The Female Focus: Ellie Kime

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Introducing Ellie Kime

We got to talk to the amazing multi-hyphner Ellie Kime who not only runs two successful businesses but is also one of the brains behind ‘The Business Proposal’ podcast. And she’s only 23!

We chatted to Ellie about how she’s on on a mission to make caring cool with her business The Enthusiast, discussed modern day role models and how being positive can have great outcomes for all.

Hi Ellie thanks so much for featuring. We love The Enthusiast and the vision behind the business. Tell us how you came to start up!

Thanks for having me, pals! I love what you do. In the weird gap between finishing final year uni exams and graduating, I decided to take the leap and actually quantify all the freelance wedding work I was doing with my own business, The Wedding Enthusiast. For the year after, I was constantly told - not maliciously, but genuinely curiously - that it was so odd that I was so enthusiastic about weddings at the ripe old age of then 21. Whether they meant because of that naff fake stat about my generation not getting married, or because I shouldn't have been thinking about commitment that early on, or whether it's because they've fallen out of favour I don't know, but people always met with surprise and fascination. It got me thinking about how to respond to it and the truth is, to me it wasn't weird at all as it was what I loved to do - what was, in turn, weird and surprising was the reaction people had to my enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is at the heart of everything I do and it made me realise it's often received less than positively in the outside world, so I set up the Enthusiast just under a year later to encourage people to be enthusiastic and care loudly and openly without fear of people judging!

You're a recent Philosophy graduate - have you used any of your studies and applied it your business?

For better or for worse...I hated my degree viscerally (and tried to drop out twice) despite it being the kind of subject matter I'd love to talk about over a pint (of wine) at the pub. Our first lecture ever was metaphysics, which involves a lot of chat about a cat called Tibbles and a whole load of consternation as to whether he counts as the same being when he loses one of his nth million hairs, and I knew at that point I'd already tapped out. Having said that, I had modules I absolutely ADORED like the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of gender and race, which I found super super interesting and can only imagine I've applied in life and then business. 

You're definitely the definition of a multi-hyphener! Talk to us about how you juggle the different businesses you've started up?

Haha Emma Gannon love me pls?! The answer is always lists. I'm lucky enough to have my side hustle as my main hustle but have side hustles among that, but what I'm really lucky with is that I genuinely adore all the hustles I have. (Say hustle one more time.) I don't compartmentalise the time with certain days for wedding work or certain days for enthusiast work as I find my brain doesn't work that way - so it's all going on at one given time in a giant melting pot of work. But that's how I like it! I do sometimes find it difficult to know how to approach people though - there's a lot of crossover with quite a lot of my work so I'm always like I'm Ellie from the Wedding Enthusiast/the podcast/The Enthusiast/Most Curious/oh you know me...

Biggest learning so far? 

I'm not sure what my biggest learning has been so far (there've been plenty) but my biggest lesson has definitely been to work out exactly how much money each project you take on makes you. It's easy to fall into that trap of equating value as a black and white sum of cost + time, but in actual fact there's so much more that goes into it - emotional investment as a main one and also what you'll have to turn away to complete it, for example! Then with that comes the cliché learning that everyone else is right - you actually can't do everything and sleep is important. I genuinely thought I'd be the one that proved that wrong.

We recently had a chat surrounding the myths around Gen Z - tell us how your generation are making a difference and why.

We did! And may I just state for the record that I loved our chat and you? K thanks.

My generation are pulling out ALL the stops to make a difference, and I absolutely adore it. I feel so lucky to belong to a huge swell of people who are going out and getting shit done! I think one of the key ways we're making a difference is by using social media as a tool for good. Yes, it can be horrifying and we need to critically assess the way we interact with it for sure, but it's often hugely overlooked that it can be a tool of connection, collaboration, and change. We shouldn't underestimate influencers who use their platform to raise awareness of critical issues - whether big or small - and spread the word to people who otherwise may not be having those conversations.

Do you think it's important to spread your message beyond your generation that caring is cool?

Yes absolutely! EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN TO ME. No, but in all seriousness, I think it's an intergenerational cause definitely. There's not one person that I don't think should be more enthusiastic. I've been thrilled to see so many mums buying t-shirts with their children in mind, wanting to make the change for the world they're growing into!

Who inspires you and represents "enthusiasm" to you now? 

Oh so many people! Emily Coxhead, founder of the Happy Newspaper, is one of my biggest enthusiastic heroes. Greg James, the Radio 1 DJ - his sheer glee is palpable and he genuinely seems a man who puts his whole heart into what he does and unashamedly, unapologetically does so. Gina Martin, who recently made upskirting illegal at the backend of last year - she's incredible, and her gusto is dazzling. 

Any tips on how we can become more enthusiast and "care" more? 

Think about baby you! There's 2 ways to think about enthusiasm; the first is having an enthusiasm, as in having one Thing with a capital T that you're super enthusiastic about. If you can't think of something, think about primary school you. What did you love at the time? What did you spend all your time doing? What would 8 year old you have expected 30 year old you to be doing? Even if it was something you don't want to do now, thinking introspectively about why you loved it so much might illuminate some ideas for you. (more here: https://www.theenthusiast.co/#/how-to-find-your-enthusiasm/)

The other way to think about enthusiasm is how to be more enthusiastic generally. One tip for that is to do something you love every day - even if it's just 15 minutes, it'll help you feel better generally. Also, say yes more - and say no more too. Obviously don’t say yes to things that will make you feel crap - life’s too short and you’re too precious - but saying yes to things that scare you, entice you, excite you and call you can all set you off on a wild enthusiastic ride. Conversely, learning and feeling comfortable with saying no to things that drain you will help you focus your time better on things that make you feel good.

Do you have a favourite quote / words you live by?

My love for quotes waxes and wanes but there's a couple that float around Pinterest about avoiding half-assed things that I really like - and there's also an Emily McDowell design that I love about finding yourself: "” ‘Finding yourself' is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. ‘Finding yourself’ is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.” I love love love that.

How can being enthusiastic change your life for the better? Aside from the obvious… And how can it be positive for business too?

It depends what the obvious is!  I think a lot of people mistake having room for enthusiasm as being blindly, baselessly positive and that’s not the same thing at all - some things are just atrociously devastating and heartbreaking and they’ll take more to deal with than someone telling you to just try and be a bit more enthusiastic. But beyond that, being more enthusiastic can improve your mental health by making a more positive mindset your automatic response, your physical health by helping you sleep and increased movement, your friendships and relationships by showing up for them and then showing up for you, and your work by improving the quality of the hours you spend doing it - it’s so much easier to love something when you’re enthused about it. On top of that and in a more business-savvy way, I definitely think it can be positive for your business by helping you organically spread the word, seem more approachable for opportunities, and by making everyone want to get on board.

On a mission to be more enthusiastic? The make sure you check out Ellie’s website and social channels to find out how you can get more involved!