ebecca Judd doesn’t know how to stop. “Some days I kind of go, ‘I need a day off to do nothing,’” she tells Stellar. “And then by 9am, I’m so bored and looking for things to do. I don’t think my brain knows how to switch off.” No wonder then that the 35-year-old manages to wear many hats, and wear them well. She is busy enough at home. She and husband Chris Judd are raising four kids – but she is also a businesswoman, presenter, model, blogger, author and designer.
Asked if she is a chronic overachiever, Judd just laughs. “I think I always have been,” she says, leather jacket slung across her shoulders and high-top sneakers planted firmly on the ground. (Forget stilettos – it’s sneakers, she says, that are almost always on her feet.) “I’m extremely assertive and I like to lead. I like to make things happen. I’m good at doing what I want to do. If I’m not into it, I’m not going to waste my time. And I’m comfortable now to be able to say, ‘I’m not into this. I’m not going to do it.’ I’m a ‘no’ person now. I can genuinely say to you, hand on heart, everything I am doing – and I’m doing a lot – I love. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it.”
It hasn’t always been that way. When she first made a splash as former AFL player Chris Judd’s glamorous girlfriend, she took most of the opportunities that were presented.“if you’d asked me 10 years ago, I probably would’ve been doing some things that maybe [I was] just doing because I felt obligated. Not anymore. I don’t have time. I’ve got four kids, I’m building houses. I have so much on.”
Judd has spent years honing her image and career as one of the first AFL WAGS to turn her Brownlow profile into a fully fledged personal brand, racking up nearly 700,000 Instagram followers and launching a lifestyle blog. She parlayed that fame into more traditional media roles: as presenter on a TV show (Nine’s Postcards) and on radio ( 3PM Pick-up on KIIS FM). She’s written a parenting book ( The Baby Bible), coordinates renovation projects and co- owns the activewear brand Jaggad, which she bought with her business partners, including her husband, a former Carlton captain, in 2013.
Now Jaggad is expanding into The Iconic and Myer, and will be stocked in 10 of the retail giant’s department stores nationally. “We’ve got to a point where the brand is strong,” Judd says. “It’s sports luxe; it has a fashion edge. It’s been five years in the making and I feel like we’re really there now.” Her second capsule collection for the Melbourne-based brand will be in stores from this week, and will feature a throwback ’90s staple: bike shorts.
Judd is a big advocate for activewear – even when it’s not as part of a workout. “Instead of wearing the full activewear look when we’re exercising, we wear it every day, but put a bomber [jacket] with it, team it with a crop top, an open shirt and a pair of jeans or cutoffs. I hate heels. I hate them! My ankles are so shot I can barely walk in them. I’m loving this whole sneaker trend.”
As well as running her successful businesses, Judd stays busy looking after son Oscar, seven, daughter Billie, four, and twin boys Tom and Darcy, who turn two in September. She admits to a particular emotion as she goes about balancing her personal and professional lives. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a mum who doesn’t have a bit of mother’s guilt,” Judd says.
“I feel it all the time. Every day when I leave my house, leaving the twins, and them having that face… you feel guilty straight away. My twins will come to the top of the stairs and see Billie and Oscar [ready for school], and I say, ‘OK, down you go to the car.’
“Darcy sees them with their schoolbags and hears my keys, and he knows I’m leaving, and he doesn’t want me to. But I can’t take him to school. I’m doing this drop-off, then I’ve got to pop in here, and I say to him: ‘I’ll be back really soon!’”
espite occasional bursts of angst, Judd still remains prosaic. “It’s something that you can’t not feel guilty about. But you need to do things for yourself and have that special time with your partner, with your girlfriends. It actually makes you a better mum.” She laughs at a memory of a girls’ night that didn’t end quite as planned. “I went clubbing with my girlfriends, got home, power-chucked in the kitchen sink at like 2am, went to bed,” Judd says. “Then Darcy woke up screaming an hour later. I had to take him to [hospital] over that long weekend.”
Of course, she documented it all on Instagram. “I probably share a lot, but it’s the real me,” Judd says. “If it doesn’t sound real, they [her audience] just switch off.”
But unlike other couples in the public eye, Judd likes to keep PDAS with her husband private and (mostly) away from Instagram. “We keep it for each other,” she says.“i don’t need to post declarations of love on Instagram. We never do that. It’s not like we spoke about it: ‘ We’re never going to do this!’ We just... don’t. We tell it to each other’s face.”