Today we introduce you to twenty-five-year-old Sydneysider, Kristy Sayer-Jones. A business owner, writer, photographer, graphic designer, recipe developer, social media manager and blogger, Kristy shares with us some of her experiences and expertise.
Kristy, thank you for featuring on Omika’s blog. When you’re in high school, copywriter isn’t a career choice that usually pops up. How did you become a copywriter and what do you love most about running your own business?
I have always loved to write. As a child, you could often find me in my room or on the lounge, madly scribbling down a story on one of my many notebooks and then sharing it with anyone who would read it – but I didn’t ever think I’d be a writer. I left high school and started my photography business (even though my Mum had always told me I should be a writer – Mum knows best!) which lead me to writing and social media management through a series of surprise opportunities.
I had a photography blog at the time which was discovered by a big US brand who was just about to launch in Australia. They saw how I was marketing my own blog through social media and gave me the opportunity to work as their social media manager. From that, I continued to get more and more work as a social media manager through word of mouth referrals – whilst photography clients and blog readers began to pick up on my flair for writing and began hiring me for freelance writing work. Before I knew it, I was sending more invoices out for copywriting and social media management through my “photography business” than photography – and thus I launched my current business, KISS Freelance, incorporating all of those things.
As a copywriter I do many things. Friends often say I’m a wearer of many hats, because my work is constantly changing. In the morning I might be writing a magazine article, followed by some website content for a fashion client – and in the afternoon you might find me amongst thousands of pages of drawings and photographs, creating advertising script for a TV commercial. If someone needs words, it’s my job to find them.
It’s Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia (13-20 March). When you were nineteen you were diagnosed with coeliac disease. What do you find is your biggest challenge with coeliac disease?
I think my biggest challenge with coeliac disease is the social aspect. So much of what we do in life revolves around food. When you have coeliac disease or any kind of food allergy, you quickly realise just how much we take eating for granted. As a coeliac I can’t simply go to a restaurant and order a meal – or grab a plate of food at a friend’s birthday party.
You develop recipes which look amazing – can you tell us which is your favourite and why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. I’m a chocoholic so I think I’d have to pick a chocolate recipe. Lately we’re all sorts of obsessed with The Best One Bowl Paleo Brownies Recipe.
What is your go-to dinner when you’re short on time?
Stir fries. They’re quick, easy, nutritious and packed full of vegetables. Whilst I create all of my recipes to be really quick and easy (because I’m way too busy to spend hours making dinner!), stir fries are one of our favourite super quick options.
Cooking for coeliacs can be a bit daunting for friends and family. What is your top tip for others if they’ve invited you for dinner?
I always tell people to talk to the coeliac person and find out what they’re comfortable with. Everyone is different and whilst gluten effects every coeliac, we all have different symptoms. For me, my symptoms are pretty extreme so I feel more comfortable bringing a “safe” dish that I know I can eat. Even the slightest trace of gluten from cross contamination (whether that’s by using the same knife/chopping board as gluten items or the same pan/utensils etc) will have me sick for weeks and lead to iron infusions and vitamin deficiencies so it’s not worth the risk for me – but I have a few coeliac friends who are asymptomatic or have “milder” external symptoms and are happier to push the boundaries.
On your blog, you have an ongoing feature “The Ultimate Bookshelf”. One of your must read books is The Help by Katherine Sockett. Can you share with us why this made it to your must-read list?
From the moment you open the first page of The Help, you’re immersed in a completely different world. It’s beautifully written and filled with emotion and it makes you feel like you’re sitting down to have a conversation with Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter. They become real living, breathing people instead of characters and you feel every emotion they do as the story goes on. It is totally worth all of the hype it received – and even if you’ve seen the movie, you need to read the book.
You’re young, married, run your own business and blog, and you travel – you’ve done a lot in 25 years – what advice can you share with young women who are discovering who they are and what they want to do in life?
That’s a big one – but here are my top three:
Do what is right for you.
I think it’s important to listen to your heart. I’ve done many things society and people around me didn’t agree with (getting married at 21, being in a long distance relationship, starting my own business, sharing my life on the internet with millions of people) but I’ve taken those risks because I believed in them – and I knew they were right for me. At the end of the day, you know what’s best for you (along with some guidance from trusted people in your life) and you know what is going to bring you fulfilment.
Falling in love with someone 10,000 miles across the ocean was a risk – as was starting my own business with no prior experience and no initial work – but they’re risks that paid off. Sometimes it’s scary to take a risk, but oftentimes the only way forward is to leap over that gap.
I think we tend to grow up always trying to be someone else. We follow trends, do what our friends do or what’s popular and try to find ourselves in other people – but it’s not until you realise that it’s okay to be different that you really find who you are. Forget the trends and stop trying to fit into a box or conform to a label. Just be you!
Omika dresses women with confidence to live courageous, purpose driven lives. Our blog, The Glow, focuses on celebrating women and inspiring all, to live with purpose. Find out more about Omika here.
To be featured on Omika’s blog, email Melody at shop(at)omika.com.au or use our contact form here.