Erin Deering, Co-Founder of Triangl on Toxic Girl Boss Culture

The entrepreneur appeared to have it all but was unravelling behind the scenes.
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With a multi-million dollar business that landed her on the Australian Financial Review’s Young Rich List and a glamorous life in Monaco, Erin Deering had everything she’d ever wanted.

And while she should have been delirious with joy, in reality, she’d never been so unhappy.

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The fashion entrepreneur co-founded swimwear company Triangl in 2012 with now-ex Craig Ellis when she couldn’t find an affordable bikini that she liked to wear on their second date. Their unique neoprene colour-blocked bikinis were an instant hit and became the must-have accessory for summer.

Within three years, the business was selling over 1000 pairs a day, attracting A-list clients like the Kardashian-Jenner sisters and Hailey Bieber and she was jet-setting around Europe from her French Riviera base. At its peak, the company was valued at over $200 million.

At the height of her success, the Aussie bikini designer struggled with an eating disorder and excessive drinking. (Credit: Supplied.)

“I was working during the girl boss era, and was guilty of believing I was invincible if I just hustled hard enough,” the 38-year-old tells WHO. “It resulted in me being burnt out, with no real sense of self.”

As she details in her new memoir, Hanging By a Thread, Erin was struggling with mental health issues behind the scenes which resulted in unhealthy behaviours like excessive drinking, disordered eating and binge spending sprees. While she believed that working harder and earning more would fix her issues, she was soon to learn that no amount of money could buy her happiness.

“I believed success in terms of monetary and commercial success would equate to happiness wholeheartedly,” she explains. “What I find is that a lot of us know on a deep level it’s not the case, and ‘success’ can only equal happiness when we define it on our own terms. However, it’s often drowned out by the need and hope that money will solve all our problems.”

Erin and Craig made Europe their playground from their base in Monaco. (Credit: Supplied.)

Something had to give and in 2018, the businesswoman gave up on the company that she’d built up from scratch, split with Craig and returned to Australia with their young children, Oscar and Oly, now 8 and 5, to start again. But there were still plenty of obstacles to overcome to find herself again.

“[I had to] learn to let go and to stop trying to control every scenario, navigate a 4-year settlement with my business partner and ex-fiancé whilst maintaining an amicable relationship, learn to love myself, let go of very toxic behaviours – the list goes on!” she says.

Now married to husband Zac Deane and has added another two kids, Beatrice, 3, and Bobby, 2, to her family, Erin is ready to share her hard-won lessons with other women.

The mum-of-four juggles work with raising her kids. (Credit: Supplied.)

Her new passion is investing and advising other entrepreneurs, with her focus on successfully established businesses owned by high achievers that need help getting to the next level. Her approach is holistic, teaching that ambition and self-care need to work hand-in-hand in order to thrive and be fulfilled.

“When I eventually got better, it was a natural transition to share all my experiences and lessons on business and the inner self challenges, with the intention of supporting other women in feeling less alone whilst trying to navigate motherhood, career, and everything else thrown our way,” she explains.

But Erin admits that she doesn’t have it all figured out. “I still feel like pretty much everyone else, navigating life’s ups and downs, sometimes well and sometimes terribly. We’re all only human, after all,” she says.

Hanging by a Thread is out now. Buy it Here.

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