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Karen's Corner 09.03.24

Welcome back to this week’s Karen’s Corner! Join me here each week to catch up with what I’ve been up to both in and out of work and what I’ve been loving and connect with me on Instagram

Karen xx


Phew! It’s been a busy few weeks, so much so, that I missed last week’s blog and I'm just catching up now! 

When I left you last, I was feeling pretty poorly as well as a little (ok, a lot!) overwhelmed with the amount of tasks on my to do list from a work point of view. One of the biggest looming projects on the list was trying to get the property and specifically, the Potting Shed Farm Shop & Cafe ready to open in time for our big Easter event at the end of March. While we’ve made progress, it became clear that we weren’t going to make that deadline and with all the wet weather, the property isn’t looking quite how we’d want it to look for our first big public event so, sadly, we made the decision not to run this event this year. I always hate the feeling of failure that comes with having to give up on a plan but after those initial feelings of frustration subsided, I made peace with the decision and feel good about already having all the prep work done for next year’s event.

Mum and Dad have done an amazing job on the Potting Shed area, upgrading the fencing around it - it’s looking super. The electrician has been in to size up the job of getting us plugged in, Dad’s researching the best commercial coffee machines and Mum and I have been planning soups and sourdough offerings. In the Potting Shed area there’ll be a a ‘Pick your own Posy’ space so we’re also planning what to grow. 

I took a flying visit to London, just for the day, a week past Tuesday to do some work on Fossoway at Home, our range of home products that reflect the ‘Fossoway lifestyle’ launching in May. It was a funny day which didn’t really deliver on what I was expecting but what it did was re-focus me on what our core values are - Harmony, Nurture and Sustainability - and why we need to stay true to them. I’m looking forward to being able to share with you really soon what we have in development there.

With the cancellation of the Easter event, that freed up a little time for me to go and join John in London for the weekend while he’s away on tour. Despite me still coughing like crazy (I’m about 60 days into the ‘100 day cough’ at this point!), it was lovely to just go and hang out, take walks along the Thames and meet some new people for a few days before life was about to get really busy again.

Back home and now with one yard staff team member down, it means I return to my stable-girl roots and step back into working on the yard for a while. I was worried about being able to afford the time in my day as well as how I’d cope with the physical demands of the job (it’s been a while since I’ve had to muck out so many stables!) But, one week in, I’m feeling ok about it. What’s lovely is feeling as though I’m taking back control of the yard - the routines, standards and culture. One of the things I had to get comfortable with when I took a step back to focus on other areas of the business was that things wouldn’t be done the same way as I did them so it’s nice to be able to start to put my stamp back on it again. 

KA Equestrian is 15 years old this year and it has changed and evolved a lot since it’s inception. My personal equestrian goals, aspirations and values have also completely changed so I’m definitely in a period of reflection and reimagining with it again and working out what comes next. As anyone in the equestrian sphere will attest, it’s a high overheads, restricted market value industry. This means our margins are incredibly tight and with continued soaring costs, it’s definitely a moment to reassess - What’s working? What’s not? What would it take to make it exceptional? How much would I have to charge to be able to deliver that? Would the market support that? What’s a staffing structure that works in terms of the workload and the financials? How can I innovate in this space? What’s a better way to deliver this product? How do I make it something really valuable in the suite of Fossoway Stables offerings? LOTS to be thinking about and strategising around and my head is kind of spinning with it at the moment. The good thing about working on the yard for the foreseeable is I can see first hand what the issues are, as well as having lots of hours a day to think!

This coming week is more of the same, keeping all the plates spinning, loving my babies really hard and remembering to take time to unwind too. John just text me to say he’s booked us a wee night in a spa hotel in a few days so that’s just perfect. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

K xx

A FEW THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING (and think you might too …)

  • THE YEAR OF LIVING DANISHLY by Helen Russell - I finally finished this book and LOVED it! It’s such an interesting look at the Danish way of life, lots of funny moments, lessons to learn and I even had a wee tear running down my cheek on an airplane this week while I was reading! Totally recommend.

  • TULIPS - One of the joys of spring are tulips and I’m really enjoying having them (in all their colours) in vases around my home at the moment. 

  • PINK - If any of you follow me on instagram, you may have seen I had a little homewares shopping spree the other week. New cushions, table cloth, Le Creuset dishes etc and pink was very much a theme. I think it’s the Spring thing … I’m feeling the need for some colour in my home and the pastel pinks, blues and greens are helping expand my home colour pallet.

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