We had the pleasure of working with Kate to develop The Bondi Wellness Co brand. Kate is Creative Consultant to small businesses. It was an absolute joy to work with her - knowledgeable, experienced, funny and down to earth, we couldn’t have done it without her! Kate is Sydney based and they are in the midst of their second lockdown……
Kate, how are you doing? What’s getting you through this uncertain time?
I’m actually doing pretty well, but it’s a minute to minute prospect at the present time. Sydney has been turning on some of the most amazing ‘summer in winter’ weather, which is boosting our spirits. Lots of time walking in the park and swimming in the icy cold ocean. Lockdown is rough, but we are very lucky where we live. I can’t complain (although homeschool… that’s a whole other matter).
Ahhhh Sydney Winter's how we miss them - certainly give the UK a run for its Summer! Can you tell us a little about your role and what it encompasses?
Sure. I’m a bit of a jack of all trades to be honest. I work with (mostly) small to medium sized businesses, start ups and more established companies, on their marketing strategies and brand foundations. Sometimes my clients just need a hand in one specific area, such as social media, copywriting or distribution; others need to develop their entire brand and business strategy. Whatever their needs, I’m here to help.
We know we really enjoyed deep diving into the brand development from the vision, to our ethos and defining exactly what our customer experience was. This is always from and centre for us in our communication and developing our campaigns.
What’s your background, what led you to starting up your own consultancy business?
My background is in public relations, working with all the fun stuff…. booze, chefs and food. When my son was two and my daughter just a baby, I thought it would be the ideal time to open my own business. My sister in law and I started Kate & Kate in 2012, designing and manufacturing a range of soft furnishings including blankets, throws, cushions, towels and tableware. It was a wild ride - I couldn’t have loved it more and also it exhausted me beyond belief. At our peak, we had over 200 stockists throughout Australia, the US and UK and a thriving online store. It was amazing. But we decided to end on a high and shut our doors in 2017.
It was at this point that I accidently fell into business consulting. I suppose a lot of the people I had met over my 15 year career wanted to tap into my marketing and PR expertise, coupled with the fact that I’d run a successful small business for five years. I could offer them a good combination of knowledge and experience… so it just happened naturally.
Tell us a bit about your home.
I’ve lived in my Bondi Junction terrace for 10 years next month and I love it more today than when we purchased it. I’ve always loved interiors, but my interest really piqued after launching Kate & Kate. I was constantly rearranging the home for shoots etc and I haven’t really stopped.
The terrace was built by an architect who located his small architecture firm in an office space carved out of the main house. We converted this into a home office that now doubles as a one on one pilates studio. To be fair, it’s also home school headquarters at the minute too. It’s super special, versatile and possibly my favourite space in the whole house. It has great light and four giant cacti on the surrounding balcony. It’s an indulgence to have this space contained within our home, but I’m not sorry about it at all.
For privacy during these trying times, I always retire to my bedroom. It has a balcony (with crazy paving!) that overlooks the neighbourhood terraces and a huge palm tree. I open the door and let the linen curtain move in the breeze. It’s honestly heaven. It captures dreamy light in the early morning and late afternoon.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?
Know your numbers and never lie to yourself about them! Starting a business can be brutal - it's often a lot more expensive than you think and unexpected costs come up at every turn. Have a budget and stick to it. And make sure you have some extra dollars in the bank. You’ll need them.
That said, it can be exhilarating starting your own business. Enjoy the whole experience. It can be brilliant and empowering. It’s a total ride, so you have to be in it for all of it.
We couldn't have put it better ourselves! I think what's really interesting at the start of this journey for us is all the new things you need to learn, (like being back at school really) and what rabbit holes you can go down. We're talking about you Google analytics!
What are currently working on Kate?
I’m currently doing a lot of consulting with Smack Bang, a creative agency that builds and boosts brands. It’s an awesome gig, working with some amazing clients - all varied and from different industries, but equally as exciting. I work on brand strategy for them and I love it. Interestingly, they created our Kate & Kate branding many moons ago!
I also have a beautiful stable of my own clients, including my fav, The Bondi Wellness Co (of course!) This week I’ve been working with a stunning store in Sydney’s Surry Hills, a yoga studio and a restaurateur turned interior designer.
You’re just about to finish your pilates teacher training. What was the process like, and what did you learn about yourself?
I did! Although I am nervously waiting to take my final exam... once lockdown is finished. It’s been such a fantastic process and I’m really happy I pushed myself into completing this training. It was something that came to me last lockdown - why couldn’t I learn to teach? There were a million reasons why (too old, not talented enough, lacking form etc etc)… but when my studio launched a training academy, I saw it as a sign to just bloody give it a go. No surprises, I absolutely loved it. I originally wanted to do it just for me - but now I love to teach! I can’t believe I am a pilates teacher (although just privates for now - thanks Covid) and it’s the best side hustle ever. It’s good for me and it’s good for my clients. I couldn’t be happier.
We bloody love that Kate! What are your three non-negotiables for maintaining your wellbeing?
For me? It’s the ocean, moving my body and hydration (to counter any wine consumed after 5pm).
I know how important balance is to you – can you explain what that looks like to you?
It’s taking a wide stance on balance that’s important to me - so not judging myself for an hour, a day or a week… but how my overall life balances out. How am I doing as a parent? As a friend? A daughter, a sister? How am I showing up in my work? Am I expanding into new areas? Pushing myself? Am I moving, resting and getting into the ocean as much as I can? Am I giving myself a break, having fun and laughing as much as possible? I’m constantly evaluating and adjusting as I need. Life is so good and too short to be grumpy about things that don’t matter.
Hear, hear Kate, we are in total agreement! Thank you, we love your perspective on life, and adore working with you.
We worked with Kate once we had relocated to the UK. What we have really seen since Covid is that working with people around the globe is possible and very easy. It generally meant one of us had a coffee whilst perhaps the other had a G&T and it couldn't have been smother. It also helped us stay true to our Aussie routes. You can hit Kate up to discuss any projects or bounce ideas around with at firstname.lastname@example.org