Inside Energetiks | Introducing Lauren Bertolini, Human Resources Officer & Accounts Administrator
The Inside Energetiks series introduces you to the people behind your favourite dancewear brand. Lauren Bertolini is part of our incredible Head Office team in Melbourne, Victoria and works in our Human Resources and Accounts departments. Like most of us here at Energetiks, Lauren has a background in dance and a passion for all things dance related. We chatted to Lauren about her dance life and her role at Energetiks.
How did dance become a part of your life?
When I was really young - a toddler - my mum said that I would always dance around to Tina Arena, singing and performing, and I was always very extroverted and wild. She put me into dancing and I loved it. Loved performing, loved the stage, and I wasn’t shy!
What styles of dance have you trained in?
I started doing jazz, tap and ballet, in a combination class, and I always loved ballet, but I never had the right technique for it! But I always loved the tutus and the dream of seeing ballet dancers en pointe on stage in the Australian Ballet. I liked the jazz side of it as well because you could show your character and it was high energy. I started off just doing the three types and that just grew into all styles. Pointe, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and everything else. At one point I was dancing five days a week, at the high school end of it. I also did a bit of Musical Theatre, I was always involved in school productions. We did West Side Story in year 12, and I did drama class so we had our own little bits and pieces there. I also participated in improvisation games, where schools compete against each other and you do like Who’s Line is it Anyway, that style of game, and I think my dancing definitely helped with that as well.
Did you find anything challenging as you started dancing more?
Probably at first the confidence as I grew into a teenager, getting a bit more self-conscious and learning to be confident in who I was and my body type. I didn’t have the best technique but it didn’t mean I should stop dancing or stop doing ballet, so I guess those insecurities were probably one side of it. I think sometimes the ballet world has that stereotype, so you do feel pressure, especially doing ballet exams. I’ve done my RAD exams, and it didn’t deter me, I still always loved it and that was the main thing in my mind and something I grew to accept.
What do you love about dancing?
With ballet, I think just the gracefulness, and being in the moment. Having that softer side, that softer element, with resistance. Jazz for example, is quite showy and out there and high energy, whereas with ballet you take a step back and you can really get into your emotions. And of course the tutus! Our school was awesome and they always had amazing costumes on hand and we just paid the hire fee. Every year we got a different tutu so that was always great. My favourite was probably this Spanish inspired tutu that was black tulle with a red overlay, and we had this grand crown and sleeves on the side with ribbon, it was one of my favourites!
What sort of dancing do you do now?
I do adult classes. I took a break after school and started working at Energetiks, and missed it so much that I went back! Adult classes are a bit more of a relaxed feel, they’re also more fitness based as well, so the first half of the class we do cardio, sit-ups, push-ups, fitness related warm up exercises. The second half of the class we’ll learn some choreography and do that on repeat to build our stamina. At the moment I’m doing adult Jazz and Contemporary. We do an end of year concert, so it’s really great, because there’s people with varying abilities but a lot of them are past dancers or mums of dancers. Their daughters are also in the concert and see them up on stage, so it's amazing that they’re sharing that experience together. I love that I still get the opportunity to be challenged and dance without the pressure of being in the class with teenagers or being in a class that's competitive. I don’t think I’ll ever stop dancing. The adult classes are pretty flexible so it works for me with my other commitments. Dancing will always be a part of my life!
How did you start working for Energetiks?
I actually met one of the other Energetiks employees at uni when I studying a Business degree. She said they were opening a new store at Fountain Gate and she knew I lived nearby, so I applied and had an interview and got the job! That was as a retail sales assistant. I’ve been here for five years now and I've grown within the company. I moved up to third in charge, then second in charge and then Store Manager, all through the Fountain Gate store, but also helping at the other stores as needed, like when we set up the new Moorabbin Platinum store.
What is your current role within the company?
After working in the Retail department for a few years, an opportunity arose at Head Office to assist in the HR department and with the Administration and Accounts side of things. It was a big decision to make, but for me that kind of opportunity comes once in a lifetime, to have a career change and grow my skills. Energetiks have been really supportive with my studies - I’m studying a diploma of Human Resources Management at the moment, with the intention for a career in HR.
What is your favourite part of your role?
Well, I like the Admin and Accounts side of things and it’s great to be able to communicate with wholesale customers, and build relationships with them. But Human Resources is the main direction for me. Day to day, from a HR perspective, I definitely love working closely with the staff and the team, with all our different employees, and being there for them as they progress through their career. I really enjoy being that main support person for them, watching them grow and develop through their role and beyond, playing a big part in their contribution to the company and how the staff at Energetiks make it into what it is today.
What are your favourite Energetiks products?
I love the Atelier Collection. The Hailey Knot Tee that is also in the Paradise Collection is my favourite, because I can layer it under other tops and have the knot coming out underneath, or wear it on its own or even as a dress, because it’s a bit oversized. I also really like the Jordan Jacket, and I love the flattering high elastic waistband of the Billie Legging and how comfortable they are, they really hold you in. And finally, the Zoe 7/8 Legging with the Marle on the side and mesh at the back. They’re my staple legging, they go with everything, they have a bit of something different with the mesh but the waistband is really comfortable and I can wear them anywhere. They’re my favourite core product.
Finally, what do you love about working for Energetiks?
I’d worn Energetiks products as a dancer and always loved the style. Now, after working in the company for five years I know that I really like the culture here, the core values and what we stand for. It really resonates with me and I can relate to the brand, which is really important. I appreciate how Energetiks support growth and development, they want you to be the best you can be and learn new skills and always be growing. I guess I am proof of that - I’ve moved from a sales assistant to the HR team in Head Office in five years time and that’s really rewarding and motivating for me. And I also think that the Australian Made story is something I’m really passionate about. We put a lot of effort and consideration into sourcing products and fabrics from places within Australia that have ethical working conditions. Always having new, innovative Australian products inspires me and makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger.
Stay tuned to meet more awesome team members in future posts from the Inside Energetiks series.
Interview and Photographs by Emily Newton-Smith