As time goes on, I get more immersed in Designer Man Cave and it becomes more personal. I decided while I was still studying interior design, that I didn’t want my business to be a global empire. Don’t get me wrong, I have some mammoth life goals, but being a CEO and having 200 staff working for me, isn’t one of them. I am my brand and I’m perfectly fulfilled with that. I love being on the front line. So since I’m the main voice dishing out advice and opinions on this website, in my newsletters, on other websites and with my clients, I thought it was only fair to share with you, a little more about the woman behind Designer Man Cave…
1. I started working when I was 11
I’m not talking about child slave labour. My parents owned (and slogged their guts out!) in a newsagency for 20 years. Funnily enough, I still felt inspired to run my own business even after seeing what was involved in self employment. Having been brought up in a high work ethic home, when it came time to want all the extras that teen girls want in life, it was a matter of if I wanted the luxuries, I had to pay for them. So, every Saturday and sometimes after school, I would work behind the counter while Dad could catchup on paperwork. Admittedly, Dad used to tell me it cost the same to pay me as it did to feed me during my shift or in his words “Katie Girl, you eat the days profits”. That aside, this kickstarted my work ethic which sometimes borders on being a workaholic. I guess there are worse things to be!?
2. I am DYING to go to the Maldives
I think about it all. the. time. I just hope when I do get there one day, that it lives up to my incredibly high expectations. Travel is important to me – it opens my mind, sparks creativity and my destination of choice in the past has generally been Europe. These days though, and perhaps because it’s been a while since my last trip, I am itching to relax…in a bungalow over the water…with a glass of champagne in my hand…soaking up the sunshine…eating seafood…swimming in the clear turquoise water. See! I’ve thought about it a few times.
3. I’m a futurist
I’m obsessed with the future. I thrive on change and more specifically, transformation – taking things from ordinary to amazing. Sometimes I am too good at daydreaming the ‘what ifs’ and visualising, that I forget to be in the present moment. Whoops! Turns out, it’s a good quality to have in my line of work. I can not only visualise a new and improved interior for a client, but I can communicate it to them. People trust me turning their dreams into a reality, which is very cool. The other great thing about being a futurist, is that good old saying If you can dream it, you can achieve it – which I strongly believe!
4. I’m a health and fitness junkie
I thrive on wellness – that energised feeling you get when you look after your body from the inside out. I plan on living a long time, so I do everything I can to give myself the best shot at being a fit and healthy old lady. I live by a ‘my body is my temple’ mantra, most of the time – I also love to drink champagne and eat bacon! My attitude to health is more of balanced lifestyle choice because I know if I eat well, exercise regularly (long walks with my dog, boxing and yoga), then my mind and body are performing at peak, in my personal and professional life.
5. I don’t and never will, purchase replica furniture for myself, or my clients
It’s a big call, but it’s something I’m very passionate about. All good designs are inspirations from somewhere (and there are definitely some grey areas), but a blatant knockoff is not ok. It’s stealing. There is a lot of time, talent, money, creativity and hard work that goes into the design of a product and brand. It is intellectual property and it belongs to someone. Copying something with cheap manufacturing that will probably break within a year is not good business. There are always alternate options if you don’t have the budget for the original. Ok, I’ll step down from my soap box now ;)
6. I’m very spiritual
It’s not something I shout from the rooftops. It’s very personal (as is religion), but my spirituality and in particular, my intuition (AKA gut instinct) influences how I live and the decisions I make on a day to day basis. I love the philosophy, kindness and respect of Buddhism teachings. I do yoga to centre myself and I’m a big believer in karma. Spirituality keeps me in tune and connected to the world and the people around me. It’s a very grounding aspect of my life.
7. My ‘past [work] life’ was in hospitality
In fact, I have half a business degree majoring in hospitality management. I was fresh out of school, had absolutely NO idea what I wanted to do, and thought jumping straight into a uni course was a good idea. I had my career epiphany (to study interior design) while travelling overseas in my early 20’s. Funnily enough, everything happens for a reason and I feel lucky that my life took the path it did. I had the opportunity to work at an entry level, 5 star hotel level, in corporate, in casual environments, event management, shopfronts, behind the scenes, administration…the list goes on! The experience and learning from all aspects of the hospitality industry have been invaluable to shaping the person I am, my skills and the business I now run.
8. I have a Pinterest and flower addiction
Both of these things balance me and make me instantly calm. Both feed my soul and creativity. I think it’s important for everyone to have a retreat in life, whatever it may be. For some its going for a run, or making something, cooking, fishing… doing something that makes you happy. So for me, a quick trip to the flower market results in week long happiness surrounded by floral or 10 minutes a day scrolling through Pinterest (my personal and DMC page) leaves me inspired…and happy.
9. I do at least one thing each week that scares me
This is something I started applying to my life after watching the documentary, Finding Joe, about the learnings of Philosopher, Joseph Campbell. I highly recommend watching it! Facing fears and getting out of your comfort zone on a regular basis is how we test our courage and grow. It’s scary to start with and any human being instinct is to retreat when things are hard. Once it’s done though, I’ve conquered it and it then becomes easier next time. It could be as simple as making an uncomfortable phone call, or trying a new tricky exercise at the gym, or on a larger scale, doing a screen test filming for a TV show (one of the scariest things I’ve done in my career!) but each week I check off that I’ve pushed myself in some respect, at least once.
10. The glass is always half full and every cloud has a silver lining
Positivity is SO important in my life and is something I thrive on. I’m not sure if it’s a skill I’ve learnt along the way, or if it’s just my personality, but I always like finding the bright side, no matter how dire the situation. I remember my business coach telling me once, “it’s not a mistake if you only do it once and learn from it”, which is a nice reminder. A good friend also told me recently that I “repel negativity” which is a pretty incredible compliment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not little miss sunshine all the time, but when the going gets tough, it’s handy to take some deep breaths and look at the good in the situation. There is something to be said for the power of positivity.
So there you have it – KA UNCUT! A far cry from a professional bio :) While online professionalism is also really important, it’s only one aspect to what I do and why I do it. We are all made up of some pretty unique and quirky qualities and working closely with my clients to find out their quirks and lifestyle is one of my favourite things about Designer Man Cave. Life is a juggling act of balance and if I can help people to better and make their lives easier through my work, then I’m happy!