Balancing the Grind with Matt Niutta, Founder & Director of FRACTEL

Meet Matt Niutta, the Founder & Director of FRACTEL, who turned a challenging diagnosis into a driving force for innovation in sustainable sportswear. 

A former surveyor with a background in spatial science, Matt’s life took a sharp turn when he was diagnosed with Retinitus Pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition that reshaped his future. Not one to be deterred, Matt embraced adaptability and resilience, qualities that have become cornerstones in both his personal life and his professional journey with FRACTEL. 

Today, he’s dedicated to enhancing the running and adventure community through high-quality, unique headwear that doesn’t just look good but is good for the planet. 

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

My career path has been a bit like a trail run—full of unexpected turns, exhilarating highs, and challenging lows, but rewarding all the same. I started in 2011 as a Surveyor, having completed a Bachelor of Spatial Science.

Not long after, I was diagnosed with Retinitus Pigmentosa, a rare genetic eye condition which meant I could no longer drive and would eventually become blind. It was then that I quickly learned the importance of adaptability and resilience which in turn has actually helped with what I do today.

In 2018 I founded Fractel and after 3 years of juggling two jobs, I quit my job as a Surveyor and went full time Fractel and have not looked back. Today, I’m deeply immersed in the world of sustainable sportswear with FRACTEL, where I’m focused on making a tangible impact on both the running and adventure community and the environment we find ourselves in. It’s this mission that fuels me every day.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

As a founder, no two days are the same, but in ideal work, they would start with a run to clear my head / catch up with friends. After that, it’s a whirlwind of meetings, product development, community engagement, logistics and more.

Recently, I’ve been dedicating a significant chunk of my day to our equity crowdfunding campaign, connecting with potential investors, and sharing the FRACTEL story. It’s hectic but incredibly fulfilling.

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

For me, work-life balance isn’t about keeping work and life completely separate (that’s easier said than done) but finding joy and fulfilment in both. It’s about the flexibility to do what’s required in both cases. Maintaining this balance by setting clear priorities, being present in whatever I’m doing, and remembering that it’s okay to pause and breathe is key.

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

Absolutely, the past year has been a lesson in self-care as work has become incredibly busy and taking time out for myself and family becomes more critical. Ensuring I make time for a run or take 5 minutes out for some deep breaths has proven useful. This has all helped me approach my work with a calmer, more focused mindset and reminded me of the importance of taking care of myself first.

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

I’ve actually not gone too deep into this space so I’d love to hear what others are using?

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Patience and consistency are key. Work and life are both parts of a larger adventure, filled with opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute. And never underestimate the power of a good run to clear your mind and spark creativity.

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