Kate's Story on beginning a successful brand...
My Motivation for Table of Plenty has been the same since we first began. To create a company that would connect my passion for wholesome food, with working towards a greater purpose...
I’ve always been blessed with an optimistic nature and sailed through life seemingly unscathed by anything, yet with the birth of Amy in October 2000, even my optimism was challenged.
No one can prepare you for the shock of a complicated pregnancy and birth. As a healthy 28-year-old in a low-risk category and all seemed fine. At 6 months it became clear that all was not well and after a month of waiting, Amy was delivered prematurely and the journey began. There was no clear diagnosis at the time and we were told to wait and see.
She was a tiny wee thing, yet surprisingly strong and she had a will to survive from the first moment that was unmistakable. She came home with us, after a stay in the special care nursery, at only 1.5kg and I was with her day and night, taking care of her every need. I think at the time, I was in denial and thought that a Mother’s love can heal all. I hoped that she would catch up and grow and that all would be OK, but as the months and years went on she fell further behind. It took us 5 years to receive her diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder called Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome.
When Amy was 8 months old I had to return to my job in a US-based IT firm, managing a sales team for Australia and NZ. It was a demanding job and required my full focus and long hours to do it justice. After a while, it became clear to me that I could not do the job well and be the Mother that I wanted to be and that Amy needed.
Our life was becoming more and more isolated as Amy’s difficulties grew. Everyday activities that we took for granted were not so simple anymore. Going shopping or spending time with friends who had kids was difficult as Amy would get into trouble with inappropriate behaviour and although people were nice about it, apart from the very few, it was clear that they were uncomfortable. In the end I felt I was squeezed out of the job and found myself at home full-time with Amy.
All my plans for the future and the illusion of a predictable life came crashing down. This was my lowest point and I fell into a depression. There have been times when I have stared at the same spot on the wall for hours with not a thought in my head and numb to my surroundings. I felt paralysed and I didn’t recognise myself – where was that unstoppable, optimistic girl I knew? I had to find from deep inside the courage to claim my life back and to find a way to rekindle and rediscover my passion.
On the up and up
I decided to start my own business, a business that would allow me to reconnect to my passion for life. I have always been creative and love to make something out of nothing. I also love the exotic, deep rich flavours of spices and herbs and I have always travelled, to see other cultures, their traditions and foods and experimented with them. I fell in love with the spice markets of the Middle East when I was living there and the seed of Enspice and Table of Plenty was planted.
With each idea and step forward in the business, my confidence and enthusiasm returned. It was clear that no one was going to hand me my ideal life on a plate and I would have to create it.
I also knew that my reasons are the fuel that will get the business up and running and they are as central to it today as they were then.
- To reconnect to my passion for life – this was the short-term spark that began it.
- To build a business that will be a platform to sustain Amy financially throughout her life – long-term motivation.
- To build a business that will support organisations that help people with disabilities – long-term motivation.
My vision for the business was and is to create food products that will help other women like me to navigate their busy lives and be able to put a decent healthy meal on the table
- Our products will use good, healthy ingredients.
- Our products will draw on my wealth of knowledge about spices, herbs and foods to be innovative and tasty.
- Our products will be quick and easy to prepare.
- Our customers will be able to trust that what they’re buying is good quality and good value.
- The business will also be family friendly and be flexible in allowing us to fulfil all our roles in life, as parents, as individuals and as breadwinners.
Today our business is still in its young years, but its roots are growing deeper as the months go by.
Our products are now available in Coles, Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse and many other leading independent supermarkets, speciality shops and health stores and include our products.
Kate Weiss is available for Media & Speaking Engagements. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your upcoming media or speaking events.