Kaitlyn Kuld is a self proclaimed ice-cream obsessive. She can’t pick just one favourite from the dozens she’s handcrafted with her husband Mati at Kuld Creamery in Perth. Roasted strawberry, baklava, lemon butter with almond poppyseed biscuits and cornbread with rhubarb swirl are just some of the quirky flavours that make her top five.
What started out as an idea jotted in a notebook, became a reality when after a difficult day at work Kaitlyn and Mati scored an old commercial ice-cream machine on Gumtree.
“I came home from work one day, so upset. I was crying and I just didn’t want to do it anymore. Mati was like, ‘Well what do you want to do?’. I said, ‘I want to make ice-cream’. He said, ‘Ok, let’s make ice-cream then!’.” says Mati.
Their small batch organic ice cream with unusual flavours and produced with locally sourced ingredients was an instant hit. Before long Kaitlyn and Mati had quit their day jobs to focus on the business full-time. Fast forward two years and Kuld Creamery now has two stores.
We chatted about having a job that brings people joy every day, what it’s really like to launch a business and the lessons they’ve learned in being mindful along the way.
Know when to ask for help
Learning the business of running a business, coping with the anxiety of maintaining a profit and creating boundaries between work and home were all new challenges for Mati and Kaitlyn.
“I’ve never worked this hard in my life – that’s for damn sure,” Kaitlyn says. “I could never have been prepared for the workload. It’s probably like having a kid – everyone tells you it’s the most rewarding job but I wasn’t prepared for the hours and the sheer stress.”
Recognising that they were at breaking point after having worked on every aspect of the business for the two years since its launch, Mati and Kaitlyn made the decision to expand to from two to eight staff.
“It just really settled in that we can’t manage it all. We were always stepping in doing the day to day things and that’s really hindering to moving forward and growing. We’ve realised now that it’s OK to hand off those tasks you don’t need to be involved in all the time,” says Mati.
Managing two stores has also made taking time off more challenging.
“Mati has churned every single batch of ice-cream that we’ve ever sold. He was the only one that had ever done the machine until two weeks ago,” says Kaitlyn.
“And then I do shop hours and admin,” adds Mati.
As well as growing their team to help with the workload, they have committed to closing the stores every August for their own time to recharge and rejuvenate. Last year they went to Bali, the year before back to North America.
“We see each other all the time but we’re not hanging out. You’re talking about business stuff and strategies and orders. It’s not the same,” says Mati.
“I think quality time is the important thing for us to gain in our lives right now,” says Kaitlyn.
Have daily rituals just for you
Taking the time to slow down and create daily rituals is a goal for Mati and Kaitlyn to create balance between work and life. Time at the beach and coffee are two of their favourites.
“I love a good cup of coffee. We live in South Fremantle and for me, breakfast and coffee at Third Wheel with Mati and a beach walk is my perfect morning. If I could do that every day I’d be the happiest person. It sets my day up for going well. I feel like I’ve had such a good day when I can start it like that. I love the community aspect, going to the local coffee shop and everyone knows everyone there,” says Kaitlyn.
For Mati it’s an ocean swim.
“There’s nothing better,” says Mati. “It shocks your system, wakes you up, you’re in nature. It’s not just rolling out of bed and going to work. It breaks up the day and feels like a vacation.”
Take everything as a lesson but keep looking forward
Kaitlyn and Mati admit that their passion for the business means they often take on a huge workload which at times has been overwhelming. But rather than reflecting on what they could have done differently, they see all their experiences as a learning and focus on the future.
“I think it sort of happened exactly as it should have happened. When we started it was bare basics, with nothing and it just went from there. We didn’t overextend, other than ourselves. You got to put in those hours in the first place anyhow,” says Mati.
Remember why you’re doing it
Despite the stress and long hours, Kaitlyn and Mati love the joy they bring to their customers and the community spirit at the stores.
“It’s pretty great that everyone’s always excited when they come in. It’s really rare to have a bad day at work. The only way we have a bad day is if we make it a bad day personally,” says Mati.
“Everyone’s in a good mood when they’re buying ice-cream,” says Kaitlyn.
“It’s good for the soul. We have the best job in the world – we get to give people ice cream all day. Everyone is always happy to be here. I don’t know how many jobs are like that, where people are genuinely excited to be here. We get to create that. We see people with our ice cream and how happy it makes them and we get to be a part of that joy. How many jobs are there like that?,” says Mati.
Enjoy the happy vibes at Kuld Creamery’s stores at 460 Beaufort Street, Highgate and 11 Essex Street, Fremantle.
We all have different approaches to mindfulness, and ideas about what mindful eating means. I’ve been chatting with some of my favourite people about how they practice slow living and mindful eating at home. Jessica is a busy Mum with a baby and toddler at home, she understands the value in carving out mindful moments in the day.
Jessica from Mindful Moose
Can you tell us some background on who you are, and how you got to be doing what you’re doing?
I always find this one so difficult to answer. I’m 27 and a Mum to two, and a fiancé to one. I have lived in Perth my whole life, and I love it. Around 8 years ago, I started creating healthier versions of foods that I loved, reducing the sugar and using natural sweeteners, replacing dairy and eggs etc in an effort to eat healthier and start taking care of myself. I stumbled on a bit of a passion of creating new recipes from there. I went vegan 6 years ago so that was a fun challenge for me, learning how to create vegan food without compromising on taste! I started my Instagram about 3-4 years ago, which really encouraged me to keep creating and sharing!
What does mindful eating mean to you?
To me, mindful eating is about eating with intention and being mindful of my food choices. I like to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. I like to treat myself often with raw cakes but I do it in a self-love treat kind of way, usually with a cup of tea and a nap break from the baby and toddler! Stopping for a bit. Taking a moment. I am mindful about what I’m eating, and where it comes from. I choose to eat without harm to other beings and that is really important to me. I became mindful and educated on what or who my food choices were, so could never return to eating anything non vegan. I love eating and living this way. I am always on a journey to have more “slowness” in our lives, as a bit of a naturally stressy person but I’m really enjoying where I’m at in just these last few years of intending to live more slowly.
Please share with us the recipe for one of your favourite ‘bowl foods’
Roast Veg, Quinoa & Avocado Salad with Tahini Sauce
1 sweet potato, peeled
2 white potatoes
1/2 a butternut pumpkin, peeled
1/2 a red onion
1 small paprika or red capsicum
1 tbsp olive oil
1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
good pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup Quinoa, cooked according to packet directions
3-4 handfuls of greens of choice
1/2 an avocado, sliced into chunks
1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2.5 tbsp water
2 tsp maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 190C. Chop all of the vegetables into similar sized cubes, to ensure even roasting. Add them all to a baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt before giving it a toss until evenly coated. Roast until the veggies fork tender and golden. Around 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the quinoa and set aside. Let the vegetables and quinoa cool to room temp.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the tahini sauce in a small bowl.
- Add a handful of greens to your bowl. Pile on some quinoa, roast veg, avocado. Drizzle over the tahini sauce. Savour every mouthful.
The key to creating a Christmas table that you’ll love to share with your friends and family is to use things that are meaningful to you. To me the magic of Christmas lies in the holiday rituals I’ve created with my children. It’s so special because it’s only once a year. In Australia we don’t get the feeling of Christmas from the first snow fall and roasted chestnuts that we hear about in the Christmas carols. I imagine that it must feel a lot like Christmas in the northern hemisphere just from the weather. Here it’s sunny days at the beach and it’s quite funny to be cutting down a Christmas tree in 37 degree heat! To create the magic of Christmas I decorate my home and pay special attention to how my table looks. My main goal each Christmas is to avoid it being stressful. I have a few tips on how to create a table that’s beautiful without taking hours to put together. After all, the real joy is in being with family and friends and creating memories with them.
Start with a neutral base.
I have a wooden table top which is stunning all on its own. Even so its nice to add some texture and warmth with fabric. My go to for tablecloths is linen. I never bother to iron it, I like the creases, it makes it feel more friendly. This year I’ve found this stunning throw in a golden sand tone that I’m using as a table runner. You can find it at Once Was Lost.
Choose items that are inherently beautiful.
I love vintage cutlery, it’s worn and tarnished with age. It has a rustic beauty that shiny new cutlery doesn’t have. There’s something so special about objects that get more beautiful the more they’re used. I think about this often, our perception we have of objects and their value. Most of the things we buy brand new tend to become worth less when they’re aged, damaged or marked. Like a new kettle, if it gets a scratch or a ding we see it as worth less than what we paid for it. Compared to an old copper kettle, it’s the dings and scratches that give it character and soul. I aim to use these types of objects in my table styling, it brings a feeling of ease that we don’t have to be precious when we’re using them.
Use things that are meaningful to you
Handmade ceramics have a soulful feeling that can’t be replicated by similar items mass produced. Setting your table with plates that are made by hand, gives you a connection with the maker that’s grounding and calming. It enhances even the most simple dishes.
Glitz and glam isn’t my usual style, but Christmas is an exception! It’s nice to have a bit of sparkle this time of year. You can’t go wrong with classic silver and gold, I’m using these pretty copper decorations to add a bit of fun to the table. I’ve chosen gold hued vintage glassware to give an extra hint of metallics.
Go foraging for foliage.
You don’t need buckets and buckets of foliage to create a feeling of beauty on your table. I had a bunch of berzillia that has dried out and they still look so pretty (the blooms look like little baubles) and a bunch of native broom for a bit of green. I love to forage around my neighbourhood and pick leaves and branches for my table. It’s a really lovely way to spend a morning, grab a basket and a pair of secateurs and go for a wander, you’ll be amazed at what you see when your walking that you completely miss when you drive past. Bunches of herbs in glass jars from the garden look gorgeous and smell amazing, rosemary is perfect to give a feeling of Christmas.
What’s the feeling you want to convey?
When people come to sit at my table I want them to feel special and loved. That I made an effort to create a space for them to enjoy that’s beautiful and thoughtful. I’m not going to try and make everything perfect or too fancy, I want my guests to feel comfortable. It’s hard to relax if you’re worried about spilling food on the expensive linen. Think about the feeling you want people to have at your table, is it cosy and warm, excited and glamorous, wholesome and nurtured. When you’ve got an idea of the feeling you want to share, it becomes easier to choose the tableware and decor to match.
Louise Coghill is a storyteller, photographer, an adventurer and a caffeine addict. She’s hiked to Everest Base Camp, walked along the Great Wall of China, hitchhiked through Laos, and rode horses through Mongolia. She splits her time between her home in Perth and living months at a time in challenging and beautiful foreign countries. I’ve been enjoying chatting with her about how she manages to live intentionally to make the best of both ways of living. Here she talks to us about how travelling to far away places helps us to live our best life here at home.
Tell us about how you got to be doing what you’re doing.
I was a storyteller first, so I studied Film and TV. I took one unit in photography and didn’t like the assignments and figured it was never going to be my thing. It wasn’t until I moved to a sleepy little town in the Daintree rainforest, where there was no film industry that my love for photography started to grow. I bought myself a camera so I could make my own films, but I started taking pictures too. I didn’t have many friends at first, so I would take my camera and go on little adventures. Photography got me out of the house, I didn’t mind doing things on my own and immersing myself in nature, and so very quickly photography became about the lifestyle that came with it.
But it wasn’t until I went to India to film a documentary for my friends charity that I REALLY started to fall in love with it. I was capturing portraits, and life in the slums of India. I put it online and people were liking the images, and I started to realise that I enjoyed taking the photos more than I liked making the film, and so it’s been photography ever since.
Although my beginnings in the film industry is what shaped my style, telling stories is still my favourite aspect of being a photographer.
You often travel solo, what’s it like to be far away from home on your own?
It’s a humbling experience being alone in a foreign culture, immersed in a new country and not speak the language. Surrounded by people, yet feel so lonely. Travelling though rural China, I spent weeks not having a conversation with another English speaker. I had to learn how to be alone with my own thoughts. Talking to people tends to give me energy, so I had to figure out how to be who I am with nobody else around.
What is it about travelling that makes you a better version of yourself?
You only learn certain things about yourself when you’re really pushed. Going up Everest I had a chest infection, and I found – this is going to sound lame and clichéd right now – I found an inner strength that could only be found by doing something so gruelling. Now I have that, it was always there, but I unlocked it in that moment. I’m sure if I was at home in a tough situation and I needed to find that strength, I would, but I’m just never really forced that far out of my comfort zone. That’s the thing for me with travel, I get pushed out of my comfort zone, and so it grows.
Do you have any daily rituals when you’re at home?
First thing in the morning, I make a big pot of coffee and read my book. I generally drink way too much coffee, so I can keep reading, so I might have to replace it with tea! It’s such a big one for me, if I don’t get the chance to do it, my day doesn’t feel as calm or content.
I also love to go for a run and listen to a podcast. I tend to run longer when I have a good podcast, and I feel like I take in the conversations more when I’m doing something active. And bullet journalling, it’s just filled with to do lists, weekly and monthly spreads and I’ve started sleep and mood tracking, I just feel like my brain works better on paper.
What’s one of your favourite simple pleasures?
I enjoy drawing, but I never give myself time to do it because I think I’m too busy. I was sick in bed the other day and started drawing for the first time in ages, it felt so good and I sort of realised it’s ok to take time out for these sort of things. If my life is too busy to do the little things that I enjoy, then I’m not really living the life I want to live.
Do you come back from travelling with ideas on how to live differently at home?
When I was in Mongolia, I spent most of the month without a phone, with no Internet. I was outside all day and living moment by moment. On the way home I kept telling myself “I’m going to cut down on the internet, I’m going to cut down on the internet.” I never manage it for very long though…
There’s always so many new rituals I want to implement when I come home, like ‘watch a sunset every day’ ‘go on more walks’ but I only ever manage to keep a tiny portion of my new goals. Though each time I travel the resolution strengthens, so I find myself always searching for the next trip to shake up that comfort zone.
I’m putting more effort into enjoying my home life now, making peace with the fact I can’t always be jumping on a plane, I have nieces and nephews to play with, a job and a studio I love. I’m starting to implement all those things I put off for years. Trying to live slower, do little things each day so I feel content, rather than only ever working towards big goals and big trips.
What does living your best life look like for you?
Living a good life to me is centred around time. Having the time to do the things that matter to me. Those little rituals, the big goals, the trips I want to take, the books I want to read. Often I choose to work less, so I have more time. I actually only work about 6-8 months. I might have a crazy few months but I make up for it by having a few lazy ones too (preferably abroad). Living that sort of life often means I’m not as cashed up as some of my friends, but I don’t often regret it.
I think if you can invest time doing the small things that you really enjoy, you don’t have to spend as much money on buying things to make you happy. I’ve learned to enjoy things that don’t cost a lot. Instead of meeting up with my friends for an expensive dinner we’ll meet up and go for a walk.
I realise how lucky I am that my job lets me live that life, not everyone has that freedom, and I try and appreciate it as much as I can.
Tell us about your upcoming exhibition.
It’s called Terra, and it’s showcasing landscapes from a four month trip through Nepal and Mongolia. I’m also selling my first zine, filled with pictures and stories, like hiking up Everest with a chest infection, while also exploring the role of the traveller and the impact globalisation can have on these countries.
Louise’s exhibition opens at Kidogo arthouse in Fremantle, on November 29th, 2018, from 6.30pm, and continues from the 30th till the 5th of December, 11am – 4pm.
There is so much joy in gift giving. When I have the time to really think about what a friend will love, I so enjoy choosing them a thoughtful gift and lovingly wrapping it. Giving a beautifully wrapped present to someone and watching them delight in opening it is often more exciting than getting a gift myself.
The whole process is a joy. I find it therapeutic to lay out a sheet of paper, fold it gently around a shape, creasing the paper as I go and wrapping it with twine to finish. I think it’s a natural progression from my obsession with stationery, paper and washi tape. I’ve a whole Pinterest board dedicated to gift wrapping ideas! I used to print my own gift-wrap with stamps on brown paper, but it was disheartening to know that the lovely paper is used only once and then thrown away after the present is opened. Have you had that feeling on Christmas morning when the living room is piled with scrunched up balls of paper after the frenzy of opening presents is over? It’s feels so wasteful. I’ve discovered a much more sustainable way to wrap and it’s now my go-to way of wrapping objects. It’s the traditional Japanese art of cloth wrapping, called furoshiki.
I experienced the art of furoshiki when visiting Kyoto this year. I had a hands on class in a quiet, ancient wooden townhouse. I learned to wrap all kinds of objects in particular ways from wine bottles to apples to chocolate boxes. There’s a preferred method to suit the type of object you’re wrapping. Coming home I find I use the simple method of tying two bows across the box. Watch the video below for a quick tutorial on a simple cloth wrapping technique.
For wrapping my Winterwares pieces I use calico, I love the simplicity of it. For your Christmas gifts you can find beautiful patterned scarves in op-shops. One of my favorite places to find fabric for furoshiki is at Lush Cosmetics, they often have a box of beautiful vintage scarves behind the counter they sell for the purpose of wrapping. I find that oversized square pieces of fabric are the easiest to use. The most commonly-used in Japan are squares measuring 70cm or 90cm wide.
The fabric becomes a gorgeous part of the gift that can be used for lots of things. I bought myself one piece of furoshiki fabric in the mountains, in the south of Japan and I carry it with me everywhere I go. When I forget to take a bag to the shops I can use it to carry my groceries. If I’m at the park it’s big enough to lay out a little picnic on. I use it as a scarf and to tie my hair back. There are so many fabulous uses for it. Next time you give a gift, try furoshiki, I’m sure you’ll see the delight in your friends who get to unwrap them.
Photographs by Stevie Elle & Rae Fallon