kate berry

 
Extraordinary Routines interview Kate Berry
 

Interview by Madeleine Dore
&
Photography by Annette O’Brien
This interview was originally published in my column for Domain


Kate Berry: Creative director, photographer and event organiser

For creative director, photographer and event organiser Kate Berry, most days resemble that meme that describes adult life as saying, ‘But after this week things will slow down’ again and again, until infinity. 

From working as a creative lead in ad agencies in Melbourne, Sydney and London and designing for various brands, to turning her family-focused blog, Lunch Lady, into a magazine now stocked worldwide, Kate has spent the majority of her life collaborating and bringing ideas to life.

Now, the focus is bringing towns to life through nostalgia, music and her own brand of magic through her sell-event series OK Motels. Having relocated from Daylesford to Elwood earlier this year, she has also made it her mission to rescue Melbourne’s south side.

We catch her in a rare break in her routine, having just finished a twelve-week accelerator program and the launch of her first book, Family, Food & Feelings.

“I'm not very good at taking a break ­– there might be work or a new project coming up soon, but I have this need to fill the space in between instead of just enjoying the downtime before it gets really busy again.”

But as Kate reminds us, part of being an ideas person is learning to embrace the break . “I know that’s when the magic happens – when I'm just trying to push and push it makes everything a bit cloudy.”

“The break is where the magic happens – when I’m just trying to push and push it makes everything a bit cloudy.”
Extraordinary Routines interview Kate Berry
Extraordinary Routines interview Kate Berry

A day in the life of Kate Berry

Morning

During the week, my day always starts exactly the same way – I get up at five a.m and run five kilometres. I weirdly look forward to it – I get to listen to loud music, I get to think about what I'm going to do for the day, and run out any frustrations I might have.

My kids are still asleep when I get home, so I’ll go into their room, turn their light on a whisper, "You've got half an hour.” Then I’ll make them smoothie, put the coffee on, and pump out their lunches. Our morning is super regimented because they have to get the bus at 7.30, but somehow it always ends up being a rush out the door!

I’ll walk them to the bus stop with a mug of coffee in my hand. It's always the same bus driver, so if he sees us walking down the street he will wait for us, which is not something you necessarily expect in the city, so and it gives us nice Daylesford vibes!

mid morning

For me, structure is important. I love working at home, but it’s also important for me to be around people and get out of the house a couple of mornings every week, otherwise my internal narrative can be unconstructive.

I’ll tend to do writing and budgeting at home because I need to be in my own little space –anything in Excel I definitely need solo time because it is my least favourite thing to do. I spend more time look pretty than making it work!

Extraordinary Routines interview Kate Berry
“I love working at home, but it’s also important for me to be around people and get out of the house a couple of mornings every week, otherwise my internal narrative can be unconstructive.”
Extraordinary Routines interview Kate Berry

Evening

We get a veggie box delivered and make it a mission to use that for the week. We will and think of something to make all together ­– the last week has basically been fried rice, which is in the new book. 

One thing I do make sure of is that we spend time at the table together each night, whether that is eating dinner together or just talking about what we've done for the day or do homework.

Some nights we will go out for dinner and our favourite thing to do is go to Readings on Acland Street and just hang out and look at books and records. I have come to realise that my kids would rather I ride a bike with them around the block, or do something fun than stand alone in the kitchen baking a tray of biscuits. They aren’t going to think I don’t love them because I buy a box of biscuits from the supermarket ­– that has been a real shift in my thinking.

Wednesday nights the girls are with their dad, so I might I tinker with the website or do something mechanical – I can’t do anything that uses my brain in the evening.

Bedtime

My kids go to bed at nine and there are often times I go to bed before them! There are days I'm ready for bed at 8.30, and so I have to ask my kids to tuck themselves in, after they’ve tucked me in!

I’ve been getting into the habit of writing the next day’s to do list before my head hits the pillow. It helps me sleep, and I find I get cracking from the word go the next day.

afternoon

I am the worst time manager on the planet – I have no to-do list and I forget to put things in the calendar. There is often a double booking and there have been quite a few times where I have forgotten things.

That said, I also try to bundle things together in the afternoon or a day ­– be it meetings or going to a certain part of the city.

I don't have an email routine, but I do want to start blocking out time to check it just in the morning and in the afternoon. 

“I am the worst time manager on the planet – I have no to-do list and I forget to put things in the calendar.”
Extraordinary Routines interview Kate Berry
“Don’t work in your pyjamas ­– have a shower, brush your teeth, make yourself look like you’re going somewhere. You can’t take yourself seriously in your Ugg boots, and if you can’t take yourself seriously, who will?”
 
Extraordinary Routines interview Kate Berry
 

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Family, Food & Feelings


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