Creator's Corner: The Kindness Echoes | Melbourne, AUS
The Kindness Echoes / Organic+ Vegan Desserts
Georgia Irwin has always been a creator, but after watching a pro-vegan documentary, she found a new art form in creating vegan treats that do good by our bodies and the environment.
Here, she talks about her mission for spreading kindness, how she’s healed through building a business, and why you don’t need to follow the “quit your job and go for it” type advice.
Tell us a little about yourself and your creative background:
I’ve always been really creative, but I struggled to find the creative outlet that was truly for me. I tried painting, life drawing and many other forms of art, but it was food that I really fell in love with. I felt like I could have an abstract look with my designs, and this business and my work felt really natural and organic from the beginning.
How did you get into creating and designing unique and delicious vegan + raw desserts?
My partner, my mum and I went and saw the documentary “What the Health” at the Astor, and that night my partner and mum said they wanted to be vegan. I made a raw dessert for them and posted it on my private instagram. A local cafe was following me and asked if I would supply them with treats because they loved the look of them. I had made “The Kindness Echoes” instagram because I loved the name, but had no idea what I wanted to do with it. That night I said yes to the cafe, started the instagram account, looked up how to create a raw dessert business and the rest is history. Everything just flowed so perfectly into each other. I turned vegan 2 days later and started experimenting everyday with new recipes and creations.
Where does your guiding value of being kind, mindful and respectful to the environment come from?
I went through something pretty traumatic when I was 12-16 and a few years before starting the business I was suffering from post traumatic stress. This sounds incredibly cliche, but I dreamt of the name “The Kindness Echoes” and I just started to be kind to myself and everything around me. I have always been passionate about the environment but when I started the business I really took that love to the next level. I put a lot of energy and research into making my business as kind as it could be. Essentially once I started, it made me feel like a had a purpose, like I had found exactly where I was meant to be and what I should be doing. It’s very rewarding and my health is the best it’s ever been.
How and when did you decide it was the right time to shift 100% of your focus to The Kindness Echoes?
I dove head first into the business about 6 months after starting it. I was making some money and I had bought all of my equipment so I thought, why not? I do occasionally still work at my old job where I used to be full time. This helps keep my love for my business real. I get to socialize with my work crew and I have flexibility. When I’m quite (with The Kindness Echoes) I can take an extra shift if I need.
It keeps me grounded and I feel grateful to have both places to work. It creates change and mixes the week up. I love making cakes in my registered kitchen but it is also nice to get out of the house and have a different environment and pace for a day or two.
What were some of the challenges of starting your own business?
I love what I do so I can be very generous with my products and time. In one way, it has been incredible because you see how happy it makes people. But I also need to remember to take a wage so I can continue to create that joy for people who buy my products.
I think a lot of women in business forget to calculate their time into their business. In order to create change and make the best possible product for your customer, you need to pay yourself correctly and be generous where and when you can. It is all about balance.
You mentioned on social media recently that The Kindness Echoes has helped heal you, can you talk more about that?
What I spoke about was the impact of having a purpose and fully finding myself through creating these pieces. I do believe that my business is so much more than just food. It’s a movement. I have made that movement for myself and hopefully one day I can teach others the importance of being kind to themselves and the things they are passionate about.
In that same post, you reminded us that social media (Instagram in particular) is a curated highlight reel that shows us on our best days. Like everyone though, you have your bad days. What helps you get through the challenging times?
DEFINITELY!!! The capitals are very necessary for this question. Although I’m grateful, happy and love my business, there are always struggles. You are seeing a fraction of my life in a perfectly captured, edited moment. We are only human and there will always be external and internal factors that will upset you.
I’ve spent years of finding the best techniques to heal myself when I am upset.I go to yoga, read, go down to the beach, talk to someone and of course cooking. That doesn’t mean that these things will work every time for me. Sometimes I literally just have to sit with my emotions and feel them and let them pass naturally. There is nothing better than a bit of a cry sometimes (this is coming from a girl who didn’t cry for 10 years). I am now a massive believer in talking and letting everything out.
What influences your creativity and what you decide to make?
Nature is a big influence for me. Obviously because my business is plant based I love exploring new flavours through flowers, fruits, tea blends etc.
Music: I love putting 60’s & 70’s music on to create my cakes. And I am also completely in love with the moon and the sun. I have them tattooed all over my body in random forms and love designing treats around them.
What is your proudest moment in your journey so far?
This one is a hard one. I think last year when I started booking up a few months in advance. This was huge for me. And we were targeting so many people that weren’t even interested in plant-based food that were all of a sudden driving 3 hours just to pick up one of my cakes. I get emotional just thinking about it because it’s a really beautiful thing to make something that people love and want. It's a strange but very rewarding feeling. And defiantly talking about mental health, the environment and animal rights and getting such positive feedback from my followers.
What are you most excited about right now?
I recently stopped stocking cafes and I am purely focusing on private orders. This is so much better for me and it gives me the space to really create and experiment with my pieces. When you are stocking cafes you can’t use things that will perish quickly, and I love using fruit as my main design on my creations. This gives me so much artistic freedom.
What advice would you give aspiring ladies that want to turn their art into a career?
I think a lot of people say “just do it, quit your job and dive in”. That can be great advice but I would say: Ask your work if you could go down to 3-4 days a week. Some workplaces are good about flexibility and will support you in doing this. It means you still have enough money to pay your bills and socialize, and you get to dedicate a whole day to one of your passions that isn’t your weekend time.
This doesn’t have to become your career and it doesn't have to make you rich. It’s just there to make you happy, create magic and find your flow again. Full time work is really hard and drains a lot of your creativity. So why not do both? Then if your passion starts to pay well and you have found your market you can start your transition into designing a business and a life around it.
Finish these sentences
My favorite dessert to make is raw cheesecakes.
I lose track of time when I’m listening to Fleetwood Mac.
I can read all of Gillian Flynn’s Novels over and over again.
My favorite place in the world is Portugal & Nepal.
I believe good organic food can prevent and heal a lot of the health issues we see today.