This week’s Flourishing Entrepreneurs interview is with Kiht Collective founder Danielle King.
I’ll let Danielle tell you all about herself and her brand but needless to say this is another incredibly inspiring story of someone who has created a wellness business via hard work and lessons from a variety of other work.
It’s all too easy sometimes to look at someone’s business and think it’s an overnight success. Always remember that behind that ‘overnight success’ has actually been weeks, months and probably years of honing skills, failures and disappointments and learning learning learning to reach where they are right now.
I hope Danielle’s story and tips inspire you. Remember you can join us for a LIVE chat on Instagram at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd April. Make sure you’re following me to be part of the conversation.
Who are you, what is your business and what job title do you have?
Hello! I am Danielle King I am the founder of the lifestyle brand Kiht Collective.
Our ethos and message Kiht is to Be More.
We live in a world where for women, the message seems to be constantly about being smaller, shrinking our size, our bodies and not focused on reaching our potential.
I wanted to create a 360 lifestyle brand, to shine the spotlight on women who are not conforming to this trend, showcase female role models and entrepreneurs (as let's face it, not many people are doing this!) and to also be a resource for women who are looking for more. We offer information on health, fitness and wellness all with a balanced approach.
Recently we have started hosting free events in the Manchester area to bring our community together offline and later this year we will be launching the activewear side to our brand. Something we are super excited about!
Our activewear will be like our brand, to Be More! So it will fit into your daily life and not just gym appropriate, we have really focused on getting the quality and fit just right so you will want to wear them all the time. Watch this space!
What were you told about work growing up? What career advice were you given?
Oh God! So this is where, what I was advised and what I did were completely different! My parents advised me to study core subjects, look at ‘stable’ careers that paid well. I was considered ‘clever’ at school so was always pushed down the core route of Maths, Science and English.
This never interested me at all, my love was art, designing and making things. I am a natural problem solver, so garment construction just spoke to all of my passions. I studied art, textiles and fashion, took my degree in fashion and worked my way up in the industry as a designer.
My aim was to always have my own business, I just wanted to spend some time learning the trade, as there is so much to learn.
How has your mindset changed around work since you started working?
Great question! I think I have always been ‘intrapreneurial’ within a business, so I suppose I have spent the last 10 years developing that skill. I wouldn’t say that my mindset has changed much, I have just learnt more along the way, both about the business and myself.
My journey through work isn’t very conventional from the outside, but my focus was always about learning as much about the trade and the business as possible. So for me, that meant working for different business types, brands and customers.
I have worked for manufacturers, suppliers, store retailers, online retailers, early-stage startups and large established brands. I wanted to have a broad spectrum of knowledge about the industry, how it works, and also see how different businesses within the industry work completely differently.
Some of the biggest lessons I have learnt are :
Never just accept something. If you don’t understand why you are doing something, don’t be afraid to ask. I have always questioned ways of working, structures, and anything I am unsure of. You learn faster, have a greater understanding of a business and sometimes you find out processes are pointless, so end up getting changed. Never feel silly about it either - chances are most people don’t know and are just too scared to ask.
This is another super important one. Learn how and where to focus your energy. If you know what you want, use this focus to map out a route to it, whether it is career progression in a job, success within your work/life/ business, it really does work.
I have since applied this to my own business in a different sense. Being a small business there is always too much to do and not enough time, it can be overwhelming. Knowing how and where to focus my time to get the greatest results has really helped.
Learn to work with and understand people
Communication is one of the most important parts in work, life and business. We all need each other, we are all very different, we interpret things differently, react to things differently and we are all motivated by hugely different things.
If you can learn to be an effective communicator, that is a huge step. If you can spend the time to understand the people you work with and really work on building positive relationships, you’ll be laughing!
How do you prioritise your health as a busy entrepreneur?
I am a huge fan of bullet journalling, but my mindset to health and fitness is also a big factor.
Fitness is a priority for me, so I have worked to make it part of my weekly routine and life. Every Sunday I bullet journal for the week ahead - putting in any events or meetings first, then I plan in the days I can work out.
Lastly, I pull my to-do list together for the week. The other benefit of this is it helps me focus on the most important things I need to tackle, if I have any spare time at the end of the week I focus on the less important jobs. I have also been working on my morning routine these last few months as I wanted to incorporate regular meditation, which I would also recommend to everyone.
How does food feature in your life and what does it mean to you?
Omg anyone who knows me knows how much of a foodie I am! I love food, love cooking, love eating with people.
Sharing food is one of my favourite things to do. I would say it is super important to me, not just the process of eating, but for me food as an experience. I cook a lot, enjoy experimenting and generally prep most meals from fresh.
I love eating out, trying new things and then trying to make them at home! I am not really into processed foods, I eat fairly healthy, like my brand, its all about balance.
I am naturally a very intuitive eater, I think I developed this after years of having a lactose intolerance and not knowing about it and being almost scared of food.
What is your favourite meal, something you would recommend others learn to cook or prepare?
Ahhhh I have so many! I also go through phases! I love eastern style dishes, as generally, they don’t contain dairy so I don’t have to adapt them.
I am really into noodle soups at the moment, they are so quick and easy to make, you can literally throw in any veg/meat you have and they taste great!! Once you have a simple base sauce that you like, you can then start to experiment and add variations. Its perfect mid-week if you're short on time, it's super healthy as you can pack it full of veg and it's really comforting when it's cold outside!
My tip is to cook your noodles separately, put them in the bottom of your bowl and pour over the soup. This way you can batch cook for a few days and just add noodles as you serve. I am not a fan of overcooked noodles!
The voice in your head - we’ve all got one! What negative thing does it say to you most often and how do you deal with it?
God, I hate that voice!
I am a lot better at dealing with it, but it has taken time. Mine is always about not being good enough and not doing enough.
I can, and have been super hard on myself over the years. I have found that learning to celebrate your successes and not just focus on the negative has really helped me, talking about it and ‘owning up’ to it with other people.
The voice can build in your head and sometimes when you say it out loud to someone you realise how silly what it’s saying is. And on a ‘fat ugly day’ which is not often at all anymore, I just don’t give those thoughts any power. It really doesn’t matter, I have so much more to offer.
Success – what does it mean to you?
I have been thinking about this a lot recently.
To me, success is making a difference. I want to make a positive mark on this industry, the people that surround me and build something I am proud of.
Self-care. What does it mean to you and what self-care practises do you have to look after yourself as a busy entrepreneur?
This is something that I am getting a lot better at!
I never used to spend any time on self-care, I really struggle to sit still and switch off! I never understood the point of a bath, I would spend 20 mins running in it, lighting candles, making it really lovely. Then I’d get in for 5 mins and get out!
Since I have been meditating I am far better at stilling my mind and relaxing into the present. I now try to have a bath once a week and will spend at least 20-30mins just soaking and really embracing the experience. I absolutely love it!
What one book, video or podcast would you recommend to entrepreneurs?
Book: The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters. Its so great at explaining how you think, why you sometimes become really irrational, why you self sabotage and all the other crazy things we do!
Video: Start With Why by Simon Sinek. Its a really great one for anyone with a business
Podcast: It’s a really obvious one, but I love The Tim Ferriss Show. He interviews such a broad range of people, with such different views on life, I find them so interesting.
What one tip, quote or resource would you share with other entrepreneurs to help them on their journey?
‘Decision is the ultimate power’ Tony Robbins.