+ Take us back to the start! When did The Mindful Company begin? And how did you come to be where you are right now?
The Mindful Company started as a side project when Ciara (my co-founder and friend) and I were both working in the corporate sector. We wanted to find a way to encourage the people around us and the first product that came to mind, was the Reminder Cuff. A simple, subtle cuff with an encouraging word on it. We designed the Cuffs, had a small batch produced and thought, let’s create a website and see if anyone buys them. I mean, how difficult can it be? (Haha, it definitely wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be!)
From there, it was a combination of taking one step a time, making some big decisions, a lot of hard work, having an incredibly supportive network (spouses, family and friends), a great work team and a bit of luck!
Ciara and I feel so incredibly blessed to have such a great TMC community. Seeing people gift, wear and love our products has been so special.
+ Why did you start?
The Mindful Company was inspired by the personal journeys of our families, friends and peers – the joys, the struggles the tragedies. We wanted to find a way to encourage others to consider what’s important to them and not let life slip by on auto-pilot. The Mindful Company is our way to start conversations around what matters, mental wellbeing, and what it means to be kind.
+ What big decisions along the way have brought you to the here and now? The ones where courage conquered fear.
I think I speak for Ciara and myself here, it would the decision to leave the corporate world. After 11 years, I felt like I finally knew what I was doing plus I had great colleagues and there were good career opportunities where I was. I was comfortable and I’d just had a baby (little Georgia Mae) so it was a safe place to be.
Although it was a calculated risk for both Ciara and myself, it was still scary. I remember telling my boss and colleagues that I was leaving and what I intended to do. I’m pretty sure some of them thought I was crazy. (haha)
Balanced with fear, there was excitement: we knew that for The Mindful Company to really kickstart and achieve what we had in mind we needed to dedicate our attention to it. Aside from financial risk, entrepreneurship can be a very lonely road but Ciara and I were lucky enough to have each other.
Since then, there have a lot of decisions that we’ve had to make with some courage. From placing our first large order wondering if we would be able to sell it all, to locking in a long-term office lease, hiring a team to support us, the list goes on.
+ Talk us through what typical day in your world might look like.
Oh my, where do I begin. Unfortunately, there’s no typical day so I’ll use yesterday as an example.
Like most days, it started starts with a visit to the gym followed by the mad rush that is, getting Georgia ready for school. Following drop off, we grab a coffee. One of our favourite spots is the apartment, which happens to be the amazing spot where we photographed your beautiful self, with our Emma Kate x The Mindful Company collaboration products.
Enter the office and the work day begins! Yesterday, that included briefing the fulfilment and packing team, interviewing candidates to join our team, discussing delivery timelines with our partner, lunch with the team, reviewing new pages on our site for an upcoming product launch, all with internment random discussions/laughs with the team. I prepare the to do list for tomorrow and I’m out the door, on a 20 min train ride home!
Now dinner is always fun. If Georgia hasn’t napped at school, we’re probably dealing with a melt down over the dining table (*insert crying face*) on why we aren’t having chicken and broccoli, or why all her cutlery isn’t pink. Oh the joys! But once that’s over, we have a good 20 minute dance sesh in front of the TV before the girls head to bed.
+ Down time, and the work vs. life balance deal. How does this vibe with you? How do you make it all work?
For me it’s quality over quantity, having a plan, being present and letting go of the guilt. I struggled a lot with this especially since we started The Mindful Company the same time Georgia was born. (lol, can I recommend not having a baby and a new business at the same time).
Good news though, I think I’ve finally found my groove in this space in the last year. (hooray!) This year, I started creating monthly calendars for Georgia. She crosses out each day before she goes to bed and knows what’s happening when she wakes up. If she asks ‘’is it a school day today’’ or ‘’is it swimming day today’’, I’ll ask her to check her calendar. While it’s a major win for me (haha, those with kids will know how many times we get asked such questions), it’s also really helped me to pre plan activities and be intentional about spending quality time together.
I also remind myself that ‘me’ time, whether it’s going for a run, out with friends, my time at work- this is me. Doing what I love, to fill my tank, to be at my best. And if I’m not at my best, I can’t give my best to my family.
+ When you are creating, what is non-negotiable?
Staying true to the ethos of the company. As we’re a mission driven company, the messaging always comes first. We think of a message or a theme that we want to share or encourage people with, and think about how we can translate that message into a design that will be a meaningful addition to someone’s everyday life – timeless, subtle, well made, and at an accessible price point.
We’ve received countless requests over the years to release our signature Cuffs and Braids without reminders etched on them to allow customers to customise the product. While we could have done this, we’ve always refrained from doing so to ensure that an intentional reminder comes with all our products. But we love feedback and with this, we introduced a personalisation service (additional engraving) so that customers can add a touch of personalisation to one of our Reminders.
+ Highlights and radical moments: what has been your most rewarding project/range/creation to date, and why?
Our charity collections. A large part of who we are and what we do, is supporting charities in the mental health space through various initiatives with the aim of evolving the conversation on mental health and wellbeing.
One of the ways we collaborate, is through our annual/bi annual charity collections which are inspired by the stories and the work done by the non-profit organisations and their beneficiaries. Witnessing the personal growth of young beneficiaries and the non-profit teams we’ve worked with has been so rewarding. Also, and seeing media and influences willingly support these collections is such a beautiful reminder of humanity and the joint desire to support the communities we live in.
+ What three key lessons have you learnt in your entrepreneurial path, which continue to carry you forward?
1. Be generous
2. Be authentic
3. Keep learning
+ If you were to hop on a plane tomorrow, where would you go? And why?
Back home, to Perth. Funnily enough, we’re actually hopping on a plane next week and that’s exactly where we’re headed. My family are in Perth and since I don’t get to see them often, it’s currently always my destination of choice. The girls love it there and we always build such precious memories while we’re there.
If we were leaving the kids behind, Japan. We’ve been wanting to head there for a while now but haven’t been able to make it work. I absolutely adore Japanese food.
+ Finish these sentences…
Right now I feel… incredibly blessed.
I believe in… the power of words. Choose to speak life and love.
Secretly, I wish… my kids would stay at this age for ever (3.5 and 1.5 years old)
You might not know this, but… I’m petrified of injections and blood tests. I still close my eyes and pinch myself to divert pain.
I couldn’t live without… WhatsApp. It’s my way of constantly staying in touch with family and friends on a daily basis.
The best advice I’ve been given is… It’s not a function of time. It’s a function of priorities.