Welcome to the I. Q. Meets EQ podcast. I'm Jacqui Brauman, principal solicitor at T. B. A. Law and ceo of Legally Wise Women And I'm here as always with Ush Dhanak, former corporate lawyer then head of HR and now emotional intelligence coach. Good morning Ush morning, Jacqui, how are you going? We can't good. We both looked down still. I think it will be like this during the christmas episode uh broadcast with the christmas chocolate and knocked down. Yeah. Yeah. We're just getting into routine really now, aren't we with it? Yes, exactly. Not much we can do apart from just be still able to train. I am doing it in the park, so that's good twice a week. That's good. That's good. It's good. Yeah, I'm getting a little bit of training in, which is nice. And you're still walking in the middle of the day Every single day. About 12006. Yeah, wow, that's fantastic.
Yeah. Yeah. Really good. Yeah. Last time we spoke, you suggested that I do some of my meditations in the middle of the day and so I have, I've done a couple of even one or two o'clock every now and then the second one for the day, the first one is always five or 5 30 in the morning. But yeah, the middle of the day sort of breaks it up. It's good. Yeah. Is it working for you? I still haven't hit the 40 day because it's still it's still just a bit of a push? But I do look forward to it. What? Well that's good. What else are you doing to fill some of the time at home. Well there's not really that much time to still are moving into me. You found a place, Yes. Found a place moving to the ground floor apartment. Because they're getting a puppy in two weeks to months. A little female Ruutel called Snoopy. We have to move apartment so that we can have the dog. Yeah. So you've got a little bit of a yard. Yeah exactly. A little bit of space is a bit of a courtyard on both ends of the apartment. So not as much space as I'd like but it's a good start.
And then In 12 months time we'll just talk to move again once snoopy is a little bit bigger. Mm And once I suppose the rental market is not so crazy. Thanks hurry. Just trying to find this place. So Yeah. Good. I'm glad that you got that resolved exactly. Now it's time for happy training videos and Youtube things to watch. Yeah. Get yourself ready. Good times ahead. I don't know how you did it too seriously. Well if one learns the other follows a little bit so that sort of made it a little bit easier but also they gang up on me. So mhm sometimes we're talking about kids and I am hoping the two. Uh huh. Uh huh. Yes that's funny. I had a really great chat this time around with Kate Dillon. Hey, it's a former lawyer as well, although kept her sort of finger in the pie and she has created a business called She Lion creating really quality bags from sustainable fabrics.
And she's really gone out and taught herself a lot about design, thinking and then applied that when she was still working part time in Law two law as well and looking at innovation and talking to lawyers and how to do things better. It was really quite interesting and During Lockdown in 2020, she had quite a hard time of it, but still ended up coming up with this amazing campaign and developing a jumper completely from sources and businesses in Melbourne. So really interesting. Let's have a listen kate, Welcome to the podcast, how are you? I'm good, thank you for having me. I'm so excited to have you Matt Gaffney, who is actually a former guest on the podcast as well, introduced us, told me a little bit about your story, sent me a video, which we're going to put in the show notes so people can watch as well.
Wonderful. And I just have to have you to find out more about your story because you've had quite a few changes in your lifetime so far. And it sounds really exciting. I want to go back when you were a little girl. What did you actually want to be? Uh well, an actor of all theme, wow. Yeah, I wanted to be an actor very badly and or a fashion designer, I absolutely pursued acting all through school and probably very painfully for my parents, unfortunately, like every play and everything else. And then even at uni and my parents had convinced me that law was as close to acting as possible. So I did a drama major in my arts degree well degree. But yeah, I don't think Laura is that close to acting is definitely not like law and order on boston legal, but it's definitely been a great degree too to complete and I think it's kind of like a new art series and these days.
Yes, it is, it is. But that's interesting that your parents said that about law because I took it so seriously and yet quite a lot of people do approach it as a game or the advocates do approach the courtroom like a stage, so you know, there's some merit to that. Oh no, no, I have when I was doing and it was very serious, I'm not one of those people that sort of naturally gifted that just gets thing, I had to work hard and study hard to do it. So, you know, it was definitely serious when I was studying. All right, so career path then you did the double degree, yep. Then what happens, what happens when you go out into the real world? Well, I was fortunate enough to go on an international exchange, it was third year, I convinced the, you know that I should be able to go. You're supposed to go in fourth year. And I went in third year because I couldn't make the subjects matchup and was very fortunate to be able to be granted the ability to go. And went to Uppsala in Sweden. And that was just life changing.
That was if anybody gets the chance to go in exchange when they're at uni ever again give after, covid absolutely do jump at that opportunity if you can. But I met someone over there that introduced me to the concept of fashion law in new york and was just blown away by the concept and like thought, you know this is it, this is this is what I meant to do, this is my calling. So found out everything I could about it. And started studying the new york bar by correspondence and received this hilarious package of like telephone books worth of past exams and things to study. That was actually no exaggeration taller than me when you Oh them all up. And they were like telephone books. Uh thank you. Okay. Yeah, it was 222 hours of lectures and 36 subjects and you have to get a 65% average across each of the subjects to us out of 1000 marks, you need 665.
So I was studying for that and I'd obviously told everybody about that and I wanted to go and do fashion law and this was just before I had finished my degree. So it was the year before I started articles. I'm that old now. They don't even call it articles anymore. And yeah, I did the, you do three months of study or four months of study depending on when you get all the materials and if you're in Australia or America wherever you are, and then you go over to America and you actually have to set the exam obviously in person over two days, six hours on each day and you're isolated between the two days. So it's 12 hour exam. Yeah, I did that and came back and then was super pumped about getting my results and you know, obviously I was ready to tell everybody how fantastic and with me and I'm going to be a fashion lawyer and I sat there waiting to refresh the screen. I failed and oh my God, it was like a visceral experience because I don't think I've ever failed anything my life quite like that and fight so publicly. And it was like, I keep saying it's 1% but actually 10.1% I fell by 10 marks.
I got 655 out of 1000 and you needed 650 65 just so devastated. Anyway, I yeah, I just remember my stomach, like feeling like my stomach had dropped out of my body and my heart was like pounding so hard, it was just so upsetting. Anyway, my family turned around and just said, you know that is upsetting, but just do it again. Yeah, and I was like, right, okay. And uh yeah, so such a big thing to do again though like that, but this is so, so different from our process. It is days, it's like your whole law degree in two days of exams and there's six hours, no breaks either two days and it's honestly like all of the law subjects and then all of the civil procedure rules as well. So it's like doing the bar course and all of your law degree in two days and then it's like specific new york law on one day and then american general law on the next day.
Anyway, so I then started articles and started studying again before and after work, which was obviously really intense, but you know, I was so determined, there was an absolute fire that I was not going to fail the next and I did pass, which was right, but I think that's been like the pivotal lesson in my life so far that sort of told me you can't be scared of trying and falling over and not trying because you're going to fall over. It's more about the fact that you have to be open to falling over and then picking yourself up again and I think having such a public failure and a professional setting and so far reaching because I had told so many people because it was such an ego thing to be able to, but via examiners like I had to go that well I'm doing it again. But yeah, no, I think it was a really good thing was the best thing I could have had happened to me and it's made me really lean into being a bit more risky and probably why I have done so many different things because I really decided, well no one off, you know, I don't think I could fail as quite as badly as that.
Again, I'm, I'm probably, I'm sure I probably could, but it was so embarrassing. Everything else I've done since then hasn't been anything even knew as embarrassing as that. And so I thought, you know, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't give something ago and you know, huge lesson. Yeah, and as you say like the embarrassment and just the soul thinking of it because of what people are going to think more so than anything, but that was the worst that happened. So yeah, that's the other piece that you pick up on massively. I think it's an age thing to you get to the point where you are, Other people's opinions are out of your control and other people's opinions are their business and not your business and you should only worry about what you can control and I have no control over that piece. And so you kind of have to let that go. And again, I think that was like totally an age thing. You know, like I did the bar exam a long time ago now, it's like 2007 and 2008. So I'm a lot older and wiser and ring clear now.
I feel like that's a big piece of it too. Very much so. Yes, pity we have to learn that. Why can't that just be something we know? I think yeah, that would be lovely. It's also like being in your twenties and you know, they're feeling like, you know everything and then get into your thirties and being like the more, you know, the more you don't know. Yes, very true, very true. All right, so you're doing articles, you've passed the bar, what do you do next? So I was at a fantastic boutique firm in financial services. The partner I worked for was amazingly supportive and he knew that I really wanted to do fashion law and so I had gone over to America the second time to then do the bar exam and then you go back a third time after you find out whether or not you pass to be admitted as an attorney because you can only do that in person and I had met with the woman at Fordham law school who is the head of fashion law and essentially in America, you have to specialists by doing a master's degree and that was very expensive and you couldn't do it by correspondence and it was the GFC and so it just wasn't going to function at that point in time.
So she had suggested that I come back and do a master's in I. P. In Australia and then come and talk to her later. And so I did that and that was really great advice. I went to the masters at Melbourne and I did a master's in Ip. But really it was called a masters in commercial because I did one subject in construction because my husband's build up barrier transparent about doing all of this while sitting in a financial services team with an incredibly supportive again partner who then helped connect the dots to get me a role at an I. P. Team at a big firm. So he was really very special person. And there then moved into the I. P. Team at Ashes our Blakes at the time they emerged while I was there and then sort of almost right on two years after staying there I realized that I think rather than working for fashion clients, I just wanted to run my own business. Yeah. Yeah that's had saying that there was an opportunity because a lot of other people much like myself were getting frustrated with not being able to find a handbag that suited their needs and then if there was one that wasn't beautiful, it was really functional or it was really beautiful and not very functional or if it was both, it was like a couple of grand and then you didn't really want it trash it Anyway, So that's really where she lion was born and I took the back end of 2014 from sort of September two december to go and do all the night school courses at MIT and handbag construction and leather appreciation and auto care or illustrator and Photoshop.
And then I did the illustrator and Photoshop classes another three times each because I had realized that that was like an insanely effective networking opportunity and they were all full of designers that were up stealing their digital skills from big companies that had all this amazing knowledge like this is where you go to source leather and this is where you don't go and this is where you go to speak to people about reinforcements and this is the people you speak to about logistics and do go to this country and don't go to that country. And this is the etiquette on this and this is the additional matter. Yeah. And so the teacher is pretty funny. She'd like cottoned onto the fact that I was doing that illustrator for fashion, not handbags and so she started like adding in stuff to the syllabus that was specific for handbags. So that was more useful for me as well and then also providing longer breaks in a few in the third time that I came knowing that I was going to pick people's brains. So she was a very special Well, yeah, that's where it all started.
And then because it was a startup, I then obviously needing to still support my husband and probably better start working a part time job in the meantime and took on a mat leave position at Gilbert and Tobin, which looked amazing in drafting, boil plates and contract review. Just pretty vanilla and not that exciting, but being the massive extra bit, but I am as you can probably tell quickly into much more like a PSL role and then more like a help desk and then absolutely like a knowledge curator and then connecting people. And then that morphed into more of an innovation space because we were connecting people and talking about process efficiency and really grew from there and then I sort of discovered design and melding the two together and that there was such a thing as design thinking and put that into a business context and critical thinking and creative thinking, employing all that together and gosh, I really found my groove and passion there have just really lent into that on the legal side.
And then also try and bring that into my handbags as well. Yeah, yeah, you're a powerhouse, know about that. No, no, no, I am, I am the average person that just has lent into um each opportunity that's been presented. Absolutely anybody could do what I've done. I've just jumped at whatever opportunity has presented itself. Feeling the fear absolutely with full awareness that it could all go to shit. And anyway I think that's that's the thing because you only live once. Yeah I don't think I don't want to have any regrets at the end of the day dearly and definitely not for not doing something or not trying something at least. And with She Lion and the handbags you've brought in this sustainability piece as well because that's obviously something that's very important to you. And so tell us a little bit about vegan leather and how how that is even a thing. Yeah. Well interesting people. It's interesting Echo P.
U. And vegan leather vegan leather can real leather is obviously made from animal skins and vegan leather can be made from a whole lot of different things. And then Echo P. U. Is leatherette. That can also be made in a whole lot of different ways. But it's certified along the chain to not have incorrect amount of chemicals. And it's actually certified to meet some environmental standards along the way. And it's also obviously a much lower price point than animal skin. Although interestingly they both serve different purposes and I don't necessarily think that P. U. Or Echo P. You more specifically is more environmentally friendly than leather because the leather lasts so much longer and depending on where you're sourcing the leather and how your sourcing the leather they can both be sustainable. But it was more about getting something into the business that was obviously still Ethical, responsible, ideally sustainable. And at a lower price point because consumer confidence changed so much in 2020 nobody Was interested.
Well little much fewer amount of people were interested in sort of a $500-$800 leather handbag and definitely people didn't need one to carry their tech from the kitchen to the home office. My problem that the business served is largely women who commute and with everybody in lockdown, they needed to be some quick decisions made if I was going to survive. And so one of them was to bring in a new collection that was still really out there and beautiful. That was at a lower price point. So a lot of our bags Aamodt category are actually a combination of leather and vegan because the reinforcements and also the trimmings they last a lot longer and they don't crack if they're leather. So there are mixed. But then there is also that option for a completely vegan eco P. U. In our case bag. A full leather one as well. Yeah. And we've got a blog on our side. If you want to have a look at all the differences between the two and why you buy one versus the other as well well. Well do.
Yeah and I mean you're in victoria with where I am as well. And so we bounced in and out of lockdown constantly. But I suppose other states did a couple of weeks and then they were back out. Did that sort of make you feel like this is going to be okay or No, no. We were in, we were living in regional Victoria for most of 2020 and I had a baby in in December 2019. I had a three month old when COVID hit and my husband is a builder. So he was considered an essential worker, A lot of his workers in Melbourne. And so he was sort of commuting most days and then that became too difficult. So he was staying in Melbourne a few nights a week and I had a baby that had a lot of reflux, medicated reflux. So the three year old and I weren't getting a whole lot of sleep and then obviously being alone a lot of the time and then trying to run the business and like have any sort of semi decent zoom call with, it wasn't easy.
And then I think obviously because we were in Melbourne, he would have experienced, it was long and it didn't matter what was going on in other States because it was so long. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. I remember it was, there was a lot of resentment and there was a lot of us versus them. It feels like that may have dissipated a little bit because it feels like we're all sort of in it together a bit more at the moment. I think it's actually experienced some of what we heard and now they understand because I don't know that you can understand it until you live it and it's intense. It's really hard whether you're well, I mean I think it's probably, it's really hard whether you're a stay at home mum, whether you're running a business or not, you know, if you're home schooling, if you live alone, I mean for a myriad of different reasons, it's just really, really tough on everyone. Yeah, it's necessary, but it's really hard. Yeah, absolutely. And so it's just the, your natural resilience then that you just kept putting one ft in front of the other and we're like, well what else can I do?
Because then you came up with this other whole new project as well during lockdown. So yeah, tell us about that with your sweaters. Well, that really came about. I have been a very big fan of slogan tops forever, particularly in lockdown, particularly because I was always walking around with the house at least with milk vomit and God knows what else on me and with one child trying to be connected to one breast if not failing at that and him being upset most time and then trying to do lego or trucks or whatever with the other child and then, you know, upset that the business was dying essentially because we've lost more than 40% worth of sales and I only three months previously invested huge amounts of capital into Inventory for a high end exclusive run of leather bags that was now made and on its way, although being delayed and logistics prices obviously 30% plus higher as well. Looking at like, you know, barely making ends meet each month and how do I afford or there's some contractors subcontractors that I've gotten, how many bags do I have to sell to make sure I can pay the distribution center because what will I do if I need to move all that stock out of there and just like, you know, need needing to do something and then so upset that obviously all these other businesses were dying to and you know, there's got to be something that, that I can do even if it's really little, I mean it needs to be something that's going to help me, but ideally something that will help a lot of other people as well.
I had put this picture of myself on my personal instagram, not the she line one with this top that says superhero. Another one that says no pain, no champagne and like a whole plethora of them. I hadn't put it up like a sort of reminder for myself, you know, we can do this. Women are amazing. You know, like a rally cry type, you know, pull yourself together. It's okay. It's really hard. But it's going to be fine teach what you need to learn. Yeah, I had a whole lot of friends and families say it's really tough. You know, we can do it. Why don't you make a top like that? Like, you know, you should make one with walk fearlessly your tagline. That's actually really interesting idea. And knowing that my needed to probably create something that was entirely Australian made if I could, would be a great addition to the business handbags had sadly never really been an option to be manufactured here in Australia. We don't have the construction ability here anymore. The factories really aren't here anymore to be able to do it at scale and at a price point that people are willing to pay.
It's just not feasible in Australia. Unfortunately, I would jump at it if I could, but it's just not really, not commercially possible any longer. I think it would have been 20 years ago and a sweatshirt I thought would be really straightforward and like simple and like no worries. Like I could do that in three or four months. Yeah, easy. Um, so silly, so naive. I had no idea. But that's the benefit of yes, you wouldn't start if you would have known. Yeah. Well, I don't know. I think it probably still would have. But yeah, I think it was like, that's why I've become so passionate about, that's why I made the video professionally, because I had made it in an amateur way first. And I have, like, honestly, like no joke, like 15 hours of footage on my phone of all these amazing people that I have interviewed on my phone and then realized, you know, this is something that everybody needs to know about. I had no idea as an average consumer, Even with my manufacturing and design background with handbags and leather offshore, I had no idea how many technical people are involved in the making of the garment, particularly something that's whether fabric is made in Australia.
And I feel like this is something that people need to know, because then they understand why something costs the way it costs. But also then they understand how many jobs they're supporting and then they understand what it means to ethically pay other Australians, and then also that we have this skill set here and if we want to keep it, what is our succession plan? And this needs to be like discussed at a really top level. Like, I think there needs to be like government intervention to support these people and to bring it back. Because if anything, Covid has sort of raised global logistics. Yeah, we need to be less reliant on offshore and more reliant here. But beyond that there's so many benefits to that like this. Well, Yeah, well, it can be brought back here so many jobs, like, like thousands of jobs in the textile industry that we lost in the last, 2030 years speaking to these veterans in the field and hearing their stories. It was just you know, I was shocked and have felt incredibly passionate about investing in that side of the story to make sure I'm amplifying that people understand because I feel like I am that person that didn't know and you know, it doesn't really crush your mind and it's not that doesn't interest you, but you don't know until it does or you're in it.
And I think people would be really interested to know and and it could make such a big difference to so many lives. Yeah, it really hit home for me. And you know, I've been in lockdown, jumping onto instagram and buying a lot of junk and I mean some of that was, you know, women going home and making earrings and things, which is cute, nice and supportive of them and stuff. But yeah, I think, I think you're right and I'm more aware of the landfill issue and the junk that I chuck out and having like, good quality stuff. So yeah, I think, well, I got my jumper. So I love it. But how, what's the response been to the video part of me? What's the response been to the video. Amazing. Yeah. It's been amazing. The response from all the people in the supply chain was honestly nothing short of overwhelming. I had been completely blown away by all these people were just going out of their way to skill me up and make sure I didn't lose money and make sure things were done the right way and the best way and then sharing all of their contacts to cross refer and find other makers that were sort of the best or the top of their field so that we could really showcase Australian skills with this.
I obviously am not by any means the first person to make Australian made. There are so many amazing brands that do Australian made, but what I didn't understand was that The end to end, every single element piece is not a very common thing and that is what makes this project special because absolutely every element involved in the jumpers, apart from the spinning, which we don't have the capability to have here. But every other element has been, has been done in Australia by Australian hands and Australian people. And that's amazing because that's essentially 20 Melbourne businesses to Sydney businesses and more than 300 people employed and I'm tiny, I'm a small business. And if something like that can touch that many people, imagine what even just one skew or one item in each of like a larger business doing that would make and the impact that would have on so many people and on our economy. Yeah. What's next then for kate Dillon because I feel like there's no spinning in Australia.
I just had this image of you getting out like this while they're stunning. I've been talking to ralph about it. He's ralph is like the head of top net fabrics. And he's really keen to try and get a spinning facility in Darwin or Queensland, because I think that's closer to where the farm the cotton farms are and that's potentially where they would have because at the moment it all gets sent to England or India, usually. So, as in the cotton comes from Australia gets sent over there to be spun. And so unless you are actually following the DNA essentially, it does get mixed with whatever is on the, So you couldn't necessarily say it was 100% Australian cotton, It has used Australian. But unless you pay to get the DNA followed, categorically say that. But then the yarn itself comes back and then that yarn has been knitted here and knitting mills in Melbourne, and then it's been died here in Melbourne. And then it's been sampled and cut and braided and industrially washed and all the woven labels are done here and the screen printing is done here and the embroidery is done here and the rivers made here and the fleece is made here and the recyclable poly bags are made in a factory here.
And the stickers and the printing is made here. Uh and the social media and everything else is all done here too. And they, all the packages, everything. So yeah, at the point was to try and obviously the point was to put as many small businesses together as we could. So most businesses employ less than five people. And yeah, it's still touch that many people. So yeah, it's been really positive for me to be involved in. It's obviously really beneficial for my business because I'm able to sell tops that benefit my business. But the good thing is that it also benefits all these other businesses in the supply chain because proportion of every business obviously gets paid something and every time it stops made and then when they're reordered. Yeah, it's just a really lovely thing to be involved in when everything is so sad and dark at the moment. I can't even watch the news anymore. Yeah, I'm the same. But yeah, it is, your video was like this little glowing light amongst all the other things that I'm not watching at the moment that I that I allowed through.
Yeah, those people, they're all magic. Those people, they're absolutely lifted me. It's not the other way around. They all they all lifted me and that's why I feel like I need to be raising awareness around this. Absolutely. And being a big ambassador for locally made and as you say, like try and get something done from government to actually support these businesses to be here again. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And also to save them so that they don't die in all these lockdowns because I don't know how you get those skills back once you've lost them, if there is a succession planning and younger people encouraged to go into vocational area and that and like incentives for bigger businesses to be using Australian manufacturing at least in some lines or incentives for businesses to have apprentices and it being made more attractive to become a seamstress or a cutter or a knitter or any of these trades that I really didn't know, you know we're around, I'm garment construction.
I mean obviously you think about it, if you think about it, that makes sense. But you know, there's just this huge world like with industrial washing even like the, that's a skill unto its own and the whole new specialist dying like salmon in Richmond industrial laundry has this insane amount of knowledge specifically. He loves making denim and like you know, you need to capture that skill set to be able to pass it on and yeah, I don't know, I feel like it's something we need to keep. Yeah, very much so. So everything that you've learned, what would you go back and tell you? 21 year old self probably go failed the bar exam straight away a lot faster than you did. A Yes, very good. Yeah. Fear of failure is not a thing anymore. Everybody else's opinions and not your business and don't worry about what people think about you as long as you can go to sleep at night and feel like you're making a difference and you're happy with what you're doing, that's all that matters. We certainly are making a difference. What do you do to check in with yourself to keep yourself well because as you said, like last year was pretty damn hard and it's continuing this year as well.
Yeah, what do you, how do you check in with yourself and what do you do for yourself? I try to run but that hasn't been so successful after having a second job to do a lot more pelvic floor exercises, but mainly yeah, going for a walk and nor a slow jog. I'm going to build back up to running again. But I think, yeah, I mean, I wish I could say meditating and all that sort of stuff, which is absolutely on my list of things to try and fit in and learn how to do properly. But I think running and or doing some exercise, yeah, going for a walk is pretty effective. I find if there's like Moments in your day, even in lockdown where you feel like you're absolutely at a point where you're done, you go for a walk and you feel like 100 More effective than you did before you went for the walk. Yeah, I mean you might not feel 100% better, but you feel less, I don't know what everybody knows that they're feeling at the moment less tunnel vision because I think you get out and you see just a bit of space and it's a bit of perspective and getting out of your head, isn't it?
Just fresh air? Yeah, it's a form of meditation so you can mark that off. Okay, great. Yeah, Kate, look, thanks so much for your time. Wonderful conversation and congratulations again. Just such a great initiative. So thank you for being the one to stand up and do it. Oh no, thank you so much for having me. Really appreciate it. You're helping put the message out there. So thank you, I'm grateful to you. What did you think? Yeah, so nice. The story was just so beautiful. Just listening to the podcast, you know, just from the house she was waiting for her uh results reminded me of mine. I was the same. It's like you're waiting for that damn screen to refresh, get your heart. But you know what good on her from at that point redoing it, you know what going, I am going to fail. And I think that was a really good way to start her story of the interview with you because that piece of resilience right there I think is probably what you know lead and that the throughout the rest of her journey to where she is now, don't you think so true, So true to learn that lesson early on in such a big and public way like she said, and just had her, you know, why care anymore about other people's expectations of you just do what you're doing anyway.
Yeah, it really has been a huge lesson and as you said, the resilience is carried through and I think that it served her very well. I think, You know, 2020 and ongoing has been really tough for small business, but it just sort of highlighted to me how much more tough in certain situations, you know, new mum, really sick child, pretty much alone, unsupported, really worried about income and business. Probably too scared really to access the health system all that much. And yet she, there is and gives herself this massive project. It was huge. And that video that the video sent me to watch as well. It was so heartwarming to watch and see all the members of the community and you know, just how generously all well weren't they, in in their teachings and yeah, you know, time and everything to get the project off the ground.
You know, it also made me really proud to think that there are some of those people in and around Melbourne and probably Sydney still who have much more traditional businesses who have resisted the push to close down because everything is being sent overseas. And yet they're there with these skills and there they love what they do and you know, like kate said, if some of these big manufacturers at least did one of their lines still in in Australia, it would make a substantial difference too. At least 300 people's lives, if not more. It's not significant More anymore because this is just one jumper that she's done and it's kept 300 people going. Yeah, I know, I have to get one. Did you get one? I certainly did. I got the actually, I can come on. Yes. And I think that I got I need another one, I think mhm Yeah, but they're Wykes and I said to kate before I started recording, you know, every time I wear white, I spilled chocolate all down it.
It's not that I eat chocolate all that much. And so I wore a jumper and I spilled hot chocolate down it straight away. I'm like, oh my God. And so I soaked it and sprayed it and washed it by itself and dried it flat and it's fine thankfully because some whites don't come fine again. And she's like, no, no, no, it's so resilient. You don't even like it suggests drying it flat, but you know, you'll be fine. So fuel, you should do a black one for people like you and me. Uh huh. Yeah. Beautiful story though. Unbelievable story of And it took her about 12 months she was saying right, I think that was in the video and in the interview. But it took 12 months from that whole design concept actually getting it out there and setting it mm Yes. Yeah. Between everything that she was coming through that year For the 2020. Yeah, yeah. And to sort of now be in a way setting herself up as the ambassador for local and create local and she's going to be capping on those of industry and government to try and have some kind of support for manufacturers or incentives for businesses to create things locally.
You know, Again, she's just giving herself another massive project but so passionate about it. She's very impressive. I'm just sort of blown away to be honest. Yeah. And how she said, well no, I'm just like, you know, everyone else, but she just took advantage of the opportunities. I don't think so. I think she went out there and maybe it happened, it's not like those opportunities just came knocking on her door, like there was a concept of a thought about going to do this and I want to do this. But then it was, yeah, it is, it's a case of talking to the people that she did the time and and it's interesting how she did that admits all the fear that she would have been going through because when she was telling her story, I was trying to put myself in her shoes and having ordered and produce these bags that people aren't gonna want to buy because they're all at home and like she said, you know, counting how many bags too still to pay that cost of the distribution center. So that's not just in that piece over there enough to let anyone go, I can't cope.
And they're not only has she just dealt with that. But then actually built this whole empire pretty much. That's right. It's like very impressive. You know, I completely agree. And thank God she's the one with the skills to do it as well. You know, having studied law, it makes, you know, she's got a certain personality type, right to be a lawyer. But then to also, you know, clearly have a lot of Eq as well, even as a young lawyer too. No, to develop networks because she was talking about doing that design course as well. And she did it three times two because it was so good with the networking. And then to bring that skill back to the law as well. You know, it's, it is what sets great people apart from the superstars. Yeah, It is. It's it's that follow through. I mean, you know, 12 months that Germany would have been for her too, pushed through?
I'm sure it wasn't playing failing. Uh huh. But even the full process behind it to like methodically think about how am I going to do this, who was involved? What am I going to be doing it? It's massive, massive. Mm hmm. Yeah. And while, you know, she's really grateful of all the industry people who sort of helped and guided her along the way. And I think that people are willing to help to a degree. But I reckon that you know if an industry is slowly shrinking, they'd also be fairly defensive. And so they saw in her something that made them also want to invest completely in this project. And again, that's got to be eq doesn't it? It's got to be enrolling and endorsing people in a vision. Is that, isn't it? Absolutely. It's getting them to buy into your vision of what that looks like, what does the end looks like. And I think the trick there is what does the end look like for them individually but also collectively. So you know, what are they going to be doing together as a community that's going to make a difference and what a difference it is going to make and is making.
Mhm. And I think I don't know. But she only does sweatshirts at the moment. Right? I'm thinking you know that line could totally just be different things And you know, I was thinking even just like kids, one of these babies one these or something you know saying actually I can the amazing. Mm I suppose where do you start with the project? It could it could be as huge as as small as you like. I was also thinking while you were talking then that as you say like she had the ability to bring this community together and make this collective project and people could see the benefit of all working together on it. I think that that's a really feminine leadership type thing, isn't it? To bring together and lead as a, as a team in a community rather than pushing and leading from the top, She sort of lifted them on up in a way. Yeah, yeah, and I think they also lifted her as well, I think it was definitely both ways, you know, where I gave her the knowledge that gave her the support, they gave her the introductions and then you know, she leveraged all of them and brought it all together.
I've been thinking a lot about the hero's journey, you know, you hear about that a fair bit and how you can apply the hero's journey to people's lives. But I heard recently from a lady about the heroine's journey rather than the hero's journey. You know, the hero's journey is very individual, but the heroine's journey is much more like the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy actually brings people together and they all go on a journey together and they all help and discover each other together. Yeah, well I think that what kate has done, he's very similar, it's not a hero's journey where she has battled through and done things alone and learned something. It has been heroine's journey where there's been a collective learning and all coming together. Absolutely, yeah, totally. Like go with the right. Yeah, yeah, it's gonna be really exciting to see where that project goes and I also think, you know, the bags will take off again once people are back out there and you know, the good thing is she'll have that range ready to go as soon as everyone's back out there at work.
Yeah, that's right. And this project with the jumpers will probably just Ghana more support and then she would have otherwise had potentially because we all know what she stands for now. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. It just makes you think, isn't it like that old saying that everyone has 24 hours in a day, how are you spending your off? Does that make you think of that? And there's people right, that achieved so much in the same amount of time that everyone else has and it's just so admiring to see and you know, listen to the story. Yeah, absolutely. So what are you going to do with your 24 hours combination of work packing? Yeah, just low loads to do at the moment is just crazy. Yeah. What about you? Yeah, look the same. You know, it's funny when I think that I'm busy sometimes and then the intensity level goes up another two notches. You like how the hell did I think I was busy Before?
Yeah, that's like this week, it's been about like no jobs, 16 hour days. Uh and then at the end of the night I'm like, I'm just like, dead. So yeah, it's just a tactic at the moment, but it's good. I shouldn't complain being busiest. But then in the opposite, Absolutely having it affect our mental health and sports and all that stuff. Yeah, that's right. That's right. Because at the moment there's not really any time to think, is there? Exactly. So, yeah, I just got to embrace the routine that we're in at the moment, I think, and all we can do. Mm hmm That's right. And try not to I suppose absorb too much of the negativity because there's a hell of a lot of it. Yeah. I'm just trying not to read anything at the moment about it or buy into, but I'm not even doing the listening or looking at the updates on numbers anymore. You know, I'm just like, I don't want to know. And I'm sure someone, which I don't even, we can travel again and I'm not travel, but like, move out of my home. So I was waiting for someone to go. By the way, we can actually get back to work. Okay. Yeah. The school will be calling and say, um where you know?
And then still that I'm just going to be in my own little bubble from my Yeah, Very good. Well, we'd love to hear from people, You know, this story was great and continuing the conversation and reaching out to support kate would just be wonderful if people could do that. We post the podcast on eq eq dot com dot au. And of course we do a post onto linkedin. So love to hear from you. If you would like to comment there. Otherwise, if you want to reach out to us, wish, where can they find you? Yeah. Eq dot Academy, brilliant. And I am Jacqui at Legally Wise Women dot com dot au. Amazing. Yes. Another one down. Number 70 for this one is so we're creeping ever closer to 100. Alright, what happened to the next time? Catch you later. Thanks. Yeah. Right.