As we stand, looking into a third year of Covid disruptions, I feel it is time to double down on my previous years work and really focus on one area I can make a difference in. I am very lucky to have been awarded a study scholarship through Mind Labs, to study ” Leading beyond sustainability”, which ties in with the strategic mapping system I have been working on and with for several years.
“People want to consume better, so lets make better products”
As peoples values have changed because of the disruption to their lives I am seeing an even stronger need for good food products to be developed. I believe we can change a small part of the badly functioning food system one product at a time. By embedding full circle sustainability into each product made, we can nurture producers, makers, communities and cultures, we can strengthen local food security and regenerate the environment. Big results from very small steps.
“Art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible.”
Paul Klee Artist
For a long time I inhabited the Art World, which was considered far removed from the the Design World . Throughout my years at Art School, it was considered a sacrilege to mix the two…the horror!!. To be an Artist was to have an emotional response. Artists were expected to be controversial, or vague and other-worldly. Rules and restrictions were an anathema, as they deaden creativity (eye rolling here). Being an artist was seen as a personal and solitary expression which only a few can understand.
“Designers create usable components, systems and products.”
Then I moved on to Design School. Design is practical and adaptable. Design thinking gave me frameworks to guide the processes of creating with people and for people. Design has at its core, restrictions and limits which must be resolved with new solutions.
“Creativity is the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas.”
It was at this intersection of Art thinking, Design thinking and my own creativity where I found a purpose (and a use for all my seemingly unrelated skills). I added in Food as the vehicle for expressing this purpose and backed up by a lifetime of working in and with small business, I turned this mass of potential directions into my own small business as a Food Designer, and happily for more than 8 years I have worked on some amazing projects and with some incredible businesses. Then just when you are thinking life is crazy enough… add in a pandemic and multiple lockdowns ….what is a girl to do? Learn some more stuff of course!
I used the quieter pandemic time to embark on self directed professional development, study and research into various types and styles of Coaching, from uptight Business Coaching to loose Creativity coaching and few other modalities in between.
Now here I am 18 months later, A Startup Food Coach, maybe a Food Concept Facilitator or a CreativeBusinessDesigner , even a Life Coach for Food … I am not sure exactly what to call myself as I have not come across anyone applying coaching in quite this way….. designing my own system of collaborative directed thinking to help fledgling food business understand their unique business needs, goals, problems, planning and product(s) , giving them the steps they can take to get where they want to be.
Over the past 6 or more months I have sat down with exasperated women who want to generate their own income from a food or beverage idea. In the city I live in, there is no Food Hub or even a shared kitchen facility, there are plenty of startup programs but none focused on food products and certainly nothing for women who don’t fit the profile of the young entrepreneur, and doubly nothing for those with limited budgets. BUT there is an overload of *suspect* business information online, mainly from companies disguised as solo entrepreneurs, who want to sell you the” SECRET” (which is usually a sales funnel), or great advice(not) from people who tell you need an online presence, social media across all the platforms, retail outlet, influencers, better packaging, you know… you have been there and heard this!
This is all a distraction, I have heard it described as Tactical Maneuver Hell, this dissipates your energy and your money….. What you need a road map so that your emotions don’t derail your efforts.
In my Coaching role we co-create a product road map, mapping out business strategy and thinking, suited to not only your monetary and time constraints but your ethical vision as well. Not everyone wants global category domination, sometimes you start your business to pay for your kids school activities. This first step is the foundation for growth. I believe it is the most important and yes it can be scary, but the reward is all about making your idea a reality and setting you up to take those next steps of … social media platforms, accountants, marketing.
So if you want to take that first leap, message me about setting up a free discovery meeting time, and lets make your food idea happen.