 91 Magazine (which I had taken a break from with everything else that was happening!) and our first print issue will published in May 2016. When I graduated from university in 2004, I had a dream of working in magazine publishing, but I never ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d end up founding and being editor of my OWN magazine! I think part of it is grit and determination plus a lot of hard work and late nights, but also I think life just takes you on these journeys, and you never know where it might lead.
What inspirational quotes or mantras hold meaning for you?
‘Your dream job does not exist, you must create it’ When I saw this line on Pinterest a few years back, I thought YES! I totally believe in following your dreams and doing what you love in life. Especially when it comes to work; you spend so much of your life working, it’s essential that it is something you enjoy.
How do you recognise when life’s getting on top of you?
I start to feel like I won’t be able to sort things out or get everything done in time. I get teary and anxious, and start thinking irrationally!
And what do you do to get back to how you want to feel?
I usually talk it over with my hubby or with a friend. Talking is always the best remedy for anything. Then I usually make some lists and realise that things are manageable, you just have to work through everything one thing at a time.
What are your plans, hopes and dreams for the future?
Well at the moment, I’m really excited to see how the relaunch of the magazine goes! We’ve already got lots of pre-orders of the S/S issue, as well as a number of UK stockists. (It will be such a buzz to see it in some of my favourite shops!) I hope to keep growing the magazine and I’d also love to write another book.
So finally, Caroline, what does living your best life mean to you?
I believe that you get out of life what you put into it. If you hate your job for example, you are the only one that can change that situation. No-one’s life is perfect and we all strive to do better, but you must make the best of your time on this planet, and every now and again remember how fortunate you are for the things that you do have, don’t dwell on the things that you don’t.
Caroline Rowland is the founding editor of independent publication 91 Magazine. She writes Patchwork Harmony, an interiors and lifestyle blog, and her first interiors book The Shopkeeper’s Home was published in 2015. Caroline also does freelance work: she writes regularly for Mollie Makes magazine, she works with Jacqui Small Publishing sourcing photography for some of their interiors books, and she is currently Content Director for homewares brand One World Trading Co. Find out more about Caroline at www.patchworkharmony.co.uk and www.91magazine.co.uk
Order the S/S 2016 print edition of 91 Magazine here and Caroline’s book The Shopkeeper’s Home.
Photo: Kasia Fiszer