Saying that Erin Deering is a powerhouse is an understatement. Her trajectory as an entrepreneur has taken her on a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows, which has made her very wise in the process.
For the latest ‘Meet the Muse’ instalment, we have the privilege of talking with this refreshingly honest and inspirational woman, who tells us all about the process of writing her very personal memoir, ‘Hanging by a Thread’, and shares her exciting plans for the future – as well as words of wisdom to live by, including the importance of listening to our instincts and taking our own advice.
I didn’t want to talk myself up as this successful founder without sharing the lows that come with it.
What a year 2023 was for you! You tied the knot with your partner and father of two youngest children, Zachary Keane, you launched a podcast (‘The Work’) and a memoir (‘Hanging by a Thread’). How do you do it all and what have been some of your highlights of 2023?
It was a pretty big year for me! Definitely the most joyful year I’ve had. I honestly felt like I glided through 2023, and it wasn’t too busy at all! It actually all happened quite nicely spaced apart, so it was entirely manageable. My highlight was easily getting married. The whole first half of the year was just consumed by events leading up to the big day, which felt so special.
Your book has received a lot of praise. It has been described as refreshingly honest, smart, readable and insightful. You must have had to dig really deep to write it and relive some painful moments. Can you share what inspired you to write it, what your process was like, and what is the biggest take away readers will get from it?
When I moved back home in 2018, one of my first catch ups was with an old friend, Hugh van Cuylenburg, who is the brilliant man behind ‘The Resilience Project’, and now ‘The Imperfects’ podcast. He was one of the first people I told my story to, how I exited Triangl due to my declining mental health – and he told me I had to write a book. It always stayed with me, but I never felt ready. A few years later, I felt the urge, put together a proposal, found a publisher, and started writing! The whole process was so cathartic, and very easy to be honest! I wrote the book over two months, in two two-week stints. I was advised to write it over six months, but I needed to be in the zone, so I wrote most of it in a few big days with some finessing over the others.
I wrote this book really simply so that others felt less alone on their journey in business and life in general. I didn’t want to talk myself up as this successful founder without sharing the lows that come with it. I also wanted to highlight the hard work that goes into every start up story, even the ones like ours, that seemingly found success immediately.
We could say that Triangl was an overnight success. What advice would you give to your former self and maybe others who are on that journey on how to cope with instant success? What would you have done differently?
It depends what you mean by overnight success. We decided to start Triangl in November 2011, our first sale was in January 2013, and about six months later we started experiencing the success that most people know us for.
I do see Triangl as an instantly successful business, but it was because we set everything up to give the business the best chance to be successful. We took on no debt other than a loan from friends. We had an extremely lean and fast production model, so we were able to be hyper flexible to what happened around us and to us.
For anyone else in that kind of situation, where things are moving quickly and well, I’d say keep pushing. Keep that momentum going. It’s thrilling when your success exceeds your expectations and it’s something that needs to be maintained. I don’t advocate for burnout, but I’m a realist – it’s only for a season – so do everything you can do to keep things growing. I would have simply told myself to stop worrying, that this was incredibly exciting and not going to suddenly just disappear.
There is information overload at the moment, and we’re all focused on looking outwards when we need to be looking within just as often.
You have a really good eye to spot future influencers before they become relevant. You tapped into women like Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber (then Baldwin) and Kendall Jenner before they became the powerhouses they are today. What is your secret and who is on your radar now?
We had a particular girl/woman who we were going after – someone who we felt was aligned with our brand and who would wear Triangl if she’d known we existed. A simple metric, but a powerful one. And we just worked our way up to these girls. Start with the more accessible ones, nurture them, and keep moving up, rung by rung.
The girls and women on my radar now are those again who feel aligned with my values. It becomes easy when you apply this logic, as it’s so sensible to think like this. But so many brands and individuals abandon their own values when they try to pick and find the right people – and it’s always going to make things so much harder. I am loving watching Sammy Robinson, Jacqui Kingswell, Eden Kannourakis, and Millie Arnold at the moment. These are all young women with that magnetism, and I am so excited to see what they continue to do!
You’ve achieved so much and now you are sharing insights with people on how to find balance through your mentoring business. In your experience, what are the biggest struggles people face when trying to achieve balance in life?
I have actually pulled back completely on mentoring to focus on launching my brand this year. I am still incredibly passionate about offering the space, and have very recently invested in a tech start-up who are bringing an impactful product to the market, so will be able to still support the people who want the guidance.
What I experience across the board at the moment are people who have no idea how to take their own advice, trust their own intuition, listen to their gut, etc. etc.! There is information overload at the moment, and we’re all focused on looking outwards when we need to be looking within just as often.
What is the balance between self love and success and how did you find it?
I found it by hitting rock bottom! I was so stuck in my own life, and I’d had the success – that box was ticked. My happiness didn’t exist, therefore, I had to go and work on myself and figure out why I wasn’t happy with all I had around me.
The answer is always so simple, but it really does take us all a long time to get there in realising our happiness comes from our inner selves. We hear it all the time, but it’s only when you commit to the self development work that you can start to understand and feel the truth of it. And there is no secret or quick way to get there.
The answer is always so simple, but it really does take us all a long time to get there in realising our happiness comes from our inner selves.
You are an entrepreneur at heart. Where do you think this spirit will take you next? You mentioned that you are launching a brand this year. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Up until halfway through 2023, I openly swore I’d never have another brand in consumer goods, and then something changed. I opened myself up to the idea of perhaps starting a new brand in fashion, and the universe made it very clear it was the way forward. Everything moved forward with ease – I’ve hired a wonderful team, am crafting a wonderful space to base myself from creatively, and am so energised to bring a new offering to the market.
A full collection of women’s clothing (no swimwear!), not taking itself too seriously, but also very much anti-fast fashion. I am making pieces I want women to put on and feel really good. Not basics or elevated basics. These pieces will have a bit of flair, a lot of polish, and represent everything I personally love about fashion. September is when I will launch, and I cannot wait!
I find inspiration in my own wardrobe, from my favourite brands and their creative vision, and of course from women on social media.
Besides doing everything that you do, you are also a fashion icon. Who are your fashion muses? Where do you find inspiration?
I am hopelessly obsessed with fashion. It is a big part of my day, every day. Selecting my outfits and thinking about how I want to express myself through my clothes every day – it’s a huge part of maintaining my mental health and makes me feel so bloody good!
I find inspiration in my own wardrobe, from my favourite brands and their creative vision, and of course from women on social media. My muses are Camille Charriere, Poppy Lissiman, Molly Johnstone, Tania Sarin, Bettina Looney and Elsa Hosk. All these women have their own style, they put a look together for the love of it, and will always inspire me greatly.
What’s on your Harrolds wish list for the season?
I’ve been an oversized blazer girl for over 20 years. It’s been my wardrobe staple forever, and will never ever change. This Wardrobe.NYC version is already in my closet, because it can double as a dress, and that’s just some good girl maths. Another piece I already own is this Acne Studios Black Dayla Satin Dress, and with good reason: it’s a very chic, very simple, very seasonless dress. It can be tied to adjust size, and it has a side split! It’s a bit of a no brainer, IMO.
I do love a fun heel, and everything about these Diesel heels screams a good time. Denim accessories have my heart and that big D logo is just the perfect OTT 90’s vibe. Finally, this neckline on this Acne Studios cardigan is the only neckline in cardigans that matter this year. It’s giving Miu Miu vibes without the price tag, and is so easily worn back with so many different looks. I can see this pistachio colour working very well with denim (those Diesel heels?!), and also with a dressier look.