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In Conversation: Starting my Own Business

This week we had the pleasure of catching up with an incredibly lovely and talented mum entrepreneur, Kate Willbourn-Trevett. The kind of woman who makes running her own business, while having a baby look effortless!

Absolutely, but no complaints here. I actually prefer to be busy. I’m currently doing a balancing act of being a new mum and running a new business. I launched my business Foodies Collective in October this year so the last couple of months have been extremely hectic; getting everything up & running and wearing a million different hats at the same time. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I’m in my element. I love that I’m learning again, but also enjoying the flexibility that comes with managing my own business. Whilst my daughter is in a pretty good routine, the change is constant so I’ve had to get used to working in short bursts, across the day and night.

Both were born from a passion (…borderline obsession) I have for food. It’s not just a hobby, it’s a way of life for me. I launched the blog Foodies Agenda nearly 4 years ago as I was needing a creative outlet and thought there was no better topic to blog about than food. Initially I was reviewing local restaurants and creating all sorts of recipes to share with readers. Over time I fine tuned its focus to celebrate our local food industry in Australia – the people & produce. When I made that shift, the response was positively overwhelming. Our readers were really interested in getting to know the people and stories behind our exciting and dynamic local food scene. This led to a light bulb moment with Foodies Collective. It was only a few months ago I lifted the lid on my inner yearning to launch my own business. Mid-way through maternity leave, I was feeling a real shift, my priorities had changed. Knowing how responsive our readers had been at Foodies Agenda, I started to research running an e-commerce business that specialised in Australian-made food.

Fast forward a couple of months and the concept of the Foodies Collective Discovery Box was born. This box is designed to help passionate foodies discover and taste the very best Australian artisan food every two months…and the best part, the contents are always kept a surprise so you don’t know what you’ll experience until it arrives at your front door.  So in short, my inspiration really was my love for food and wanting to spend more time at home with my daughter.

That sounds incredible, you’re a relatively new mum… have you found time to keep doing what you’re passionate about? Yes we’re asking if you cook a lot at home! 

Ha time, it’s such a precious thing, isn’t it. I consider myself a good multi-tasker, but having a baby has taken that to a whole new level. In the early days of becoming a mum my cooking was very simple. I had my daughter in the summer so lots of grilled meats & fish with salad was on the table night after night.

Eleven months later and my style of cooking is nearly back to normal.  I love cooking Italian and Thai so lots of pastas, slow cooked dishes, noodle salads etc. I’m also baking a lot more now, which is very rewarding. I absolutely love cooking so whether it’s just a simple dish or something more adventurous, it will always be central in my life.

It sounds non-stop! What do you do when you want to relax? 

Something simple like grabbing a pile of my favourite mags and lying on the sofa. Or if I can squeeze it in, a massage never goes a miss.

As a mother, what are you most nervous about in terms of returning to work?

I’m most nervous about not returning to my secure & safe corporate job. I’ve made a decision which was completely driven by my gut. My head still isn’t completely right with it. Whilst I do feel a sense of relief and real excitement about launching my first business, I’m also nervous as I’m in unknown territory. I want to be the best role model I can be for my daughter so I’m giving my job as mother and business founder everything I’ve got!

What’s your advice for woman thinking about starting their own business; particularly mothers. 

My first instinct is to answer this question by saying just do it! Obviously research and have a clear focus on your brand & product & understanding on who your customer is, but don’t sit on it for too long. I don’t think you can get it 100% right straight away. There is time to learn and adapt as you go.

Since starting my own business I’ve joined several Facebook & networking business groups which has been invaluable. Sometimes it can be lonely so having a group of supportive women in the same boat is uplifting and inspiring. I’d recommend joining these kind of groups even before you start.

Finally, as a foodie and a lover of Christmas (like us), can you tell us the top five things that will be in your pantry/fridge this Christmas? 

Just 5? This is hard! Prawns, vanilla bean ice-cream, macadamia nuts, cheese (of all kinds!) and homemade mince pies. It wouldn’t be Christmas without any of these.

Huge thanks to Kate for the peek into her Foodie world. Be sure to check out Foodies Collective, for a wonderful take on gourmet Australian produce.


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