In this blog, I interview our Operations/Wholesale Manager Kari. Kari is an incredible Woman, she has a very full plate and still manages to give so many people her time. Kari is a mum to two beautiful children, wife, midwife student and part time employee here at Myles Gray. Kari's role at Myles Gray is to manage the day to day operations of our team, coach our team with professional development and liaise with all of our stockists to make sure they are supported and feeling loved.
Q: Tell us about your life, what are you doing, who’s in your family and what’s your role here at Myles Gray
My name is Kari and I am the Operations manager/wholesale manager at Myles Gray. My role is to provide support and assistance to our lovely stockists. I also help with the day to day general operations of the business and conduct education sessions for our team. My experience is in customer service and I love help our lovely customers in our showroom and at events.
My life is a little bit crazy but also amazing ! I have been married for 6 years and we have two beautiful children. I am currently in my second year of studying a double degree in Nursing and Midwifery. My life consists of family, friends, working at Myles Gray, studying and a little bit of me time.
Q: How do you find the time to give everyone in your life your undivided attention?
I can't always find the time for everyone I want to but I think acknowledging that is ok. I try my hardest to prioritize my time equally and so I can achieve everything I want to in that week, I have a good routine and most of my weeks look the same so It is easy to remember what I need to be doing on that particular day. In terms of undivided attention, the most important thing for me is to be present. I love to read to my children every night, so in that moment when I am reading to them, I am not thinking about my exam next week or something from work, I am completely in the moment and totally focused on them. That is the same when I have blocked out time to study, I am not procrastinating or looking on my phone, I try my best to stay completely focused so I can completely utilize my time. I make sure I prioritize my husband and children and I try to adapt a quality over quantity mentality with other people in my life, meaning I might night always get to spend time with the people I want to but when I do, I make sure it is quality time.
Q: Any tips on parenting? You are an inspirational mother and I base a lot of my parenting style from yours.
Thank you ! That means so much to me. My biggest parents motto is "Is it an ant problem or is it an elephant problem"? I choose to pick my battles and not to stress the small things. I never wanted to be the type of parent who is always yelling or have my child feel like they are in trouble all of the time. I want to create a safe place for my children where it is ok to make a mistake. My other biggest parenting tip is to be patient, sometimes I have to hide in the toilet and take a deep breath but I also try my hardest to remain patient. It is really important for me to connect with my inner child and be silly and have fun with my children, we live in such a crazy world so it is good for all of us to try and have fun. I also feel that I take parenting really seriously, it is my most important role. So I am constantly researching, reading books, watching documentaries and bouncing ideas of other like minded parents. At the end of the day I want to raise happy, kind, intelligent and resilient children and so far I think I am doing pretty well.
Q: How do you manage a team effectively and do you have any advice for keeping a team accountable and motivated?
I believe the most effective way to manage a team is communication. Our team is amazing at communicating, there is no fear of speaking up or concern to voice an opinion. We are all so in tune with each others purpose and that makes the work environment so easy and effective. As I only work part time, I make sure the first thing I do is check in with the girls when I arrive, ask them how their previous days have been etc. It opens the communication lines straight away. As a leader, it is so important to remain approachable, I always want to have my colleagues feel like they can come to me for anything.
To be honest, it really is not an issue keeping the MG girls motivated and accountable, they are amazing ! But I think that it is so important for us all to have our eye on the prize and see the bigger picture. We all know the vision of the business and what we individually and collaboratively need to do to get there. I work with our team closing looking at their role, strengths, areas to improve, their goals in terms of career and personally and we make specific action plans to get them there. We speak so openly about career growth and personal growth and this definitely helps keep us all motivated. Weekly catch ups and reassessing our goals frequently helps keep us accountable.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about working at Myles Gray?
100% our team and our customers ! We have the BEST team. We are all so passionate and driven women and we just vibe off each other. Our Monday meetings are such a highlight of my week, we bounce ideas off each other and it sets our week up to be successful. I also love our customers, we are so lucky to have the kindest and loveliest customers, it is such an enjoyable experience meeting them when they come into the showroom or an event. It brings me so much joy to help them find what they are looking for and hearing their feedback. I feel so lucky :)
Q: Tell us how you balance everything on your priority list.
Balancing everything on my priority list can be a juggle, but I think it's important to have a good understanding of your priorities otherwise it can feel super overwhelming when you feel like you have a lot on your plate so writing things down definitely helps me. I have an intense colour coded calendar and I make sure I stick to it. I try my best to have a 'go with the flow attitude' because who knows what life will throw at you these days, I try not to let too much stress me out. I also think reevaluating your priorities regularly is important, because our priorities change and we need to address this. Asking for help is also so important, I could not do anything I do without the help of my husband and our families. I don't ever try to do anything on my own and I will always reach out for help if I need it, it takes a village ! I truly believe our lives are what we make it, I don't want a stressful, out of control life so although my life is busy and I have a lot of different priorities, I choose to be calm, happy and focused and that is my biggest priority.