We chatted to writer, foodie and avid wellness advocate for our planet, mind and body Monique Hemmingson, who recently put out the book 'Wild Kinship - a conversation with conscious entrepreneurs'. Based in Papamoa Beach, Monique speaks about how she was inspired to write the book to highlight how positive action on doing business with the environment in mind, is an effective way to address climate change.
What was the moment you decided you wanted to write a book?
"Wild Kinship is an accumulation of all of my past experiences. I studied writing straight out of high-school and worked as a journalist before further study in creative writing in New York. Living in New York founded my love of travel and became my top priority through most of my twenties, working in hospitality to fund each stint abroad. It was during one of these trips that I fell ill and my path changed again, this time toward health and wellness and healing my body. I eventually moved home to open a wholefoods café in Mount Maunganui to share what I had learnt and experienced, and it was here that I came into contact with many inspiring entrepreneurs breaking the mould and putting the environment at the forefront. To write a book has been a long-time dream, but the subject matter eventuated from this journey. I love how life ebbs and flows like this, you never know what opportunities might lie around the corner and where they might take you. I am a big believer in going for the ride."
What's your biggest learning from using your platform to inspire positive change?
"Similarly to the ethos of my café I believe positive action and creating better options for people that can lead to education is a much more powerful tool than negativity, guilt, fear or preaching. I have learnt time and time again no one is perfect, but if we can all be doing our best, educate ourselves and take reasonability of our own actions we can see huge positive change. I aim to inspire wellness rather than to force it."
What is one thing you'd like your kids to grow up knowing, that you wish you knew when you were young?
"I hope to raise my children with a deep respect for themselves and the world they are living in. We have a six-month-old daughter and it is really important to me that she respects herself emotionally and physically. That she cares for her body and nourishes it with love and compassion. Likewise, I hope that her connection to Mother Earth is one of respect, love and care. Although I had a wonderful connected childhood and have always loved and cared for nature, as an 80/90’s child, we knew little about the consequences of our actions and in a time of huge commercial growth and artificial manufacturing, many of which Mother Nature and our bodies are now paying for. So respect, connection and mindfulness in all areas."
What's the thing that inspired you most when interviewing the conscious entrepreneurs in Wild Kindship?
"I decided to sell the café for a few reasons, one being with the intention of slowing down. I am a million-miles-an-hour kind of person and I wanted to prioritise my health and live more slowly which I found hard with a seven days a week small business, and still find challenging without! So I was hugely inspired by many of the business owners within Wild Kinship who were capping their growth. They have firm boundaries in place that benefit their lifestyle, their families and health whilst maintaining a successful, conscious business, which I found admirable on many levels."
Is there any other projects like this that you've got in the pipeline?
"Ah yes, I have a few projects in the works but I am trying to move really slowly with them and take this time out with our baby girl. Putting a kind, conscious and compassionate soul out into the world is the most important job I will ever have."
To see Monique's latest project, the book 'Wild Kinship' get it here or check out our stores.
Want to keep up with Monique's next few projects? Follow here on IG at @_wlder_.