Community spirit is never too far away
Community spirit is never too far away
Community spirit is never too far away - with Kate Wade of The Exchange Group
Kate Wade is General Manager of The Exchange Group. The brilliantly renovated clock tower in the main street of Dubbo and it’s a place we've been lucky enough to visit several times in the past couple of years.
It's a hive of activity and a place for creativity, connections and community for the hundreds of clever business owning women in the local area. A space that really brings potential to business owning women in rural Australia.
What's the essential quality that any rural and regional business owning women should bring to every day?
“It’s a really interesting question because I think there's so many qualities, but to me the word that comes to mind straight away is resilience. I think not only women out here but everywhere in the world. The added challenge for many women out here is they are really geographically isolated.”
Can you please share your pitch with us?
“I am the manager of The Exchange in Dubbo in regional New South Wales. The Exchange is a co-working and community space located in a beautiful heritage tower in the main street of town. Essentially we are an innovation hub. We provide co-working space, private offices, meeting rooms, community networking events and education programs. It’s through all of these that we've created a collaborative environment where regional businesses have the resources to be successful in their business and really feel empowered.
I'm also a wife and mother of two and I'm studying. I'm also co-founder of my very own side hustle, One More Thread, an online collection of ethically made clothing and accessories consciously sourced from Mexico. The story behind it, is my business partner just so happens to be one of my best friends from Dubbo who's lived in Mexico for the past ten years.
So she saw these beautiful handmade products made mostly by indigenous women in the highlands of Mexico. She sends them over to me and I sell via market and our online platform.”
What have you done or are you doing regularly to protect your own wellbeing?
“Well, I think my health and wellbeing are so important to me. It's a major priority in my life. I guess for me this question, it's not about what I had to stop doing, but what I've started doing in my life.
I've had to put a lot of things in place around me so that my body can catch up with my mind and all of the things that I want to do. Meditation and breathwork is huge for me. I try to practice every day just to be present in the moment and just give myself time to really switch off from everything.
I've learned that if I push myself too hard and don't keep on top of these things, it doesn't end well for anyone. I'm sure most mums are like that. We've always put ourselves at the bottom of the list, but I now make my own health and wellbeing a priority because if I don't, then I can't be a good mum, I can't be a good wife, I can't be a good friend or a good manager.”
Who are those around you that support you as your Co?
“There's a really great saying that says if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together and I really live by that. I have an amazing village around me. All the Co that come along for the ride that all support and inspire me. I would have to say my number one is definitely my husband. Behind the scenes he and I are a really great team and without his support and encouragement I couldn't juggle all the things.
But I also have a really incredible village of close girlfriends. A few of us have kids at the same school. We share drop offs, pick ups, and Sunday morning sports. We call it communal parenting where we all help each other out.”
Want to know more about how Kate Wade has been able to create a close knit community in regional cities?
How to feel connected to other business owning women when you live in a regional city? How to maximise your time in a coworking space when time is limited? How to remember that self care is even more important even when you feel isolated?
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