Double Life – Karen Farrell and Pat Breese

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This professional couple run an outstanding metropolitan pr company with a stack of prolific clients. the funny thing is, they call the beach their office!

Full Names Karen Farrell and Pat Breese.

Time spent living in the Manning KF: Having grown up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, I’m an interloper! We moved here 15 months ago – a sea change motivated by a better lifestyle. It hasn’t disappointed. 
PB: I have a Forster Passport. I don’t think you get one unless your parents went to Primary School here!

Profession KF & PB: Directors, Strut PR & Events, a specialist PR & Events agency.

Hobbies KF: Travelling is our passion (if only it could be a full-time ‘hobby’!) We have a seven and a ten year old boy and they’re fantastic travellers. I can’t wait for them to regale us with their own adventures … Yoga, writing, the arts.
PB: No time for hobbies! I used to build hobby models as a kid, then I tried dating them as a teenager, now I work with them … Cool, hey?

How would you describe the industry you are in? KF: Media is deadline driven and unpredictable. When it’s ‘on’, it’s immediate. Our role is to promote a program, individual or brand via exposure in newspapers, magazines, the internet, radio and TV. It’s never dull!

Describe your home and work environment KF. Our home recently received a much-needed overhaul (a hangover from dodgy tenants). A favourite reno is a winding beach-like track that leads to the house. The office is separate and downstairs. It’s a great set up.
PB: Home is a beautiful place almost on the beach. Work is what we do to live in a home almost on the beach..

What are some of the struggles you face as modern professionals? KF: Some companies need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century! There can be an antiquated view that remote offices aren’t as ‘accessible’ as city-centric ones. The advent of the internet changed the face of media for the better. Unlike the old days, much of our work can be done electronically. We manage city-based and local clients. 
PB: We use latest model Macs. Some newspapers and newsrooms work off computers from the dinosaur age. Arrrgh!

Why would you not change your current circumstances for the world? KF: Flexible work hours mean being available for the boys and family, which is paramount.PB: Burgess Beach is across the road; One Mile is just around the corner and Main Beach is …

Do you ever feel like you live a double life? KF: Yes! When I’m negotiating the front cover of a magazine, from the comfort of a coastal office, wearing thongs and a pair of cut offs!
PB: I never want a phone where people can SEE me on the other end … they may be surprised to learn I’m pitching an important news story while checking the surf!

Life Motto KF: Enjoy the journey.
PB: The last line of Desiderata, ‘strive to be happy’..

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