Kip & Co Co-Founder Kate Heppell on Periods and Finding Stillness
Kate Heppell is one of the co-founders of Kip & Co. A vibrant and wildly successful interiors and lifestyle online destination. We’re fascinated by how people, like Kate, keep all the plates spinning, juggling business, family life and self-care. We sat down with Kate to talk about periods, business and being a mother-of-three: from dealing with failure, navigating PMS and how ritual ocean swims are her cure-all to feeling energised and restored.
I’m one of the Kip&Co co-founders and my role these days in the business is co-creative director and I’m the go to for all brand collabs and the point of contact for the retail and wholesale managers. I work from a little empty beach shack in Point Lonsdale for 2 days a week and then wrangle kids for the rest of the week and squeeze tiny pockets of work in when I can. I’m busy but I balance my life with surfing, the beach, mates, hot tubbing and hanging out with my kids and hubby.
Probably badly but I try. When it is your own business it is hard to separate work and family life but I try to not bore everyone at dinner each night with what Kip has on the cooker. My husband is pretty awesome and really covers his share of keeping the house tidy and the kids happy so that helps! The juggle is real though.
Geez, I don’t know. I fail at things all the time, and I guess success comes when you allow yourself to fail, learn and be a more resilient person on the other side. Failure is fine/great as long as you grow from it.
I know my period arrives in roughly the first week of each month (at the moment). It definitely sneaks up on me but I have a slow start so I’m rarely in a complete pickle over it. My cycle must be 28-30 days and so just always slightly moving. I don’t get much pain alongside it, so it doesn’t slow me down much. I’m really lucky.
The day I got my period for the first time my Mum taught me to wear tampons during the day, pads at night. The tampons would mop it mostly up and then I’d barely bleed at night. About 3 years ago I discovered period cups and now I use them 100% of the time for the first few days and then just during the day, and cloth pads at night. Exercise definitely speeds my period up.
I ocean swim every morning and this is a great start when I have my period, and when I don’t. Mentally it clears my mind and through winter this cold plunge really awakens me. It’s an amazing start to the day.
I have 3 sons and my period is definitely far heavier than ever before. And my moodiness/grumpiness/short fuse/mega bitch peaks the day before my period actually hits.
I’m going to give myself a “low to moderate” the day before my period when my understanding/compassion/fuse is low, but once my period begins I think I’m going to give myself a “moderate to high” performance rating. While I am certainly a bit more fatigued, I just get on with it. My ability to do that is certainly thanks to no pain throughout.
I usually recognise part way into the day that I am about to get my period (because I am being a pain in the arse wife), and I just try to keep a lid on any strong feelings I have … because they are probably not worth the oxygen. Some things are better not said. Particularly when it is the PMS talking.
In addition to being co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co, I’m a Bellarine coast local, wife to Mal and mum to three boys Zig, Fern and Viv. I’m a keen veggie patcher, enthusiastic cook and fermenter, try-hard surfer, vintage clothes collector, and Hayley’s younger sister. I’ve had a diverse work history including accountant, organic lifestyle store owner, and fashion brand business manager. I love a quiet and simple existence (well nothing is really quiet with three wild boys) but when we aren’t hanging with friends, surfing, skating, rock pooling or playing at the beach we are off on a travel adventure where we love learning about the ways other people live, and eating our way through wherever we are.