Moving your Business Online with Kelly Mason

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On today’s episode, I’m talking with Kelly who is a spinster, an online membership owner, living and working on Kamilaroi land in Gunnedah. She’s a wife and mother of two and has a deep love of fibre, spinning wheels and all things weaving. Her membership ‘Flock’ is an online fibre community for anyone interested in learning to spin yarn by hand, the old fashioned way! In our conversation today, we talk about how Kelly has moved her business online during COVID and how she’s maintained a work-life balance that suits her and her own needs. We touch on trusting your intuition, making decisions, goal setting and how that plays out in our lives and our business.

CONNECT WITH KELLY

Web: www.spindleandcompany.com.au
Facebook: @SpindleandCompany
Instagram: @spindleandcompany

BOOK: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

CONNECT WITH ME

Web: www.lizziemoult.com
Facebook: @lizziegmoult
Instagram: @lizzie_moult

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SHOWNOTES:

Lizzie:

On today’s episode, I’m talking with Kelly Mason. Kelly who is a spinster, an online membership owner, living and working on Kamilaroi land in Gunnedah. She’s a wife and mother of two and has a deep love of fibre, spinning wheels and all things weaving. Her membership ‘Flock’ is an online fibre community for anyone interested in learning to spin yarn by hand, the old fashioned way! In our conversation today, we talk about how Kelly has moved her business online during COVID and how she’s maintained a work-life balance that suits her and her own needs. 

We also touch on trusting your intuition and how that plays out in our lives and our business. It’s a really great episode. So let’s dive in. Hey Kelly, thanks so much for joining me on the show today. How are you? 

Kelly:

Thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited. 

Lizzie:

I’m excited to have you here as well. I love talking to my fellow country ladies. Let’s begin the show by you sharing what it is you do and how you ended up doing what you do

Kelly:

Basically I really am a bit of a geek and I did linguistics and history at uni, and I just really love the term spinster, even though it’s outdated, it was originally dismissed for someone who spins yarn. So that’s what I call myself. I’m a spinster I teach. I’m also the owner of an online membership called flock. I’m basically all about yarn and spinning wheels, weaving and anything to do with fiber. 

Lizzie:
Having a good yarn as well because come on from the country, right? 

Kelly:

Yes, definitely. Definitely. 

Lizzie:

I was like, I remember when I found you, I was like, Oh my God, I love everything that you have. The fact that yarn and country girls like to have a good chat, but also working with the yarn. How interesting spinster here? I was thinking in my own head, like a spinster as someone, traditionally not married. Yeah. 

Kelly:
Yeah, yeah. It should say that’s kind of the modern use of the word. I think I heard different stories and I’ve done a bit of like looking online, but basically it just used to mean someone who’s beans young, but then I’ve read a few different places and I’m not sure how you can check the accuracy. That often in a family, the eldest child would be the spinster because they were obviously older. They’d have to spin the, to wave the cloth, to close the family. Often they would be so busy, just spinning yarn all day that they would end up like the older unmarried ones. Because they had, they weren’t free enough to date and court and all that kind of stuff. I’m not sure if that’s a hundred percent accurate, but I do like that story. Anyhow. 

Lizzie:
I like that. Well it makes sense. ? Right Like I can see how that’s played out. Yeah absolutely. Yeah. 

Kelly:
I know. I know. Like all the linen cloths and like shrouds for mummies and everything, we’re all woven using enhanced fibre yarn. There was a lot of spinning going on, forever. So. Yeah.

Lizzie:

How did you end up as a spinster? 

Kelly:
It basically started with my dad and mum, he got her a spinning the wheel for the first or second, whichever one’s the wood anniversary. I can’t remember. It’s the second. Maybe he bought her spinning wheel and she loved it. She was like, Oh, it’s so beautiful. She could never figure out how to work it. This is like before I was born, so there was no internet or anything to kind of help her out. When I was in high school, she finally connected with my dad’s cousin and learned how to spin. She just was like, how long are you going to learn? This is so fun. My mum and I are like best friends. We do pretty much a lot of things together. I started spinning and I was living in Sydney at university and I took my wheel to Sydney and everybody laughed at me and it was always a bit of an odd bird, but I just loved it. 

And I haven’t stopped spinning. That was about 11 years ago. So yeah, 

Lizzie:
I love it as a beautiful way to connect with your family. I can imagine both of you sitting there together, feeding material into the wheel. Wow. Cause I, I remember learning to crochet with my grandma and it was such a beautiful experience. My grandma would sit in the middle between me and my sister and we’d be sitting there with that little needle. 

Kelly:
That’s so sweet. Yeah, those stories come up so often with people often relating it to like a family member or like a neighbor or someone they love who taught them to do some kind of craft. So I really liked that. And my sister spins as well. All three of us sometimes can sit and spin together. 

Lizzie:
Your business has really changed up this year because you had a shop, a designated space for your work as well as you were doing workshops and now you’ve moved online. How’s it all going? 

Kelly:
Well, it’s been a big year, I think for everybody obviously worldwide, but it was really good. I started with an Etsy store. It was like my first, like I’m going to do online because I live in a rural area. There’s not like a huge bustling artsy me. I thought, well online will be a good place to start and like test the waters. I got off at this beautiful space that used to be an old cornerstone. I converted that into the wheelhouse and it was like a fiber arts studio where I would teach spinning and waving. We had other artists come in to teach what are colors and how to brew kombucha and how to make lampshades and all kinds of different things. And that was really going great guns. I opened a year ago. Four months after it opened, COVID hit and it was just like, Oh no, like I’d gotten so excited by all the in-person stuff that I had completely neglected my Etsy store. 

I hadn’t done anything with my email list. I was very focused in town here. It was actually really good learning because it was like, you really need balance. And I really enjoy the in-person stuff. It kind of was like, yes, I love that. And it will come back. For the meantime, I can put more energy into my online things. I started, I did a lot of courses, a lot of upskilling, a lot of learning and then I launched my own membership. It’s been really great to have that ability to be online when everyone’s in lockdown. 

Lizzie:
Do you guys get together online and spin together? Virtual, like zoom spinning. 

Kelly:
We’ve done a couple. It’s been a bit tricky because it is, I have members in Australia, Mexico, North America and Canada. Finding a time that suits us all can be a bit tricky and a member in Perth, but we’ve done a couple of live meetups and we have a few different components that each month we do learn how to spit a new type of yarn. Cause there’s loads of different like types, loads of different ways. You can spend young and make art yarns and things like that. They learn a new type of yarn each month. I do like a fiber field guide. I call it and we study one five at type. It could be like we’ve done bamboo and Marino and border Leicester. Just different fibers that spinners work with all the time. I have like a little audio thing that they can listen to. 

And then we have a live component. This month we’re doing a training with one of our flockers who is an environmental scientist and it’s going to be all about sustainability and ethical sourcing of fiber and stuff like that. It’s of education and of fun. But yeah, online. 

Lizzie:
Wow. It sounds really cool. I’m all for anything like this,  yeah, cool. Like learning about the different fibers and I’m a texture person. I love anything you can really feel. I just love scrumptious in my hands pretty much. What has been your biggest learning experience since you started? 

Kelly:
I think my biggest take away from running my own business has just been to trust my gut. Honestly there’s been so many times where I do things because I feel like I should, or people want me to, or it seems like the dumb thing. It’s like literally every single time it fails. I’m just like that feeling you had when you said yesterday’s, when you really wanted to say no, like you should’ve said no and that’s not to say my guts always correct. Because I’ve definitely had times where I’ve gone with my gut and it’s failed. It’s like, you can get it wrong sometimes, but overwhelmingly, if I have this sense of like, this is not going to work. I just like, yeah, learning that it’s not going to work. So don’t do it. 

Lizzie:
I love this. I feel like a pretty much theme for a majority of people this year is like coming back into that, I guess I call it intuition and that gut feeling when something’s not right. Sometimes yes, your gut sends you on like devious paths and it doesn’t quite pan out, but usually there’s always like a light after that. It’s like, Oh, now I know why I had to do that thing to get to, I get it. Like but then other times you’re just like, no, I should’ve said no. Why didn’t I do it? Yeah. So it’s like completely trusting yourself. 

Kelly:
Yeah. Pretty much. Also just accepting that if you trust yourself, you’re going to get it wrong sometimes, but that’s okay. I feel like when I do what someone else wants me to do, it’s really hard for me to do it. I have to push myself to do it. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot like just admin on the computer. Like there’s a lot of stuff going on in the background. Like, if it’s a workshop, for example, you get asked to run this workshop and you run the workshop and it’s a total flop. It’s like, I actually knew it would be a flop two months ago when I was approached about it. But I didn’t want to say no. Yeah, it’s just been a big learning curve and it’s hard too, because I feel like I’ve only like I’ve never, ever dreamed of owning my own business. 

Like never, I want to be a linguist and work on movies like Avatar and do all this random stuff. Sometimes I feel like it’s hard when they are experienced people telling you the best way to do things. I basically do it the way they say, but I’m learning more and more that they can’t know my audience or they can’t know me. I really need to take on their knowledge, but also adapt to suit my situation. So I’m working on it, but, 

Lizzie:
That’s a skill set on its own though. Right. I always give this reference to like a lot of people it’s like, when you first make a recipe, like I always follow it exactly. Right. You’re like, well actually in that, maybe some like maybe some nuts perhaps, like I don’t even know what we’re creating in this recipe, but it definitely needs Korean or nuts. ? Like finessing the things that we learn, like it’s a part of the learning experience and making them out and I love it. That’s curiosity. Right. Like to like, okay, well I’ll learn up-skill and then take what I can from that experience. Yes. 

Kelly:
Yeah. It is. That’s a great recipe analogy. I like that. It is true because you do like, and it’s like, if it’s something technical where it’s like, I didn’t know what hyperlinks were. I didn’t know what SEO meant. I didn’t know what Facebook pixel was and you nothing. I’ve always liked it, my family is always paying me out because I can’t do anything technological and like to turn it off. Like so it was a huge learning curve, but I think I’m distinguishing between when someone tells you how to do something, that’s technical or like has to actually be done that way. I’ll do it. If it’s more or less quantifiable, then I can, yeah. 

It’s like, what is it? Like you can get 30,000 followers this month. If you just do this X, Y, and Z. Yeah. Whereas like installing a Facebook pixel, like there’s a roadmap, there’s a recipe to how to do that, right? 

Lizzie:
Yeah. Yeah. Going to Facebook and follow the instructions. It’s okay. Oh I love that. A piece of advice. Can you share a few tips with the listeners about maintaining work and life balance. 

Kelly:
You see, and you me like in real life, you probably, I would be the last person you would ask for advice on that. I do honestly think that there’s no such thing as perfect balance between work and life. It’s all life. Especially as a solo entrepreneur, your work is kind of your life and your work helps you live your life and it dictates how you work. It’s all just so intertwined. I often get people say to me, like, what do you do in your spare time? Like, I hear that all the time. Or like, I don’t know how you do it all. I always say no matter who it is, I’m just like, I don’t, if I did something on Instagram today, if I shared a snippet of me spinning, it means that I didn’t wash the dishes this morning. Like there’s never a world where I did both ever if I do one thing is because I didn’t do another thing. 

So I am not organized. Don’t have labels on my pantry items. Like I wish I did, but that’s just not me. I’ve just kind of gotten better at being okay. Not doing everything. It’s really the only way that kind of feels right to me is getting enough, done of work and enough enjoyment out of life without stressing myself. I’m a big stressor. If it’s like, if I try and do everything, I just end up sick. I make myself sick all the time when I get stressed. I’m really getting better at it, but it’s very slow trying to just accept that work-life balance just means doing one thing at a time and not doing that other things. So. 

Lizzie:
What I’m hearing though is like, it’s prioritizing what’s important, right? 

Kelly:
Yeah, exactly. And sort of like, yeah. Prioritizing and also realizing that if you say yes to one thing you’re saying no to something else, which is like, you see the quote, so live Instagram that say that, but essentially it’s like, if I’m going to do some waving, that means, I’m saying no to like tiny in the toy room or something like that. Like there’s never really a perfect world where you can say yes to everything. Yeah, definitely prioritizing what you need to do on that day or that week or whatever. 

Lizzie:
I love it. I am the lady that’s still got crumbs on the floor from Sunday night and I’m like, Oh, I should really do that. I recorded a video this morning instead. 

Kelly
Exactly priorities. And the crumbs will disappear. It’s really easy. So. 

Lizzie:
Do you have any other little pieces of wisdom, I guess, creating like that balance? Like that’s the thing I think, prioritizing and knowing that one thing is, you’re choosing something over something else. Like it’s really decision based. Is there anything else? Yeah. 

Kelly
I’m really struggling with this myself. I’m not great at it, but it’s something I’m really working on is actually writing down your goals and like reverse engineering, a way to get there. I’ve been listening to an audio book by Rachel Hollis called girl wash your face and it’s brilliant, but she has the best exercise with clarifying your goal and then working backwards and just like writing, literally writing it down. It’s like, well, if I want to get like a book published, I have to find a publisher. If I want to find a publisher, I have to do the step before that. I have never been, I’m very skeptical. When I was younger, I’d be writing down your goals. Like what is this? I really wasn’t on board with any of that kind of stuff, but I’m getting much more like, I don’t know, touchy, feely, but I’m getting much more into all of that kind of stuff. 

Now that I’m older. So yeah. I definitely think like, just getting clear on what you want is a big part. Cause I feel like most people think they know what they want, but when you actually start imagining the details, it’s probably quite different. I think goal setting and like writing down things is definitely one of them. Also for me, a huge thing in getting things done and keeping things kind of balanced is my physical space. I cannot like this moves you like killed me. I was like, if I was an elderly lady, I would have had a couple of heart attacks by now, but having stuff everywhere or where it’s not meant to be, or like, you just want to use your desk and this stuff all over it, I just can’t function. I think I’m really looking forward to sitting at my home studio here in a way that will help me work well. 

I definitely think your physical space is like a huge factor in your success essentially. Not just like the ergonomic workability of your space, but the feelings that you kind of have, like, I can’t leave in half sets, like an awful shade of beige. Like it would just, it just draws me. Whereas some people wouldn’t bother them. What color the wall was like, not at all. But I find that really impacts me. I have to have a nice area to work in, but yeah, we’re getting there. 

Lizzie:
No, I love this. One of the things like you can actually see this must be who can’t because he has a whole listening. There’s a wall behind me. That one over there was painted. I kid you not there’s awful. Shade of red. Oh wow. Inside my office that was here. One more was red and the other one was like this, I don’t know, deep dark blue ocean color. Anyway. I was just like every single time I’d walk up my hallway to like go to bed. I’d be like, my whole body would cringe and breathe in and I had to hold my breath. I think within two months of living here, I was like, that’s gotta go. So like I painted it all. It is now like a pale gray, but there’s artwork in books like this, the thing that you need, like your space really impacts the way that you work. 

Kelly
It does. I painted, this is the first room actually that is my studio, I mean now the first room I either painted what I think you’re my entire life. My family was just like, you’re painting. ? Because usually I’m like, all of our rooms are colorful and like, I’m not a red person, but some of them, other people would probably find really garish. I was just like, no, what I think for my studio, I just want what? And they were, they couldn’t believe it, but I’m so glad it’s yeah, it’s coming together really nicely. So. 

Lizzie:
I love it. So your space is very important. The other thing that I just wanted to quickly touch on with goal setting, I call them intentions and yes, I do call goals, depending on which one it is and reverse engineering, it takes practice. Once you work out the steps, like, as you said, writing the book, like, yes, you will need to find a publisher eventually. Yes. The thing is that you need to write, 5,000 words a day first, this many days before you can even think about the publisher, like focusing on those little steps to get you to where you are. I think that’s a really great advice for anyone. It’s the same once again, let’s go back to the recipe, right? You need to get the ingredients from the fridge. Okay. Step one. Okay. Done. Like breaking things down into actions that you can manage. 

I love all of this. So success. How do you define it? 

Kelly:
For me? Success is just joy. There’s no like dollar amount, no hourly, I dunno. Number of hours you work. As you’ve done work, I just think as long as you’re feeling joyful and bringing joy to those around you’d be successful. It’s impossible to be grateful and happy and joyful and experiencing life and not be successful. I just don’t think that exists. That’s, to me, that’s kind of what I’m and a good friend of mine is doing a vision board at the moment. She had a quote in the center that said there is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. I was just like, that is so like, that’s what it’s all about. It’s just living and it’s, ? Yeah. Like, of course I would like to be successful in the fact that I would have funds to go on holiday or, like renovate your house or something like that. 

Not to say that I’m materialistic, because I think we all are to some degree, but I used to think once you got there, you’d be happy. I think this whole business owning journey has just shown me that there’s no, there like even people who are like A-listers, they’re still not there. Like there is no there you’re always just on the journey. I think enjoying that journey is success. 

Lizzie:
I love it. I love it. Oh my goodness. Cause there is no there because we always want more. That’s the thing, as you said, like it’s not necessarily material items either. Like going on a holiday, it’s not materialistic. It’s actually about experiencing, but it’s about having more of that experience, so I’m pumped. One final question for you, best piece of advice you’ve ever been given. 

Kelly:
That’s a really tough one because I feel like I’m one of those people that gets unsolicited advice. I’m like the one person, that everybody from like how to paint around a door handle to how to write a grocery list. Like everybody will give me advice because I just seem to like, just to be passive, I guess. I’m often like if someone goes to give me advice, it’s like I already cringed before I receive it. I have had really great advice. I’ve done lots of really great online courses in this past year. Just trying to learn how to run a business. I think it’s hard to pick one. I think the one I keep repeating to myself, Kathy Hila taught me and she just says that clarity follows action. That was like the biggest thing for me because I get so caught up in like, well, if I do this, what will happen? 

What if I don’t do that? What will happen? And she’s just like, you don’t know. I can’t tell you, like you just got to do it and then you’ll find out what happens. So that was like a big roadblock. I didn’t realize I was running up against until I was just like, Oh, so I won’t know until after I’ve done it, like that makes so much sense. But that was a B clarity. Full action is like, something I say to myself often when I’m just stuck in this silly head space. So. 

Lizzie:
Yeah. Oh my goodness. Well there are times where you like procrastinating about something or like, Oh my God, it needs to be perfect. I’m spending like 16 hours, like making this button on this page look fantastic. Like why? but then the action once you do it and it’s done, it’s like clarity. 

Kelly:
Yep. Whether it’s good or bad at least you’ll know, like until you do it. So yeah. That’s. 

Lizzie:
Yes. I think a lot of the things that you’ve said today really comes back to making decisions and being strong with that. Like it’s the priorities, it’s like a or B like, 

Kelly:
That’s it’s like a Y if your environment goes like, it’s either this or that. It comes back to even like find out the only way to find out if it’s good or bad is to do the thing. You get your yes or no, like clarity. Did it work to not work and it’s yeah, it’s definitely decision-making is something like, if someone says, why do you want to go for Dina? I’m just like, don’t look at me. Don’t you dare look at me because I’m not making that decision. I hate being the decision maker and I’m kind of the decision maker for our family. In business, I always find it a bit easier because there are only a couple of options. It’s not, I dunno, I find it sometimes less overwhelming, but then actually following through on the decision is probably the harder part. Of course, what is it? Clarity follows action. 

Lizzie:
I love it. Kelly thank you so much for your time today and sharing some of your awesome wisdom. I loved having our conversation.

Kelly:

 Thanks so much for having me. I was so excited. I was nervous, but I was so excited to be here and to get to chat with you. I feel like a bit of a, I just feel so lucky.

Lizzie:

 For everyone listening, you can find out more about Kelly in the show notes. There’s links to her Instagram and also over. Her website and Facebook, they’re all there. So go check her out. We’ll also put a link in the show notes to Rachel Hollis, his book girl, wash your face. Thanks so much, Kelly. 

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Hey I'm Lizzie

MARKETING & MINDSET COACH, SPEAKER & AUTHOR

An Aussie country gal, Mumma & world traveller who broke all the rules … I started my first business when I was 23 back in 2006 and have never looked back. I run an award winning blog, spoken on stages in front of thousands – my background is in marketing, branding and CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) 

My mission is to empower ambitious entrepreneurs, creatives & online business owners to grow, expand and scale their business to increase their impact & income – mixing mindset, business strategy that feels good with consistent daily inspired action. Encouraging them to go for the life they desire, without self-doubt, fear or hesitation. 

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