roxy jacenko home tour interview

The PR maven and multi-business owner's home in Sydney's eastern suburbs has been expertly designed with glamorous details.

| By Rachael Thompson | Home tours

Inside Entrepreneur Roxy Jacenko’s Luxurious Vaucluse Home

The PR maven and multi-business owner's home in Sydney's eastern suburbs has been expertly designed with glamorous details.

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour PR maven Roxy Jacenko's impressive home in Sydney's east.

Anyone who has worked in Australian media or public relations will be familiar with the name Roxy Jacenko. The entrepreneur founded one of the country's most successful lifestyle PR agencies, Sweaty Betty, at just 24 years old. The PR and communications/events specialists work with leading fashion, beauty, automotive, and hospitality brands.

Since the success of this business, Roxy has gone on to found her own accessories company, and more recently, candle brand XRJ Celebrations. Her latest venture is a side hustle that allows her to channel her creativity. "The XRJCelebrations brand has given me the opportunity to explore what I loved at school art and an outlet to have some downtime during hectic days!" she shares with Bed Threads Journal. The gorgeous candle designs take inspiration from architecture and feature beautifully sculptural shapes that elevate all styles of home.

Given the success of her first company, it's unsurprising that XRJ Celebrations has also taken off with the brand's products quickly being stocked in department stores nationally. "For a start-up, it was a really proud moment and the visibility for us to grow the brand from both of these retailers is just incredible," she says.

Roxy called upon celebrated interior designer Blainey North to revamp her home with the designer's signature luxe style. Blainey is the go-to interiors expert for the entrepreneur who has previously engaged her to reimagine three other properties. "She is a dream to work with and I trust her implicitly," says Roxy.

The home in Sydney's Vaucluse boasts timeless appeal with glamorous touches. In the main living room, a chic black and white palette takes centre stage alongside classic wall panelling and seating. This pared-back colour scheme carries through to the main bathroom which has been swathed in marble and outfitted with a luxurious freestanding bath. Her sleek office gives a new meaning to working from home with its custom-made desk and joinery, and stylish art d'objet.

The primary bedroom is awash with lavender and grey tones and crisp White linen. Here, plush carpet, crystal sconces, and marble details create a luxe vibe. This space is made extra special thanks to a spacious terrace accessed via glass bi-fold doors and allows for indoor-outdoor flow.

We spoke to Roxy about her impressive career journey, her latest business venture, and the styling details of her home.

Shop Roxy Jaceno's home edit.

Hi Roxy! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

Sculptural candles under the brand name XRJCelebrations.

How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?

Everyone thinks that as I started my career in PR and that I am all about events and socialising. However, those who know me know that this is quite the opposite of the real Roxy! The XRJCelebrations brand has given me the opportunity to explore what I loved at school art and an outlet to have some downtime during hectic days!

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?

At 24 I started Sweaty Betty PR – it was a career I fell into and it wasn’t even a career that was on my radar when I was at school. One element of PR is the events side which allowed me the opportunity to be creative which is something I LOVE. So I guess it was a natural progression that I would end up with a little side hustle which allowed me to do this on my terms!

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

A lot of the inspiration for the shapes we produce comes from architecture. I follow a vast number of global architects and interior designers and draw inspiration anywhere from curved walls to incredible staircases! From there, we work with a 3D designer to make the shapes which are then 3D printed, perfected, and made into silicone moulds.

What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your business?

To always have something new. While you will always have what I like to call the ‘dumb basics’, having a fresh design or colourway weekly makes you remain front of mind. They may not be the best sellers, but they keep the brand fresh, relevant, and allow you to capture trends – a good example is the current Pantone colour Pillar candle we have just released in line with the announcement of the 2022 Pantone colour of the year. It gives the brand relevance and talkability.

What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your business?

All of our production is completed in Australia due to the COVID travel boundaries and delays with freight due to floods stock timings have been a huge challenge. YouTube became my go-to in order to learn how to pour to keep up with the demand! You might think finding candle makers with silicone mould experience would be easy – it isn’t, so I taught myself!

What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?

Having the opportunity to stock the XRJ brand on The Iconic and also in MYER stores nationally. For a start-up, it was a really proud moment and the visibility for us to grow the brand from both of these retailers is just incredible.

Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?

When I started it was one product in the range that was hugely popular, BUT I soon realised that having a brand that was focused on occasions like birthdays only limited the potential long term. With that, it was time to start developing a larger range with a bigger scope for customer base than just focusing on events. From this, the ‘blobbie’ range was born and has become a best-seller as a decorative styling piece in people's homes.

Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?

We have been in our home in Vaucluse for about three years now. Previously we were living in a beachside apartment in Bondi Beach, which my Mum, Doreen, still lives in (we were neighbours).

How did you initially know this was the space for you?

Apartment living was really easy, but it was important as the kids got older to have more space so they had the opportunity to spend time in a garden and outdoors more. So we started casually looking at what was around. By chance, I saw our home on my friend Gavin Rubinstein's (you might know him from Luxe Listings) Instagram, viewed it once, and bought it at auction the following week! What we liked about it was the space there was for the kids and the layout was very family-focused.

What are your favourite pieces in the home?

The glam room is really special as it doubles as an Hermès Birkin/Kelly showcase with purpose-designed cabinetry to showcase my collection. The study is also beautiful, from the custom-made desk to the joinery – it’s a really special room.

Which is your favourite room in the house?

My bedroom, it's not just where I sleep but I work from my bed on my laptop, watch TV and eeeeek have my dinner there, HA! The kids and I are on our own during the week so we all jump into my bed and chill out there!

What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?

Less is more, I cannot stand clutter. Not only can you never keep your home clean when there is stuff everywhere, but I find that personally having a clear mind is only possible when you are in a space that is clear and organised. The juggle of mum and work life is hard enough – throw a messy home into it and you are guaranteed to start your day in chaos!

For more from Roxy follow her @roxyjacenko, @xrjcelebrations, and @sweatybettypr

Photography by Alisha Gore. Styling by Sami Simper.

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