Starting in February 2021, the Venice Chamber of Commerce began highlighting volunteers in the monthly Member Spotlight Email Feature. Kate Willson was highlighted in the first volunteer spotlight. Are you a member that would like to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
My name is Kate Willson and I have a freelance consulting business in the health and wellness space called Kate Willson Wellness through which I teach fitness, yoga, and meditation and consult with wellness companies on their marketing and operations. My background is in Operations, Business Development, Marketing, and Team Building, mostly for small to mid-size businesses and start-ups across multiple industries including wellness, retail and design, and entertainment.
What is your involvement with the Venice Chamber of Commerce? I have been involved with the Venice Chamber for almost a decade and serve on the Board of Directors, as co-chair of the MEM (Marketing, Membership, and Events) Committee, and on the Executive Committee. I am also the host of a virtual series for the Chamber that began in 2020 in which we conduct virtual live interviews with Chamber members via the VCC Instagram that spotlight their work in the community.
How are you adapting? It’s been quite a period of adjustment this past year, as it has been for most of us! Prior to the pandemic, I was running a startup retail brand and storefront in the design industry, in addition to teaching weekly public classes at gyms and studios around the westside. Currently, neither of those things are happening, although I am hopeful that can change soon. For now, I am teaching virtually for a couple of online fitness platforms and am working on a few ideas and exploring opportunities in management and marketing as new and existing businesses continue to shift and adapt their products and services.
What are you doing to help support the community? I hope I do that to some extent with everything I do. Specifically, one of the reasons I most enjoy my committee work with the Chamber is that it helps bring stories about the wonderful people in the Venice business community to light. That was the primary motivation for starting the live interview series early on in the pandemic. It is also the primary reason I love to continue to teach fitness and wellness classes (whether virtually or in-person) even when I am super busy with one of my other Marketing, Management, or Operations hats on. There is nothing like staying connected to people directly in their pursuit of a more well-balanced, active, engaged, vibrant life.
Words of wisdom/advice: I am a person who thrives on problem-solving and to-do lists, so the pandemic has been a great test for that! But truly, what choice do we have? I do think it is important to stay positive and grateful – things will eventually get better and things could always be worse. By staying engaged with the community, you see opportunities to help those around you where you can, which helps reveal the silver linings in any situation. The last year was rough. At the same time, there have been gifts along the way, whether it be finding new ways to connect, new business opportunities or different ways to work, enjoying more time with family, discovering the value or some self-care, or exploring creative outlets or new hobbies. Hopefully, these gifts can serve us all as we move forward.
Good news to share: I am excited that there seem to be signs of positive light at the end of the tunnel. Little Lessons of Light, a new online platform I have started working with (a VCC connection, in fact!) will be incorporating outdoor, socially distanced classes soon (more info at littlelessonsoflight.com). Also, my series of virtual live interviews with VCC members will be returning in the latter half of February, and I am hoping to re-launch my website in March.
What would you like to share with others who are interested in getting involved with the Venice Chamber? Do it! Get involved. I know we are all so busy and are getting pulled in a million directions these days but it is so beneficial and rewarding to stay connected within the local community and I can’t say enough about how, through my committee work with the Chamber, I have formed valuable personal and professional contacts.