Here I am. It’s Kate. Yes, The Kate, as a lot of you ask. I rarely blog, but know I should make more time to recount the happenings of a small business owner with a start-up company in the food industry (of all places!). Everyone needs to know what is going on in Kate’s world, right? After all, my business life and personal life go rather hand in hand at this stage in growth, and in a small mountain community, everyone seems to know what is going on in everyone else’s business. A day on the streets or in social settings inevitably turns to business talk. You get it.
My life ethics and business ethics, too, are married. And I owe all of these “ethics” to my family, who brought me up in a way that has carried on from generation to generation. And herein lies the purpose of my writing.
I have adapted my family teachings into what I call “Kate’s Way.” Some of it is outlined here, and I like to believe that most of you share the same intentions . . .
- Work hard
- Make a difference
- Care for the land
- Spend wisely
- Communicate well
- Cherish history
- Be honest
- Love family
- Make the best of your situation
- Root for the underdog
- Treat all people with respect
- If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all
- Mind your P’s and Q’s.
- Think before you speak. Choose your words wisely.
- Put yourself in another person’s shoes
- Always take the high road
- No name calling.
- Remove yourself, when you can’t remove others.
- Always find the silver lining.
Owning our Ethics
Here at Kate’s, we do not bend the truth for company advancement. It doesn’t work that way. Instead, we are honest and true. It’s easier, more rewarding, and it’s the right thing to do. As the founder and CEO (Chief Energy Officer) of Kate’s, I will not, and do not, deliberately mislead or deceive others. If we make a mistake (and believe me, as a small start-up company, we make mistakes!), we always try to fix it, own up to it, and learn from it, ultimately becoming a stronger team.
We create good relationships through knowing those we work with intimately. It creates a stronger and more rewarding experience. It starts wonderful lasting friendships of trust and sharing. We do whatever we can to work with our friends, fans, vendors, and customers for a mutually beneficial relationship.
We treat others with respect, and hope to receive the same in return. If a relationship does not work out for both sides, we believe it’s best to let it go. We can not work with inappropriate conduct inside or outside of our walls. We honor harmony.
We are polite and respectful. We want to make sure our customers are happy. We will listen to any concerns and do our best to find a solution. We learn from you, too. If we can make you happy, we are happier too.
Owning our Dreams
My ultimate dream of growing Kate’s is the ability to make a bigger difference in our world. But how? Buying or donating farmland (instead of seeing it subdivided into multimillion dollar second homes, or WalMart parking lots) for sustainable organic agriculture has been but one of my heart’s desires. Our farmland is disappearing, and much of the farmland we have left is growing high yield, low nutrient GMO crops. Let’s get back to local, organic, nutrient dense foods, and educate folks about it.
Here in Teton Valley, Idaho, we have several CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and small organic farms which feed hundreds of folks, contributing to a good wholesome way of living. Still, there is room for more farms with more educational opportunities. Kate’s will someday help to provide that. It’s my higher purpose.
I am also a huge promoter of “play.” One of my favorite ways to support outdoor play for all types of users is through trail building and maintenance. Trails are a vehicle for exercise and outdoor enjoyment for many people. And we honor all user groups. Every one of us has our own special connection with the land. So all you folks who get out there to use, build, maintain, and fight to save our trails, Kate’s got your back.
When I reflect on my family, the history, the experiences, the tight-knit support, and values we share, I also experience the same blessed feeling and free-flowing emotion from the wonderful relationships I have built through Kate’s. I will always have the fondest feelings for you all. I am touched. Thank you!
We’ll, that’s about as sappy as I’m gonna get . . .
What should we talk about next? I love suggestions . . .