At 35, Carly Flynn already has an enviable CV. A newsreader for TV3’s Nightline when she was just 26, the seasoned journalist and broadcaster has been the face of breakfast show Sunrise and consumer affairs programme Target, and is now a freelance presenter for Newstalk ZBand columnist, as well as a mum of two.
She has also had an eventful year. There were two serious road accidents outside her house, one of which involved a car going through the wall of the home she shares with her husband Dave, and two children, Tilly (3) and 20-month-old Jude. The other was a multiple crash which left several victims on her driveway with broken bones. Then, just last month, she ended up in the emergency department after “rough and tumble” Jude burned his feet on a pebble mat, leaving them blistered and sore for weeks. “There’s always something!” she laughs.
But Carly’s never been content unless she’s busy, which is why she’s just begun a whole new project – launching her own brand of kitchen seating.
“The idea came from the original stools that my Nan used to have – I loved hers as a child, and my kids always fight over who gets to sit on it, but it never occurred to me that I’d be the one to bring them back,” smiles Carly.
“Everyone knows being a mum of two is busy, but although I love it, I’ve always maintained that I’m a better parent when I’m rushed off my feet. When I worked at Sunrise, which was my dream job, I used to meet and interview so many inspiring people – I missed that hugely when the show ended.”
It was only when she looked closer to home that she realised her inspiration was right under her nose – in the form of her closest friends.
“I love to learn, to get the most out of life, and some of my friends are making some really neat things – one has designed the clothes I’m wearing today, another makes beautiful vases, and I’m good friends with designers Juliette Hogan and Kathryn Wilson, both of whom are extremely successful. Beyoncé even bought some of Kath’s shoes when she was here, for goodness’ sake!” she smiles.
“So, while I’d had the idea of making the stools for a long time, I only properly committed to it three months ago. I’m incredibly nervous about it, but I’ve never been so excited.”
She’s spent hours in back rooms with upholsterers, steelmakers, ribbon and stud makers. “My friends delighted in asking me how my stool samples were getting along!”
But Carly finally came up with the first five designs, which bear the names of the people who inspired her.
“The grey and orange is the Nan, but I’ve also got aShel, named after my mum, and I’m in the process of choosing something for all the Kates in my life,” she says.
While Carly is full of ideas, she admits her latest project has taken her totally out of her comfort zone – and that’s exactly where she wants to be. “I’m in a really good space at the moment – so much of doing something new is about self-belief,” she says.
“I believe the more you do, the more diverse and interesting you become. I have a lot more facets to me now than I did 10 years ago, when I first started newsreading.
“I’m not very good at backing myself – I’m the type of person who’s always wondering, ‘Is that OK?’ ‘Did I do that right?’ ‘Is it good enough?’’’ says Carly, who has no intention of giving up her broadcasting career.
“If the stools take off, I’ll just juggle better! But as I get older, I’m realising how important it is to do things for yourself, to be empowered. I’m learning new skills all the time.
“Earlier this year I went to Byron Bay on a four-day retreat, where I learned to do yoga and surf. I was talking to the owner about what I wanted to do next, and she just looked at me and said, ‘But you can
do anything!’ There are some very cool women in this world, and I’m just proud to walk amongst them.”