Meet the talented woman behind Kami & Kindred
Author of 'Wild Kinship: Conversations with Conscious Entrepreneurs' Monique Hemmingson chats to Hayley Richards from Kami & Kindred about her business and the family/work balance.
How did Kami & Kindred come to be?
I’ve always loved clay, just having it around the house and using it in the kitchen, so I took a local pottery class about seven years ago. I had an idea in mind for a necklace that I wanted and ended up spending the whole eight-week course making it. After that, I dabbled in clay on my own by making myself some earrings. Strangers often stopped me and asked where my earrings were from and if I could make them a pair. It was really just word of mouth orders for a while until a friend said to me, “Why don’t you set up an online store and start doing this full time?”.
At the time, I’d been running my wellness blog called Gather Girl for around seven years, which was the catalyst for many other business ventures and wholefood products, and I was practicing full-time as a nutritionist. I was super passionate about the industry, but over time it began to wear on me, and I felt I needed a change to look after my own health. So, some friends and I took a few photos of my ceramics and put them online, and it really took off.
Are there any standout hardships?
For me, it’s missing out on a lot in my family life because I’m working. I really struggled with that and felt guilty for a period. Now, I’m really proud that I’m a hardworking mother and my children can see me as an independent, strong woman in both areas of my life. I’m not apologetic for that anymore. But the family thing is definitely the hardest.
Finances are always a tough point too and I think anyone in small business would be able to relate to that, but as long as you do what you love and love what you do, then it’s okay. Because it’s really not about the money, it’s about fulfilment. That’s the important part.
How do you find the work life balance with a young family?
I have three girls. Over time, I realised the invaluable lessons my girls were learning from me and the guilt of my workload started to slip away. They’re learning the value of money and craft. They’re very aware of the process of how I make money for our family. It’s made them, as children, more mindful about purchases and the value of products.
One thing I always try to do is be really present in whichever task I’m doing, with both my mind and body. If it’s with the girls, I’m all there – not on my phone or computer half working. Then when I’m in my studio, I’m fully there, too. Pottery takes all of me and an entirely new energy to anything I’ve ever done before. I know that if I’m not in the right space and concentrating on my art, I won’t get the results.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Rituals are really important – they ground me and give me a sense of security. My biggest one would be setting my intentions in bed in the morning with my fiancé by my side and an almond milk flat white, in a cup that I’ve made with my own hands. Then the kids will come and jump on the bed and snuggle in. It may be simple, but it really helps me to start my day filled with love and perspective, rather than on a screen or with busyness.
READ ABOUT TWO MORE CONSCIOUS ENTREPRENEURS .....
WILD KINSHIP AUTHOR
Wild Kinship: Conversations with Conscious Entrepreneurs,
by Monique Hemmingson, Beatnik Publishing, RRP $60, beatnikbooks.co
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 53 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW