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A Day in The Life: Giapo's Annarosa Petrucci

Annarosa Petrucci is the co-founder of Giapo, which is heralded by many as New Zealand's most innovative ice cream company. Here, she shares how she gets through the day, how she organises her time and how she handles the madness of business.

What time do you wake up?

Between 4:30 and 4:45am from Monday until Saturday. Sunday is the only day I don’t set an alarm for myself in the morning. I wake up whenever my body is ready to,which is never later than 7am.

What’s the ideal way to start your day?

Going to the gym straight away. I like to exercise early in the morning because I know if I leave it to the end of the day, it might not happen because something more important might pop up. Before going to bed at night, I plan how I want to start the following day by preparing the gym gear I need in the morning.

Do you have any morning rituals?

Yes. I spend the first 10 minutes after waking sitting up in my bed meditating. I found that it helps me to stay focused during the day. Then, I drink a cup of warm water with lemon and I exercise for at least one hour at the gym. When I get back home, I have a bit of time before my children, Pasquale and Francesca, wake up. When they do, my focus shifts to them. I use the free time before then to read my book.

How soon do you begin doing work-related things, i.e. checking phone or emails?

I keep my phone on aeroplane mode until I get back from the gym. I start my day focusing on myself. I found that it’s the only time when I’m aligned with myself and most creative, because once the day starts, we just react to what the world throws at us. I do a quick scan of emails and work-related messages after 6am to check for anything that needs an urgent reply. Otherwise, I start working on my emails after I have dropped off Pasquale and Francesca to school.

What’s your media consumption or interaction like from the morning onwards – do you listen to podcasts, radio, watch videos, read books and magazines, visit new sites?

I listen to the Breeze radio station on my way to the gym as the voice of Robert and Jeanette, who are very good friends of mine, keep me company. After my gym session, I jump on Kindle to read my book.

I leave the time, if any, to watch videos and browse the Internet for night time. I don't usually like reading news as I like to decide what news I want to read during my day. For that, I have Google Alerts.

What kind of work do you do?

With my husband Giapo, we are the founders of Giapo Ice Cream. At the heart of what we do is the idea that imagination and ingenuity can be applied to ice cream to change its function by changing the way people interact with it.

What’s unique about your line of work?

That we are intentional about changing ice cream and its meaning. 

What responsibility does that involve in a typical day? It is about keeping our What takes up most of your time?

My responsibilities vary from coordinating the teams, addressing the priorities of the day, working alongside with Giapo on new creative ideas. 

I keep my phone on aeroplane mode until I get back from the gym. I start my day focusing on myself. I found that it’s the only time when I’m aligned with myself and most creative, because once the day starts, we just react to what the world throws at us. 

Who do you see/talk to? 

Mostly Giapo and our team members.

Where do your best ideas come from?

We’re only able to come up with the ideas we do from the fact we’ve come to understand our purpose, which is to change the function of ice cream.

What are the most important tools or programmes you use for your work?

For us, the fewer the props, the better the art. We think that the less fancy the tools we use, the more space we leave to our ingenuity and imagination.

How do you juggle all your responsibilities? 

It’s now natural. I don't feel the pressure as I enjoy it. 

What kind of breaks do you take throughout the day? 

I usually take a short lunch break.                                      

What’s the most enjoyable part of your day?

Opening the door when I get back home and have both my children running to me calling out "mamma" with the enthusiasm of someone that has not seen you for ages. 

I also enjoy it when myself, Giapo, Pasquale and Francesca have our family time together before bed. We fill in our diary and then read it out loud to each other. It is such a good way to connect as a family and for us, as parents, to help the children to focus on what matters. 

What about the least enjoyable?

I have learned in my life to learn to like the things that I do rather than just doing the things that I like. This helps me to find enjoyment even in the things that are not so enjoyable.

Do you procrastinate? Is it good or bad?

At times I do, but I’m pretty good at recognising it. It mostly happens when I don't find what I’m meant to be doing interesting or challenging enough.  

Do you measure your accomplishments or productivity? If so, how?

We measure the number of ideas we produce – that’s the KPI that I have.

Is there anything you think is unique about your day? 

Having the opportunity to change ice cream.

What’s your interaction with friends and family throughout the day? Can you be both a successful entrepreneur and a good mother/partner/friend?

I have WhatsApp chats with family and friends so it’s easy to stay in touch on a daily basis, even if we’re miles away. I work side-by-side with my husband so we get to see a lot of each other.

Running your own business and being the mother of two young children with no wider family to support you comes with its own challenges. Work is work and family is family. But, very often, those two need to mash together as there are certain responsibilities on both sides that we need to obey.

Do you get stressed? If so, how do you manage it? Do you practice any mindfulness or meditation?

I do get stressed at times and it mostly happens when I’m very tired. I’m pretty good at listening to my body. So, when it becomes too much, going out for a run and doing deep breathing is my go-to cure for it.

What do you do once you get home? Can you switch off?

Once I get back home, my focus shifts on Pasquale and Francesca. The time I have left during the day to spend with them is limited and precious. So, when I’m back home, I make sure that I’m present and with them. This means not checking the emails or cellphones. I do tend to go back into emails after 8pm which is the time they head to bed.

What time do you go to sleep?               

Between 10:30 and 11pm.

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