Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Vanity Group’s Paul Tsalikis

This week, we caught up with Paul Tsalikis, founder and CEO of Vanity Group, to find out how he’s been faring throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are you reading?

Trashy magazines have been my escape from reality!

What are you watching?

I have Queen of the South and The Crown on rotation.

What are you listening to?

To be honest, I only listen to music at the gym. When there, it’s high-energy dancehall.

What are you cooking?

Being of Greek heritage, it’s no surprise that I love entertaining! Moussaka is one of my favourite dishes to cook and eat. On the rare occasion that there are leftovers, I bring them into Vanity Group HQ for the team.

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

Regardless of how chaotic the week is, I always carve out time for exercise with a mix of cardio and weights. The treadmill is my escapism from a busy day!

Mentally, nature keeps me grounded. I spend as much time as I can with my dog ZaZa playing in Rushcutters Bay. Nothing beats a sunrise over the harbourside!

Underpinning my physical and mental fitness is diet. I believe a healthy mind is fuelled by food.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the coronavirus hit?

The generosity of our industry has been astounding. I’m so proud to be part of a community that has done everything it possibly can to keep our country and its people safe. From accommodating returned travellers to providing meals for frontline workers and extending amenity kits to communities in need, our hospitality industry is truly remarkable.

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

I’ve learned how to really enjoy spending time at home. Ha!

In all seriousness, I’ve learned to let go of the things I cannot control and trust in life’s timing. And while I’ve always known the importance of family and friends, I appreciate it more than ever before.

What’s your advice for others in the industry on coping with the crisis?

Mateship first, business second. Be empathetic and show compassion to your customers and your people – we really are all in this together.

And if you haven’t already, learn how to hustle!

Where is your favourite domestic travel destination?

The Gold Coast. Whether I visit for work or pleasure, I feel like I’m on a remote beach holiday. I love the resort-style accommodation, sun-kissed weather, never-ending beaches and the entertainment options lining your doorstep.

What is the one international travel memory keeping you going through this time?

My homeland, Greece. The landscape and architecture of home will never stop inspiring me. The food and the weather also play lead roles when it comes to reminiscing on my favourite travel memories.

Where do you want to travel to once international travel restrictions ease up?

In case it isn’t obvious … Greece! Once permitted, I’ll be seaside at a little island called Hydra, sipping a Cosmopolitan with grapefruit juice.



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