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Kate Walker’s life has always been about design. Growing up in a well known Melbourne family, her father is one of Australia’s most successful ceramic tile merchants and her mother is a much loved Interior Designer. With colour, texture and design flair in her bones, Kate’s talents were first put to use as a little girl in her family home, where her passion for design saw her constantly updating and rearranging her childhood bedroom.

Working with her father for over 15 years, Kate learnt about the family business from the ground up. She became proficient in all facets of the tile and stone industry and was trained in every aspect of the business from the retail floor and showroom design to working with major domestic builders, managing architectural and commercial sales and handling procurement. Proudly, Kate credits her father for instilling in her an unwavering work ethic and encouraging in her an interest in and in-depth knowledge of the design industry.

Design, service and attention to detail

Kate Walker Design (KWD) was launched in 2013 and has grown to dizzy heights with an expanding team of professionals and hundreds of design jobs completed to perfection. KWD is all about design, service and attention to detail, and as experts in the industry they specify, source and supply all hard finishes. Providing a streamlined and solution based service, the KWD team links clients with leading building contractors and suppliers and oversees design projects from concept to completion. The access KWD has to the very best importers of hard finishes is unrivalled, and the relationship they have with leaders in the industry ensures the best possible prices and service. They work closely with architects, interior designers, developers, builders and contractors so that the project process is streamlined and efficient.

With Kate Walker at the helm of a dynamic and professional team, clients can be assured of a comprehensive and consultative collaboration. Specialising in a wide range of projects including low and multi-density residential projects, hotel refurbishments, multi-national corporate refits and high-end residential projects (from Melbourne to Portsea and beyond), Kate and her team deliver on promise.

Latest trends and innovations

As well as establishing an enviable relationship with hundreds of contacts in the architectural and interior design industry, Kate has immersed herself in all things design. Keeping abreast of the latest trends comes naturally, as does her innate sense of style. While she has her own personal design ethos. she loves working with all manner of design schemes, from the ultra modern to coastal chic, and from chinoiserie to all things Hamptons and everything in between. Kate listens to experts in the field and constantly researches forecast trends so she is always up to date with the latest industry news. colour creations and product innovations.

A specialist in natural stone, Terrazzo, porcelain, ceramic, mosaic, glass and timber, Kate has an in-depth understanding of the technical elements of the manufacturing process of both stone and tiles. She also has direct access to some of the best technical advisors when it comes to laying and maintaining the materials she supplies. The hard finishes she works with includes tiles, natural stone, paving, bench tops, cabinetry, carpet timber flooring, sanitary ware, tap ware, bath ware, rugs and increasingly furniture, lighting and soft furnishings.

Design is a way of life

Kate has travelled the world attending trade fairs and visiting manufacturing sites so that she understands the materials she works with. She knows the source of every tile and stone available in the marketplace from Europe, America or Asia, and can also spec match materials, making sourcing a simple and smooth process. Importantly, Kate builds relationships with her clients, her contacts and her associates. Collaboration is important to Kate and her team, as is the world of design.  For Kate design isn’t what she does, it’s her way of life.

Naturally, we wanted to know how Kate managed to run a demanding business whilst raising two children as a single mum.

Really very poorly!  It’s not easy trying to be everything you need to be and it can be a real struggle physically and emotionally.  But I do what I can with the help of a great team.  Most of my team are working mothers and because I know what it’s like to be a working mum and all the demands that there are, I provide a lot of flexibility.  They can work school friendly hours, and part time, and be involved in their kids lives while still working and creating a life for themselves.  And in turn they offer assistance to me whenever they can, every day. If I’m losing it with the kids they step in and lighten my load, and if I’m in meetings or working late they are always there to help me out.  I also have a nanny who helps with the kids a few days a week and family who live close by who are a great support.  You need to be able to ask for help when you need it, and give back whenever you can.

My kids have been to their fair share of consultations with me as well, and are great note takers!  They understand the importance of our family business and take it all in their stride.  They love driving past projects that I have worked on, and they feel so proud when they can see the work I have done.

Why have you chosen the Mornington Peninsula as home?

Kate lives in her favourite part of the world on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria with her two beautiful children Charlie (12) and Jemima (10) – their puppy Pierre and two little rabbits. Audrey and Artie.

The reasons are endless!  I am very blessed to live very close to the beach down a dirt road, which is quintessential Mt Martha.  I have family members living nearby and there is such a community spirit.  There’s an old fashioned sweet shop down the road, and I feel safe to let the kids run down the street with some change in their back pocket to go and buy themselves some sweets as a treat.   While I adore the city and all of its temptations, I love nothing more than driving in to Mt Martha village and seeing the beautiful bay and breathing in the smell of the sea.  My heart rate slows down, my body relaxes and I feel at ease. And it’s only 55 minutes to the city, with not one traffic light.  I enjoy the simplicity of living on the Mornington Peninsula.  I get to live the life that others see as a vacation.

Photo Credits: Brent Lukey @brentlukey.

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Whilst Christmas may herald the start of summer holidays for some, many of us are preparing to enter the busiest time of year for events and looking after ourselves can be hard. Here are 5 tips to for a healthier event season this summer. 1. Juice through it The best investment I have made this year is purchasing a blender for $49 from Target that whizzes fruit and vegies in a flash providing a juice packed with healthy staples and a vitamin punch. To make life even easier for yourself why not prepare the fruit and vegies you like the night or week before and have them in the freezer for those busy mornings when you need to be out the door in 5? My go to recipe at the moment is; 1/4 Mango Handful frozen berries 1 Cup Watermelon 1/2 Cup Kale Handful of pumpkin seeds 1 Cup Coconut Water 1/2 Cup Juice   Image courtesy of cleanfoodcrush 2. Pre prepare meals Get those healthy meals prepared the week before you start event week, divide them into individual portions and freeze them. Make this big cook up part of your event planning so it's on the to-do list and a big milestone you can tick off. We all know how much sugar you will be presented with during event week - lollies seem to fall from the sky - so give yourself a head start and eat as best you can while you're burning a huge amount of energy. 3. Five minutes of quiet time Set the alarm for 5 minutes earlier than you need to and grab 5 minutes of quiet time. Two of the best ways to spend this are meditating for 5 minutes or a few yoga sun salutes. Nothing fancy pants or complicated here, just a small routine to get you breathing and to still your busy mind before you launch into the day. 4. Call, text, email friends and family Normal people will expect you to be in touch over the Christmas and summer period but if you're in the events industry that is often just one too many things on the to do list. You love your friends and family dearly however there is a lot going on at the moment - for starters you have 2 phones and a radio strapped to your belt and 3 people in front of you wanting direction for various elements of the set up! Take the stress out of this situation and get in touch with your family and friends before event week to let them know what you're up to and that you'll be back in touch once the event has finished. 5. Sleep I know, I know, you'll sleep when the events over right? Let's not fall into that trap. Make sleep a priority when you get home and stay away from Netflix and your favourite TV series for now. Once you're on the couch it'[s going to be hard to move so come home, eat a healthy dinner and go straight to bed. Give your mind and body a chance to rest before you have to do it all again tomorrow.   Best of luck to all of you working super hard this summer. We'd love to hear what events you're working on and what some of your tips are for looking after yourself.
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This time next week the world's largest women's wellbeing and empowerment festival, Seven Sisters Festival will be underway in Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula. Started by Dr Lauren Woodman at the young age of 24, the Seven Sisters Festival is an annual 3-Day festival which celebrates, educates and inspires women in the areas of health, spirituality, personal development, self worth, expression, and sisterhood. With over 50 workshops, talks, food and craft markets, concerts and live installations all included in the ticket price it is no wonder that the festival has doubled in size each year since its debut. Lauren and I recently met during a panel show on RPPFM's Taking Care of Business where she shared her story and the Seven Sisters Festival journey. Lauren is an Osteopath, co-author of 'The Evolved Woman, Women’s Wisdom To Create The Life You Love', and CEO and Founder of Entrepreneuress Society and Telstra Young Business Woman Finalist. She is a calm, inspiring and engaging force to be reckoned with! I was intrigued and wanted to know more. How did the Seven Sisters Festival come to be? “When I started attending festivals in my early twenties, they were generally small events that catered mostly to lovers of music, alcohol and drugs. The experiences I loved most about festivals were the elements of learning, connection and healing. However, at that time only a handful offered workshops, healing spaces, meaningful gatherings or transformational elements for people to enjoy.” “Even more than that there was nothing that really embraced, or embodied the spirit of women in particular. A place where women could go to connect, celebrate and understand their feminine nature. That’s why I decided to create Seven Sisters Festival.” People generally have a lot of resistance facing issues head on or going out of their way to try something new like a yoga class or a new type of therapy for the first time, so knowing this I designed the festival to be a fun, supportive and inspiring space that easily attracted women but also covertly enabled them to easily receive access to support and resources to help where needed. 5 months, 350 attendees and my life savings I was an Osteopath who knew everything about the body but absolutely nothing about business and had no clue about running events.  All I knew was that I wanted to provide a space of permission and support to assist women in building their confidence, self worth and clarity in order to create meaningful change in their lives. I gave myself less than 5 months to get the first event off the ground, whilst working full time treating 40 clients a week to fund it. I threw all my savings into this event, networked like crazy, and enlisted the help and support of anyone who showed an interest. Needless to say the first event was a success and gathered 350 women and since then doubled each year and has grown to thousands becoming the largest women’s wellbeing and empowerment event in the southern hemisphere. Freedom to design your own weekend I thought by giving women easy access to all these resources in one place over one weekend, they have the chance to experience what they would probably encounter over a decade on their own accord. So it is the quickest way to fast track and individual’s personal evolution and gain insight and inspiration to take a new direction. This is one of the reasons why so many women report that the event changes the course of their lives. Understanding that all women are different, guests have the freedom to design their own weekend experience according to their needs, wants and desires moment to moment. All workshops and activities are included in their ticket price, they don’t need to book but simply turn up to the class, workshop or presentation at the set time. 3 to 5 March 2017 In 2017, the festival will have helped over 10,000 women since its launch.  It has doubled in size every year since its launch.  The location has changed twice but the outcomes are still the same.  Women leave the event feeling inspired, empowered and energised by the warmth and love the encounter by the other festival attendees. A small number of tickets are still available for this year's event. For details visit the Seven Sisters Festival website here.      
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If you are in business chances are that you have a business Facebook page. Are you getting the most out of it? Is it set up to work for your business or is it just a place holder? Hopefully it's an extension of your business and serving your audience in a positive way that aligns with your brand, products and customer services. Below I've put together a list of 12 easy wins you can grab by tweaking your current Facebook page and becoming a social media ninja. 12 Easy Facebook Wins 1. Do your images align with your brand? Are they clear, do they catch the readers eye? You don't need to be a designer to re-size images, find new images or create images with eye catching text or calls to action. Give Canva a try. Its super easy and friendly to use with ready made templates for social media posts, facebook profile and header images. If you'd like a free step by step guide grab it here. 2. Are the images in your post filling the whole post space available or are they skinny little posts that look a little odd? I would recommend creating your social media image posts in Canva so that they are always a consistent size. You can access a free step by step guide to creating amazing images here. 3. Got some video you can post? My experience is that video will reach 3 times as many people because Facebook HQ is in love with video and want more people to love it too. If you haven't got video create some. All you need is an iphone. Don't be scared - just jump in and take a short 30 second video of your office, venue, shop to show people exactly what its like to step inside and say hello. 4. Post 4 times a week and mix up your content to cover a variety of info relevant to your business and industry. 5. Have you got information about your business and its products or services listed in every available location on Facebook? There are a couple you may not be aware of. Click on your profile photo or header photo. To the right you'll see a box to add more detail. Fill this in including links to your website and other social platforms. You can also add in links to special offers here. Somehow, somewhere people find this information and its just one further way to grab their attention. 6. What services is your business offering? Add these into the Services section of your page. 7. What is your call to action? The blue button just below your header image can be edited to match the call to action you need. Are you asking people to learn more by visiting your website or perhaps to sign up to your email list? Check out the options available and make use of this important tool to engage with your customers. 8.Reviews - twist some arms, lots of arms and get people to review your business, products and services. The best thing about social media is that it promotes peer reviews which are far more authentic than you trying to sell something to someone direct. 9.Partners. Can you establish some partnerships with like minded business to promote each others social media posts and to drive higher engagement to your site? Collaboration is like magic spice for business. Reach out to those around you. What have you got to lose? 10.Add in links to your website and other social media tools. To do this in the search box at the top type in woobox custom tab. Select the Install Page Tab button and then select Add Page Tab. This will allow you add in the links you need. You can check out how this looks on the Like Minds Create site - we have included 3 images on the right hand side that you'll see as you scroll down; website, Instagram and Pinterest 11. Schedule posts to ultimately save you time. At the start or the end of the week sit down and plan out your 4 posts. To schedule simply go the status/post box, add in your image/video and text then instead of hitting publish select the drop down arrow and hit the schedule option. This will then prompt you to select the date and time you wish the post to be released. 12. Finally social media is SOCIAL. Share content, comment on others content and become an active member of the online community that supports your business. Still sound like I'm using another language? My number 1 frustration, actually there were 3 of them, when I first started my business was social media. In particular getting my head around Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and using it effectively. It is so easy to spend hours lost down a rabbit warren trying to search for answers and when you do find them they are usually in all sorts of different places. It took me a good 10 months to really get a grasp on using social media like a pro however I have now channelled that learning, time and frustration into an online course called The Social Media Superstart to make life as easy as possible for small business owners. Find everything you need in one place with this super course and gain access to the private Facebook group to meet other like minded business owners and promote your work. Click here to find out more.
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Technology and I have an interesting relationship. It is one that requires the right mix of passion and work to find that lovely positive balance. I need the steps clearly laid out for me to check off one by one in a nice orderly, getting stuff done kind of way, which has led me to put together the ultimate cheat sheet on starting a podcast. By following this cheat sheet I am 100% certain that you will have your first podcast launched in no time, with no stress and you won't look back. Podcasting is addictive and provides a natural high that can't be topped. If you are more of a visual person and would like the step by step video training to accompany this cheat sheet then grab it here. The best bit? Its free! Name and Theme It What are you going to talk about? The answer 'nothing' is perfectly acceptable here. Remember that Seinfeld made a fortune from talking about nothing! Think about your area of interests, what do you enjoy talking about, have you got some guests in mind who can join you? What are there interests? The template that I used to come up with the first 8 podcasts for Like Minds Create can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. Prior to recording I would then put together a series of bullet points relevant to the topic so that I had information fresh in my mind.   Select a name for your podcast series. This can be influenced by the theme of topics you plan to chat about or perhaps by your current business or blog name. Recording Now that you've got something to chat about let's jump into the technology. The first thing you need is a recording device. This is where some people get stuck and don't move forward as there are so many options on the market. Disregard most of them so that you can move on quickly here. My advice is to select one of 3 options; your inbuilt computer microphone, your phone or if you're thinking about investing in a good microphone then I would recommend the Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Silver. I use a mix of the second two to record the Like Minds Create podcasts. If I have a special guest who is not with me at the time I record a conference call using Free Conference Call. If I am recording solo or have the guest in the room with me then I'll plug in my Yeti microphone which has been brilliant.   Ready to press the red record button? Great this is your next step. If you are recording using the inbuilt computer microphone or a plug in microphone then download the free Audacity software, or if you're on a Mac then Garageband will do the job nicely. If you have opted to record using Free Conference Call then it has the added advantage of recording your podcast for you and saving the file ready for download and editing later. People often ask me if I stop the recording if a mistake is made and the answer is no - just keep rolling. Editing can do amazing things taking out mistakes, the dreaded "ums" and delays in answering questions often found when recording using the conference style. Another typical question here is how long should my podcast be? There are differing answers to this one however my personal opinion is in the region of 22 minutes. Congratulations you have just recorded your first podcast which people can listen to in their car, on their way to work, at home in the sun! Is the adrenalin pumping? Grab a cup of tea and calm yourself for the editing process. Editing Both Audacity and Garageband are straight forward to use. You may want to add in some music to the beginning and end of your podcast. Some even have music underlying the actual podcast. Be warned that selecting the right music for your own podcast can be a big black time sucking hole. I think I spent more time on finding the music for my podcast that I did learning the process and actually recording the series! In the end I selected my music (and paid a once off fee) from BenSound which provides royalty free stock. There are free options available out there any if you're lucky you may even have a muso friend who would be happy to help you out. Once you're happy with the final edit its time to save your project and export it as an MP3 file. Cover Artwork Creating the artwork for your podcast. I use Canva to create mine which is free and easy to use. To submit your podcast to iTunes you'll need to design cover art that is a minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 3000 x 3000 pixels. If you are looking for great free to use stock images my go-to site is Podcast Host Provider Now that you have your MP3 file and your cover art the next step is to find a hosting provider for your final podcast. My recommendation here is Libsyn.  It has been so easy to use and now that I'm set up transfers the Like Minds Create podcasts directly to iTunes for me and provides a link that I can embed into the blog post/ show notes and importantly provides great stats on how many people are listening to each episode. I love it and its now one of the tools that I can't live without in my business. Show Notes Have you got a website to host your show notes? If not I would suggest starting one. I use WordPress for our website which offers a Libsyn plugin. Once I've written up the show notes I scroll to the bottom of the page to find the prompt from Libsyn to add in the html address for the podcast. It takes this and automatically embeds the show into the blog post for me - super easy! I can now share the show from my website to my social media channels driving further traffic to the site. iTunes Setting up your account with iTunes. This is only something you need to do once if you are with Libsyn. Once its done, Libsyn automatically feeds your future podcast episodes to iTunes for you. Firstly test and validate the RSS feed for your podcast using FeedBurner. If the feed is OK then you are ready to submit it to iTunes using Apple's Podcast Connect. Passwords Save all your new passwords. Through this process you've signed up to a bunch of new tools and remembering passwords can start to become tricky business. I use LastPass to keep track of all mine and its proved to be a lifesaver. Losing or forgetting a password always happens when you're on a deadline doesn't it?! Congratulations You are now a recording artist! How does that feel? Did this guide help you get started with your first podcast? If you get stuck please let us know so that we can help get you moving again. Once you're podcast is live and you are sharing it with the world remember to send Like Minds Create the link so that we can promote it for you too!