Episode 70

Creating Conscious Brands with Kate Carman

June 15th, 2022

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Today I'm chatting with Founder & Creative Director of Rabble Rouse Creative, Kate Carman. Kate and I chat about creating conscious brands and how to business consciously.
We dive into:
  • The evolution of business and learning
  • Leading with integrity and mindfulness
  • Creating space within your own business
  • Working with brands that are in alignment with values
About Kate
Kate Carman is the Founder & Creative Director of Rabble Rouse Creative, a full-service digital design studio in Melbourne, Australia that creates heartfelt branding, packaging, and website design for purpose-driven brands.
Kate is an advocate for conscious creativity, as well as a web dev mentor to graphic designers and is passionate about empowering fellow creatives with the knowledge, resources, and inspiration to realise and achieve their business goals and dreams.
Kate applies elements of slow living and mindful design to everything she does because creativity needs space to breathe (and so do we).

Connecting With Our Guest
Connect with Kate on Instagram @rabblerousecreative
Connect with Nicole on Instagram @theartisansolutions 
Nicole's website: https://theartisans.com.au/
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Episode Transcription

Nicole Smith
Welcome to Take Control with Nicole. As business owners we experience firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you're looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you're in the right place. All right, let's go.

Nicole Smith
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Take Control with Nicole. Today I am speaking with the fabulous Kate Carmen all about creating conscious brands. Kate is the founder and creative director of Rabble Rouse creative, a full service digital design studio in Melbourne, Australia, that creates heartfelt branding, packaging, and web design for purpose driven brands. Kate is an advocate for conscious creativity, as well as a web dev mentor to graphic designers, and is passionate about empowering fellow creatives with the knowledge, resources, and inspiration to realise and achieve their best business goals and dreams. Kate applies elements of slow living and mindful design to everything she does. Because creativity needs space to breathe. And so do we. Well, if that isn't anything, oh, my goodness, wow. I love the slow pace of living and all of that. And I'm so excited to have you here and you sharing all your fabulousness.

Kate Carman
Thank you. Thanks so much for having me, Nicole. It's really lovely to be here. And I'm excited for our conversation. So I'll let you kick off. Let's dive straight in.

Nicole Smith
Well, this is about you. So we want to hear about you. So tell us all about yourself, your business and how it all got started.

Kate Carman
Yeah, certainly. So my design career started as more of a traditional route. So I went to university, got a degree in digital design, and got an in house design role with an accessories label straight out of university where I was the sole designer. So I literally did everything, which was amazing, because I'm also a multi passionate designer. So it really enabled me to exercise my creative and strategic sides of my brain. It was also a great introduction to the design world. And when I said I did everything, so I was doing like product design, and the yardage print design and all the design specs for production and then on the sales staff, the website, point of sale, etc. So it was a really amazing role. And I was with them for a couple of years. And then I started to feel undervalued in the company. And I was craving change. And I asked for a payrise they kind of like hmm no, and I was like, okay, well, I'm actually going travelling to Mexico for a few months. So now you don't have a designer. I left and I don't regret that one bit at all. Yeah, I went travelling overseas on and off, ended up being for like five or so years, probably more and did what like, instead of I guess climbing that design, or that corporate ladder in that design world, I essentially neglected my design career and taste freedom and fun and adventure and personal growth. And yeah, I guess I landed back on Australian shores finally in 2012. And I was like, okay, I need to do something. Again, I was putting out applications for certain design roles that I would kind of be interested in. But it was it's such a clicky scene when you kind of tried to get into, especially in fashion and those kinds of roles that were I had been. And so I decided to set up my own streetwear label for women called Pretty Cruel. And it was like, I guess just channelling this creative energy that I had, and all I guess yeah, I've always had a little bit of a rebellious streak as well. So I landed back on Australian shores with heartbreak I left my heart in San Francisco. And it was like, what am I gonna do with this? So I yeah, I set up this brand. And then I got to the point where I was like, I'm actually an introvert and I hate sales. Like I did not want to go out and hustle in front of retailers and all of that. So I was like, Okay, I'm gonna do something else. At this point. there started to be little bits of shifts in that design industry where it was like you don't have to necessarily take that traditional design role. It started to segmental way and freelancing was becoming the more, you know, accessible or available or realistic, more so, where it's like, okay, I can actually do this. So I channelled that energy from Pretty Cruel and started travel routes creative, and just kind of delving into that name a little bit. A lot of people are like, what does that even mean? And a rabble rouser is like, in a crowd, like, they would be an instigator. They're kind of like a little bit of a shit stirer or, or just like rousing energy, basically. And that kind of ties in were like with my brand, who is I'm not so much a shit stirer I'm like a rebel with big hearts. It's more so like shaking things up in the industry, encouraging my clients to shake things up within their own industries. And giving them a voice like a visual voice to kind of shout from the rooftops. So it's yeah, that's kind of how it all it all tied back in and it was also Yeah, just a little bit on to that rebellious streak. So yeah, I founded Rabble Rouse Creative. I just started out part time initially, because like I said, yeah, the freelancer landscape was still very new, even like five and a half years ago when this kind of was so. And since then, it's just grown and evolved as I was the industry. And now it is booming. So yeah, this is I don't regret my travelling the world, going off and having lots of fun and kind of neglecting that traditional path. Because yeah, where we've landed is like such a really beautiful space that nurtures creativity. And yeah, in particular, for me, as you mentioned, in my introduction, my lovely intro, thanks for that. Conscious creativity is something that I'm really passionate about now, that's kind of where my brain has evolved, where I've taken that kind of rebellion. And where I want to use my voice is to passionately speak about things that align with my values and where I think we can all be doing better. So,

Nicole Smith
Yeah isn't it wonderful? I love hearing stories of where you are now and how you've arrived at this moment in time. And there's always that pivotal point, isn't there? Like, if you hadn't gone see you later, alligator. I'm going to travel, you know that that sliding doors moment? Where would you be now if you just stayed there you know? So ah, so exciting and travelling the world I did, I did the same not the world. I just went to London lived there for six years. But you say you put your creativity on the side. But what you would have collected from those times away are all of those experiences that all then flow back through to your creative outlet. I imagine, is that

Kate Carman
Oh, for sure. Yeah. Like, like I said, I wouldn't trade it for anything. And it is those experiences that form us. And I think it was really important at that stage. Like looking back for how I wanted my career to be to actually step away and go and, you know, learn more about myself or have deeper experiences with other people and learn about different cultures, because that gave me a greater appreciation for Australia and our cultures here. Yeah, it was really pivotal to take that step away and go explore and come back and go, okay, what do I want to be when I grow up?Something I'm still asking myself

Nicole Smith
Because yeah, like you flashed back to school, like high school, and you're in grade 10 and going into the careers lady, well lady at our school anyway, what do you want to do when you after school? And I'm like, I have no idea like, I'm not really there, you know, and it's interesting, like, I thought I was gonna go down the events management route. And I eventually did actually study it later on and realise I like to be on this side of the champagne glass, not the other side of this. Yeah, but both of those experiences have again, led me to where we are today. So creativity has it always been something that's been a part of you and your world.

Kate Carman
Yeah, I think, well, creativity, I know now, probably didn't know when I was a kid, but it is one of my values. And it's something that's always been there. And it's shone through in different ways. I was always creative in one form or another as a child, and then that really started to shine in high school. So I had really amazing art teachers, and I also did photography. So my art and photography teachers are kind of like the reason I am where I'm here.

Nicole Smith
Isn't it amazing like, what if you do have those teachers that stand out? They can really be so instrumental in the direction you take.

Kate Carman
Oh, it was amazing. We had such a great group of girlfriends and we're still close, even though we're scattered all over the world and we haven't seen each other in years and years, but if we met up tomorrow, it'd be just the same. And we had these teachers that just saw this wildness in us and this like creative passion where they just, like threw everything at us and let us get away with everything. And yeah, like I delved really deeply into photography in high school, and it's still one of my biggest passions, like, I more do it as a hobby now. And yeah, in high school, I, I was just having fun, but there were kind of these signs, you know, I would win awards for different things. And I yeah, one in high school for photography projects, like the minister's Awards for Excellence in art and got flown to like Brisbane, like, I grew up in Queensland, and we did these like art workshops. And then my artwork was on tour for two years around Australia, starting at the Queensland Art Gallery, and things like that, where I haven't actually thought about that for years. Yeah, there's like, I guess, it always came out in different ways. Photography was actually my first preference for university, and I missed out by like, one ranking point, and I was devastated. And I was like, oh, like, What am I, I don't even want to go to uni. Now. Like, I just wanted to go and delve deeper into that. And I got into digital design. So again, in retrospect, it was a blessing. Because I learnt such a really diverse range of skills like it, we really touched on everything in my degree. And what I've taken from that is predominately like graphic and web design. And again, that is even evolved and changed, because extend years ago, or, yeah, I'm not quite sure how around them. Like when I graduated uni, which is so scary to say, the world of web and tech, it was horrible. I hated web design. I was like, I'm never going to be a web developer. It starts like the process, you would design in Photoshop and slice it up in another application, and then build it in Dreamweaver with HTML, like it was our cake and gross, like, it makes me want to vomit. And now web design is like my predominant, like, it's 90% of my revenue in my business now, because the technology has evolved, and the the tools that are available, and the creative process has changed. And there are these beautiful things called Visual builders, where it's, it really supports designers and that creative process. So again, like, yeah, you kind of grow and evolve as a person prior to starting a business. And then that continues, once you have a business you grow and evolve with your business. So I'm here I am a web developer, I never thought that was gonna happen.

Nicole Smith
And it never stops, the learning and education piece does it or the evolution like, you know, I've been in my business is two and a half years and from where I was when I first started before I started to now is worlds apart from where you know, I was, but I love it. Because every conversation you learn something different every experience, you learn something from it, and you can apply it into to what you're doing. I love though that what you're saying about the the archaic way of technology versus now and how it can really support you as a, you know, a digital artist to really look at those the visual creative and the strategy behind it rather than worrying about the coding. And how do I get it into play? Like that must be so much more enjoyable.

Kate Carman
Oh, yeah, it's literally it's the biggest game changer. And again, like I, you know, at the start of our chat, we touched on even, you know, five or six years ago, when I started my business, it was yeah, October 2016. So it's like the technology then wasn't, it wasn't nowhere near as evolved as it is now. Like, you know, you could, freelancer was still like a pretty vague term and more and more people starting to freelance and step out into their own businesses, but it was like, figure it out as you go, piece, you know, clunky piecing, like systems into place, there was no, and I know you love this because you're all about systems and like getting that tech sorted. But there was none of that. So on top of like, going, okay, I'm gonna, like, run with this dream and give it a crack. I'm also trying to figure out like, what it is I want to do, like, do I just want to do graphic design or like branding? Or do I want to do web as well? Do I want to, you know, like, niching was that like, initial step work that I think a lot of designers especially have a lot of trouble with, where they're like, you know, but I've got, I want to do all of this. And it's like no we got to kind of bring it in and, you know, do what you actually love. Because that's one thing about creating your business, it's your business, and you get to create it your way and you get to run it your way. So why would you include something that you're not super passionate about? And um,

Nicole Smith
You're singing my language?

Kate Carman
Yeah, like, create yeah, making money is definitely key, but like, there's money to be made in every industry so and like no matter how niche you go, but yeah, just kind of going back to that, like those tools and that technology, it was on top of all of that you were trying to piece together, like, okay, how do I set up? How do I streamline this process because there wasn't dubsado that zapped over to a, this application and, you know, sent out through your calendar and all of this stuff, like it was very, very clunky. And there was no business in a box. It was, you know, there were people like thought leaders, of course, they've always been but there was never anything super specific. I don't think at that time

Nicole Smith
And not accessible for the small business either, like for the corporate land, they could have whatever they want. They've got designers in house to build those custom solutions. But for yeah, for freelancers, small business owners at that point, like that was a big financial outlay to get those things in place.

Kate Carman
Yeah, or it was very manual and time consuming. And again, it was like, stumble, it felt like you were fumbling around in the dark, trying to like find the light switch. Okay, I just need to build this momentum. But I'm kind of start trying to piece all these bits and pieces together.

Nicole Smith
And I want to be creative, because that's my zone of genius. But I know I have to business as well. So like, yeah,

Kate Carman
Exactly. So yeah, now is a really, really amazing and beautiful time to like, become any industry does not It's not specific to the design industries, any small business or it doesn't have to be small business, you may have big dreams, like it's gone from any like, just kind of going to touch loosely on language that's kind of I've experienced over my journey a little past six years or so. It was, you know, like, just make enough money to match your, what you would have been making in a design role. Okay, make a bit more than that. Now, we're talking like six and seven figure businesses and beyond, and it is totally possible, like, digital products, and everything have just totally transformed the landscape and the bounds of like, there are no bounds to your creativity. And well, like what kind of business that you can create and, or how much money you can make in that business. It's really a phenomenal time. So yeah, these days that business in a box does exist, like you can go, I like her business. Okay, well, I'm gonna take her course and start up a business like that, and give it a crack and, you know, put in, like my creative flair and personality and design style and all those things. But it's totally possible. And, yeah, going back to those systems, again, the technology for startups is phenomenal. The you have so many different choices for like a CRM or for your like, I know you love, Clickup and, delve into that, for every single touch point for your business, there are these tools that plug and play into each other and speak to each other to streamline that process. So you can actually set it up and set it and forget it in a way and step back and focus on that creativity. So yeah, I'm loving that we finally reached this point.

Nicole Smith
I know it's a you know, obviously, that's my my zone of fun over in that realm. And I love working with my clients to discover which of those pieces of technology are right for them as well. Because, you know, I don't believe there is an off the shelf solution for everyone that everyone's going to love the same things. But there are elements that you know, we all need in our business. And then once you get those key sort of pillars, being able to connect those all together, and then you and your team and your clients and everybody around you has that real feel of ease in the way that you're operating together. So yeah, we are very fortunate aren't we really to be,

Kate Carman
Oh, definitely, it enables you to really create a high end experience for your clients. And that is something I'm really passionate about, like, I want to take my clients on an experience like, I am super passionate about helping up-level or give business owners a platform for success where they can then grow that to however, you know, they can take that wherever they want. But they've had that dream and they've run with it. I'm yeah, my job in between is to like give them that visual voice that brand identity or their production design and the web design website. And then yeah, shoot them off out into the world. Like go, go get it. So,

Nicole Smith
And something they're really proud of as well and they'd like to show off. I was talking to someone on actually on a recent podcast and you know, there's that moment of oh, I don't go to my website or I don't want to show you my business card because like la la la, like I'm embarrassed by it. But as soon as you work with someone like you, and you discover what that is, and you're proud of what's at your URL address, you're like, go and see it, because it's awesome. Check it out. Like you're excited about it. They're excited about it. Everyone's just yeah, real high vibe excitement. So, yeah,

Kate Carman
It's an amazing thing. And there's so many other ways as well that you can establish a brand these days, like when you're just in that really fundamental startup phase, or you're testing an idea. It's like, you probably don't have that budget for that, you know, the big shiny end product, but you can take those stepping stones, there's that support, which is yeah, really awesome. I'm loving watching what's going on in my creative, amongst my creative peers, and, yeah, out in the creative world. It's one thing I know that, like, we've had a quick conversation about this other networking dinner that we had is like, we are the creative economy. And we can take that back like it is there big steps away from the corporate sphere. And I know corporate will always have its space. But for those who have, need that creative freedom or that flexibility or want to run things on their terms,

Nicole Smith
Don't want to be in the box.

Kate Carman
Yeah, have a deeper mission and want to work in alignment with their values. And for a deeper purpose. Creating your own business allows that because yeah, no matter what industry and you can integrate conscious and ethical strands into that, you know, you don't have to just kind of stick to that corporate, traditional, this is how we do it and we're going to turn and burn. We're just looking at the bottom line, and don't really care about the outcomes. It's like no, like, let's flip that on its head. It's all about the outcomes. Yeah, of course, like making money is super important. It's not the only mission or not, not within my business anyway. So yeah,

Nicole Smith
I agree. I agree. Tell me what drew you towards sort of creating consciously, I can never say that word. But yeah.

Kate Carman
I know, your like there's an S, and you know. I think it just ties directly back to my, my personal values like and who I am as a person, like I mentioned earlier, like, I have this rebellious streak, but I've got a really big heart like, I'm a massive empath, like that is my number one strength. If anyone's ever done the quiz, their strengths, finders quizzes, things like that empathy is kind of leads at the top of all of my others. So it, it's yeah, it's something I wanted to create a business that had a deeper purpose. And where I could use my creativity, for good for the greater good. Like I said, there's so much noise in the industry, where it's like, marketing, media, and like, just like, chatter, non stop. And I wanted to use my creativity for good. So I chose to exclusively only collaborate with, like conscious or ethical, sustainable brands who have a deeper purpose themselves. And I guess it kind of started there. And then it's, yeah, well, it's it's deep rooted there in my values, and now it's just kind of playing out in different ways. So yeah, conscious creativity can mean a lot of different things. But for me, it's yeah, just creating a life and a lifestyle that's based around more of a slow living modality and incorporating and weaving that into my business as well. There's this kind of misconception that we have to be everywhere, and we're doing everything and, you know, just to be able to keep up or you know, like they're doing it, I have to do, it's like, I'm going, I'm walking in the other direction.

Nicole Smith
Waling the other day.

Kate Carman
Weaving intentionality into it. And it's, you know, I'm not just about putting out content for contents sake live, not only is that highly stressful, it's not a good use of my time, or, you know, like, I would like to be growing my business in other ways. And I guess, yeah, there's no kind of one specific thing that defines conscious creativity, it's more of a lifestyle and a movement that you can integrate within yeah, your own brands or in business or your own life that's based on your values and your beliefs. So that's kind of where it started. And like I said, it's kind of unravelling in many different ways now, which is really exciting.

Nicole Smith
So cool. It's, I think, you know, when you do start, exactly what you said, the noise is loud, you must do this, and you've got to do that. And then this happened. Then you must use this. And you have to show up here. And this is why and noise, noise, noise, noise noise, and you try and do all the things because we want to have successful lives and da da da da but then all of a sudden you come to that point of it doesn't feel right, doesn't, like it feels awkward. And I'm like, oh, why haven't we got the things out and da da da da, especially for someone like me who likes to be organised. So when we're not organised, it makes me feel a little bit like icky, like that. And I've learned over the last few years, what's important to me and what's not. And that's where we sort of lean lean into more, just giving yourself that permission to actually just listen to yourself.

Kate Carman
Yeah, and, you know, like, it's about taking imperfect action, and just leading with integrity and mindfulness. And yeah, one thing that I have integrated within my own business that supports like, my values in this ethos of like conscious creativity is I've embedded a creative health day into my work week. So on Mondays, I don't do client work, I work on my own business, and whatever that means, whatever those tasks are for the day, but it's so integral for me now that, you know, I used to have the those Sunday night anxieties, and I've got so much to do tomorrow and it was just like, it's daunting, I wasn't making things fun, because I wasn't making that or creating that space to work on my business and not just in it.

Nicole Smith
And did you find when you were in that state anyway, of oh, there's all the things, it was actually then a little harder to do the things because you were then worrying about the next thing that needs to be done. Yeah,

Kate Carman
Yeah, you would just like procrastinate or, you know, do things that yeah weren't, that, I guess that were counterproductive. So, yeah, embedding that creative health day within my work week has totally transformed. Yeah, my business, my processes, my mindset, my mental health, also my physical health, and it's, it just allows me to ease into the week and really kind of tap into that creativity. And, you know, it's for different things, whether it's like, I choose to work on a passion project, or I, you know, creating content or whatever it is, it's, it's for me, and for my business, and then by Tuesday morning, I'm ready to hit the ground running, and I've got, I don't have these kinds of things in the back of my head saying, you know, I don't have time for this or that or how am I going to grow my business if I don't have that time to put into it. And it hasn't affected my production in terms of client work, because I'm way more productive,

Nicole Smith
Becuase there is probably counteracted what you think's gonna happen, and actually gives you that base to really be present in the other areas? Yeah,

Kate Carman
Yeah. Yeah. No, it's amazing. And, you know, I understand, like, if you're just getting started, or if you're, you know, you might not be in a position to, like, dedicate a whole day. But yeah, one, that's one kind of big tip that I would give to your listeners is to create that space within your own brand. Because, yeah, you can hustle and hustle and like, just push through and neglect all of the things that you're truly passionate about. But you start to build resentment, and you ultimately end up with burnout. And everyone's been there, it's horrible. And I never kind of want to go back to those, that you know, those spaces. So even if it's like, you time block two hours, once a week, just to do something like it doesn't have to be content creation, it could be like, go check out an art gallery, or go for a walk and listen to a podcast or go like tap back into that innate creativity that will allow you to then, you know, that's where those lightbulb moments happen when you actually stop and breathe and slow down

Nicole Smith
In the quiet, yeah.

Kate Carman
Yeah, yeah, they're really integral. Yes, it's important to like, I hate that hustle word. But, yeah, you've got to take care of business sometimes, but you can't do that. 24/7 like, all year round, like you have to have a break. Otherwise, yeah, you're gonna start resenting what you're doing and not be passionate about it, you're not gonna be creating your best work or, you know, having the, making those connections that will take you further and

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I agree. And when you've I guess, when you first start, you may not have some people do know their value straight off the bat and they just come in and hit the ground running. But I know for me, it took me a little while to really appreciate the value that I can offer and give to my clients when we're working together, and then the the other side of the financial point of that as well and what that actually means. And so when you first start out, you're probably not charging really what you're worth. And then that's where that hustle fears of got to do more, go do more clients need more money in da da da da da, and then you hit a light bulb moment of ah, actually, no, I'm worth more then you go the next ladder. So it's a little bit less. But if you can, from the start, I totally agree, put some time in your space, in your world for you, personally, your own personal things is really important. But also those areas of like that your business actions, because setting that foundation up from the start is only going to be just so beneficial when you grow to whatever you're building big is.

Kate Carman
Yeah, for sure. Mindset is massive, and you will not meet any one in business, any, go speak to like, the top entrepreneurs in the world, they will always bring it back to mindset. And they would do daily mindset work because it is that integral to your performance and your growth and no matter what stage you're at, if you're starting out, and you've got these mindset blocks around money, like money isn't a dirty word. And, you know, it's okay to want to make money. Because with that, you can create positive change in other ways. And but yeah, no matter what kind of level you are, you'll break through a mindset and you'll increase your rates, and then you'll get to another mindset block. And then you'll have to do that work again. And you will yeah, start charging more again, like it's a, it's a never ending cycle. And being, I guess, moving with intention, and just being conscious of where you're at, I know, we've all got these big dreams of like, I just feel stuck because I'm at this level, but I really want to be here and you're looking up at you know what other people in the industry around you are doing. And it's like, you need that evolution, and that growth to be able to kind of reach that point. And when you do because you will, you will look back and go okay, like if I had just skipped ahead, I would have missed all of this pivotal growth where you know, your ideas and your concepts change and evolve. And so do your brands and the direction that you take them like, you can't skip all that that juicy and so yeah, stick to your journey, but keep going like for sure. But yeah,

Nicole Smith
Allowing yourself to be in the moment, even if it feels a little uncomfortable and you know that it's not where you're going to be forever, the longest time, you're just going to be there for a moment. And you take away that thing that's then going to set you up for wherever you're going next. Totally agree with that.

Nicole Smith
Just interrupting this episode for one little message, if you have been listening and love what you hear and want to come in connect, we have a Take Control with Nicole Facebook community, right over there on Facebook that I would love to invite you to come and join us. We are a supportive community, we are looking to really take action in our businesses and change the way or evolve the way we're working right now. So I invite you to come on over and join our community and connect with us all. Community is the essence of everything your business, being able to really build those relationships that you can nurture, and grow and support and celebrate each other. Oh, how fabulous. I hope to see you over there. Pop on over to Facebook, Take Control with Nicole. See you soon.

Kate Carman
Oh, definitely I just had a like a seven or eight month hiatus from my brand and stepping back into it was kind of daunting in a way even though I've been doing this for so long. And I've got you know, an established brand and following and client base and things like that there's, you know, still things that I've kind of have gone back a few steps on and it's like, that's okay. And as frustrating as it has been at times because yeah, it's stressful or like I'm just kind of want to move forward from you know, that experience and get on my life and do this, but it's like, I'm just trying to sit in this space with optimism. And taking those couple of steps back, I read something again, recently, I can't remember who or where or what. But where like the metaphor, where the arrow draws back before it's slings forward. So, just kind of honour where you're at. And keep doing like yeah, working through the small steps and you'll ultimately kind of get to where you're going so

Nicole Smith
Oh amazing. Do you have any I guess we've covered a lot of sort of tips and tricks and all that sort of stuff but any resources or anything that you normally refer back to or anything else you want to share.

Kate Carman
Yeah, so in terms, I know, we touched a lot on like that conscious creativity piece. And for me like a big part, like there's so many different layers to that. And it's all again about taking imperfect action, because no one is the most ethical, sustainable resourceful values led brands, like everyone's just trying to do their best.

Nicole Smith
I was just about to say we're all doing the best we can.

Kate Carman
Just being mindful, one thing that I encourage, I know like this, all the clients that I work with, and especially on web projects, is like weaving in that ethical piece. So I'll be like, okay, and this has hit this spot here in the design is where I'm going to put your like giving back, or, you know, programme or whatever that may be. And that kind of gets them thinking, and I'll, you know, the brands that I collaborate with are definitely, that resonates well with them. But it's kind of something that I just build into my design. And also, for me, you know, like acknowledging the country that we're on and what you know, the land and the experience, and you know, where we are, is really important. Again, you know, this, it's a personal thing, I don't push it down people's throats but this is something that I will kind of weave through all of my projects. And again, it's kind of why I'm not working in corporate is because I want to use my creativity for good. And one thing about designers is that we work on projects at that initial like conceptual phase, where like, we can have that input, to change something for the better, or help shape a product or brand or something for the better. Because ultimately, our designs influence consumer habits. And I definitely don't want to be unethical and forcing, you know, someone to buy something, and I don't believe in the product. So I'm not going to help develop a product that is like that. So yeah, if you are a designer out there listening, or, like you're in that kind of space, where you are working on projects from that conceptual phase, it's yeah, it's like you're working with a client, but they're coming to you for your expertise and your like, industry knowledge and your resources. Like they might not have thought of these things. And it's like, how can I help you build the best brand possible? Because ultimately, again, they've got to love their brand or their website, but it's, it has to connect with their ideal audience. So yeah, just kind of being mindful, like taking a step back from just the typical elements that are included in a project and being like, how can we make this better? How can we, you know, build better brands? Or how can we build better products. So that's something that I'm extremely passionate about,

Nicole Smith
I love it, because it's a real education piece. You know, I always put my hand up and say, I want to learn more, I have not yet acquired the knowledge yet. And so when people

Kate Carman
Oh yeah me too.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, people come to me and and be like, you want to have the conversation? Have you thought about this I'm like, bring it on, let's chat, like love to know. And then as I'll acquire, acquire, and then make the decision on what I want to do going forward. But sometimes you just, you know, you're so focused on where you're going that the grey stuff around the outside, you may not have connected in or, you know, glanced over to the right yet to see that thing to pull it in. So that's great.

Kate Carman
Yeah, and I'm not talking about like virtue signalling, I'm a genuinely, like, passionate about this. And so other brands that, you know, like I put these that I work with, because yeah, now I always collaborate with brands that are in alignment with my values, or where I see an opportunity where I can make that change, to help them become a better business. It's super important, I think, and it's making it again, it's not, there's not a one size fits all, it has to tie in with your brand. But there's so many ways to build, you know, an ethical brand or a conscious brand or to be more sustainable. And it's like, even corporate, is cooling onto this. And there are some some phenomenal statistics and I know they just go up every year, so I'm not going to quote anything. But I know in some industries, like it can be up as high as and for some age groups, it can be as high as 90%, where if a consumer has like the choice of two products, they're gonna go with the brand that has got that sustainability programme or that is using recycled materials or that you know, does have that ethical spread throughout their business. And that's like huge, those are huge numbers. There are some really great like leaders in in that industry in particular fashion, like Patagonia, if you look at that brand and how that has evolved and you know, the resources and what they're doing just with the materials and their products and mending, not just like throwing garments away, and there's another really amazing American based company called Swey S W E Y that, yeah, it's like saving stuff from landfill. And you know, like, there's different ways to do business. And that's something that's really exciting about these times as well like the innovation across all industries to be doing better. So everyone is kind of one way or another, whether they realise it or not attuning to you know, what's happening in the world around us and going, well, this isn't sustainable, how can we change that? How can we do better, and that's really amazing,

Nicole Smith
We're all becoming a bit more aware, aren't we? It's, I guess, the it wasn't the mainstream, it's not the right word. But it was a minority of people who would be really passionate about sustainability and all of those things before, whereas now it's, you're right, it's doing a bit of a flip, it's in everyday conversation. It's in brands, like what you're doing helping your clients to get that message out there and awareness of we, as an individual, one person can have an impact, if we look at our choices in a different way.

Kate Carman
Yeah. And it also ties back into the connection and how we're interacting with our customers and our clients and the end consumer. There's been heaps of like buzzwords thrown around about like ethical marketing and things like that. But people can see through it like sleazy sales pitch and the traditional forms of marketing and how you communicate with your audience. It's no longer really, it doesn't work as effectively,

Nicole Smith
I did see one, somebody had posed, like, I'm not very political, I am, again, it's a place and I'm learning. But there was something that someone posted and the candidate, whoever whatever we call them, was saying how they're really against, like, you know, all wasting paper and environment and all these sorts of stuff. And then the picture was of like five pieces of printed coloured paper with them saying, I'm all for the environment. And you're like, oh, that's a really contradicting message you're giving me here. So are you or are you not?

Kate Carman
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, for sure. And you can like, if you delve into politics, that's where things start to get really messy. But just like in any business, and people yeah, it's about I think, we're moving into a time where it's more important to create those genuine connections. And, again, it's leading with, like, I lead with my heart. So it's my values and transparency is key, and not doing everything for that bottom line. Like, it's really important to kind of build those connections, and those relationships and come off as authentic and genuine. Sleazy sales pitches are a thing of the past, well hopefully,

Nicole Smith
Makes your feel icky doesn't it. I feel really icky, it's yelling at them, ha, ha, no,

Kate Carman
It's your business, you get to run it however, like you want to. And for me, but that's just about making the best decisions and choices possible and leading with integrity, and encouraging and educating other people on how they can be doing the same. So that's kind of where my passion lies.

Nicole Smith
I love it. If you're being you as well as genuinely connected in with your values and your everything's in alignment, you're going to attract the people that resonate with that message. And you're going to detract the people that are not, which is exactly what we want to do. We don't want to be working with people that aren't right, the right match for us.

Kate Carman
No, no way. And that's something you know, that you learn along the way. And that as I think after every project, we kind of like oh I'll tweak this in my process, I'll tweak that or I'll do this and you start to form a really firm set of boundaries, where it's like, this is who I am, this is my creative process. We will like take you from here and transform you to over there. But this is the way we're going to do it.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. I just had a thought about so I'm very much about simplicity and central locations and not using email as your primary point of contact right, communicate general communication. And I just thought with my clients, and this is why sorry, I'm blahhing now because my brain is doing it's thing. I use whatsapp or clickup depending on what tool we're using as the primary source as we're working together. And every time a client sort of goes over that way back into my inbox, it makes me feel a bit icky. Like it's not that I don't want them to contact me because that's I do want them to contact me, but you're kind of like you are setting these boundaries because we are our own business people, we know how we like to work. And that for me is actually flowing back through to support my clients to see the benefit of moving that daily communication out of the inbox into the thing. There we go. Light bulb moment.

Kate Carman
Yeah, no, definitely, it's our creative processes that, you know, define us and make us unique. Because, you know, there are million graphic designers and a million web developers and all, you know, a million tech support, or, you know, like, systems management and your systems that you create that define you. And like, my creative process is been really well refined over the years. And it's like, I've created this way, because it's going to deliver my clients the best outcome. And if I spent half my time looking for files, and bits of pieces, like a waste of time, and we're not going to end up on the best result, whereas having everything nice and streamlined and cohesive, it takes away pressure from them so that my clients can focus on doing, like, focus on running their businesses. And, yeah, that's why they've employed me that they're like, okay, do here's the things go and create something magical with it.

Nicole Smith
Love it. Oh, so good. Oh, amazing. Do you have anything else you want to share? And then we're going to jump into our three questions that we ask all our fabulous guests.

Kate Carman
The last thing that I will say is that the more creative businesses out there, the better. And again, tying back in, we're the creative economy and we can reshape the world in like how people consume and you know, like how business is done. So if you've got a dream, and you're passionate about it, even though it's scary, like there's going to be lots of scary parts along the way. But I would encourage you to run with that dream, there's really not been a better time than now where you're so supported in like, the tools and the tech and the communities and everything around you where you can step in and create something amazing where like you're building something for yourself, you're working in a business that you're passionate about, because it's your business, and you're getting to use your creativity for the greater good. So I would say if you're kind of on the fence about it, taking that leap, like run with that dream.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, jump out of the box too. So let's go. Amazing. All right, here we go you ready.

Kate Carman
Okay.

Nicole Smith
What is your go to app that creates ease in your day?

Kate Carman
I've got to say the number one app for me is Dubsado. Yeah, because it takes care of so many things in my from onboarding, offboarding, client processes. Yeah, everything CRM dubsado is kind of my number one use tool. I use lots of other tools. But yeah, that's my good.

Nicole Smith
That's the one that you can trust the client experience is going to be nice and nice and slick. Yeah, perfect. Online or paper to-do lists lover or some hybrid in between.

Kate Carman
Definitely a hybrid. Yeah. But I think I focus better because my work is so digital, like everything as a Digital Designer, I'm on a computer all the time. Where if like, I find that my paper to do lists are more productive for me, especially my daily to-do lists, I've created my own.

Nicole Smith
Imagine being creative and being able to just create your own thing.

Kate Carman
My own daily planner, wehre it works for my brain and what I need. So my paper to-do list is really important for like, getting shit done, my digital to-do lists are more like my brain dump space. Yeah.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, you've touched on a very good point there. We all work very differently. And we all like to see information and absorb information and store information differently. And knowing that at whatever stage of your journey you're on, if things are not feeling, right, it's probably trying to fit yourself into somebody else's way of doing things.

Kate Carman
Oh, yeah. And I think we're all guilty of that along the way.

Nicole Smith
And it's interesting, because when I work with my clients, I'm very much about okay, well, what's going to work for you? And they're like, what should, what should we do? I'm like, well, we could do it this way, this way, and this way, but how does it sit with you? How do you feel looking at this thing? And then yeah, especially experienced that way.

Kate Carman
Amazing,

Nicole Smith
Awesome! Okay, right. Now, you're probably all over this. But what would you do if you created more space in your world?

Kate Carman
I would travel.

Nicole Smith
Yeah.

Kate Carman
I think especially after the past couple of years that we've all experienced, I that's something that I haven't like, done as much and that's something that's usually still quite common, like, was still quite frequent in my life, even running a business. I would take at least one overseas trip a year if not a couple and other trips in Australia and yeah, I think travel is something yeah, that It's really coming up a lot from me and my fiance lately. So we're actually kind of planning some big lifestyle, well yeah, our lifestyles have changed a lot already. But we're planning some bigger lifestyle changes that kind of tie in with that. So in the meantime, it might just be little quick trips here and there. But yeah, the idea of like, creating my own business, that's like, one of the main reasons that I kind of did that was to create space for you know, lifestyle. Lifestyle was massive for me, so

Nicole Smith
Yeah that's amazing. Yeah, travel I think a big thing. Lots of people over in Bali at the moment. I don't know why. Maybe it's just who I'm following. But lots of like, this morning, I saw one where I don't know if you've been to Bali. I've been once for honeymoon.

Kate Carman
I had a trip booked in 2020.

Nicole Smith
Okay, you'll be there soon. I'm sure. They fill the bathtub and they did like the beautiful stuff in the bathroom like the flowers over the top. And I was like I want to get in there now.

Kate Carman
Yeah. Maybe I'll go and create that with my own bath.

Nicole Smith
Oh, perfect. Yeah. Oh, thank you so much for coming on today and chatting, all the fabulous things. I would love you to share where our listeners can connect with you and how they can yeah, how they can find you.

Kate Carman
Yeah, definitely. Firstly, thank you so much for having me on Take Control with Nicole. It's been a lovely chat. I've been super excited about this. Where you can connect with me @rabblerousecreative and that's pretty much my handle for Instagram, Facebook all those things. Pinterest. So yeah, jump on, mainly, probably Instagram drop into my DMs because like, I'm always more than happy to kind of share my you know, knowledge or expertise or help people like with the direction like if they're stuck on something. So yeah, I'm definitely an oversharer in that regard. So feel free to hop on over and hit me up in the DMS

Nicole Smith
Amazing. Gonna put all the details as always in the show notes. So pop on in there, wherever you're listening, go over and connect and say hello, and talk all those things are good. Well, we're gonna wrap it up. Thank you so much, again, for joining.

Kate Carman
Thanks so much, Nicole. Hope you have a really beautiful day. And yeah, I look forward to connecting with some of your listeners soon.

Nicole Smith
Fabulous. And for everyone who's listening out there, have a wonderful rest of your day and enjoy creating space and time freedom by now.

Nicole Smith
Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It's been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on socials yet? If not, please come on over, say hi. I'm on all the platforms @theartisanssolutions. So I'd really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoyed today's episode, don't forget to tag me and I'd love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week and until next time, see you then.

 


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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.