I know I keep saying this on Insta a lot, but fuck it’s been a crazy year! This time last year I was still part of the Extract Coffee team – never did I think I’ll be working at Wild Leaf. It was honestly only something Octavia would joke about as we dreamt of plant businesses and adventures we’d go on.
So in that time I decided to go self-employed and boy what a mistake that kind of was. It was coming up to Christmas time and I knew I would have to put a lot of focus on the business and knew that working in a fast paced roastery & trying to do LOOF would pretty much kill me. It was already slowly taking a toll on my anxiety and my body (honestly don’t get me started on my IBS through that time, let’s just say it was a bit of a shit time).
Being self-employed over the Christmas period was fine. I was rammed up with weekends of markets and filling the other time with bespoke/custom orders, little did I know how shit the new year would be. Self-employment isn’t the easiest in any field, but my business relies on holidays/annual events.
Those first few months of 2018 we’re pretty terrible and being depressed I wasn’t really doing any work and was spending a lot of time not doing much. You’d think that the impending doom of having to pay rent each month would be enough motivation to push yourself to bring income in through your business. Not when you’re depressed – it reassured my thoughts of thinking I was as useless at starting a business or what’s the point, I’m putting my soul into this and not getting much back.
There were a lot of times when I was ready to give up, throw in the towel. Fuck it, let’s just get a 9-5 and be done with it. But luckily I’ve got some incredible people around me (shout out to Davo) and if it wasn’t for Octavia setting up a meeting between Tya & myself I wouldn’t be working here today.
But Wild Leaf is more than just a job that pays bills. It’s a happy space where I turn into a big child and get to talk about how fascinating plants are to people on a daily basis. I get to be in an environment that I never want to leave (you’ll probably catch me after hours taking photos or getting some admin done). It’s given me confidence in what I’m doing – I’m knowledgeable enough about the plants to really advise people on what would work best to their needs and environment.
Working here has also given me the opportunity to start workshops which, was a goal of mine to do this year. I get to constantly learn about plants and I’m forever adding to my growing collection. I keep falling in love with some of the big guys and end up buying them instead. It’s really helped me as a person, as well as a business and that I’ll always be grateful for.