Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got to be doing what you’re doing.
My name is Imby and I own and run a leather accessories business KARMME, pronounced ‘calm’, based in Coogee NSW. My husband and our three daughters moved from Perth to Sydney 11 years ago for a job opportunity for my husband that was supposed to be for 12 months. We fell in love with Sydney and didn’t go back West. When my youngest started school I found myself wondering what I was going to do and a series of events starting with making my sister in Perth a red leather clutch, led me to accidentally starting a leather accessories business. That was eight years ago and I’m still loving every day I get to call this my work. It sounds crazy when someone asks what I do and I answer with “I design handbags”.
What is a simple pleasure or daily ritual that brings you joy?
My daughters, reluctantly, do the dishes and fold the laundry each night, and each night they put on dance music and the house is filled with it and I love it.
Have there been any silver linings for you during the COVID-19 restrictions?
Yes, so many. I have been sewing incessantly during the lockdown. I’m not sure why but I think it began as a distraction from the very gloomy news as we began this Covid wave. I found myself constantly scrolling and refreshing news feeds and I just needed a distraction, so started to have a sewing project that required my undivided attention. I was choosing patterns that were difficult and challenging my skills and lack of spatial awareness and it became quite addictive to see what I could create each day. I didn't have drop-offs, pickups, school sport, outside meetings to schedule in so I found myself not being aware of the time of day and just losing myself in the sewing project. I have a full summer wardrobe to enjoy when we emerge from this lockdown.
Also, as many parents with teenagers will say it has been a real positive to spend time with my kids. Most weekends involved party pickups, sleepover negotiations and sporting commitments and they are now home and we get to pause and be together which I love, them - not so much, probably.
I've also swum in the ocean most days, again without a time schedule to rush around,I can make it daily and it’s been extremely calming and energising at the same time.
What do you do for yourself when you need to slow down or take a break?
I like to keep busy, I’m not great at doing nothing, but sewing has been a great way to switch off from work. I used to read a lot and that feels quite luxurious when I do pick up and book and lose myself in it. I just finished Honey Bee by Craig Silvey which I loved. Going to the cinema was also a way I escaped for a bit, I really miss that about lockdown.
What does your perfect Sunday look like?
No alarm, wake, bathers on, wander down to the beach, do a bit of coastal walk, swim a bit to get the heart going, wander back up the hill, coffee and breakfast at a local cafe, home to a clean house and kids who are not arguing, chill, dinner cooked in our wood-fired pizza oven while I sit on the couch, Netflix in bed.
What’s your favourite season and why?
Summer because the muggy air in Sydney reminds me of being in Bali. Light summery clothes, Birkenstocks and not trainers, barbecues and afternoon swims.
Name three things you can’t live without.
Space to create, coffee, family connection
What is the meal you love making the most right now?
Roasted cauliflower anything and homemade granola
What does home mean to you?
A space to just be, a space to enjoy the sounds and energy of the kids, a place of comfort
What does slow living mean to you?
Being mindful of what we have, what we are doing and why and being conscious of the decisions we are making and how that is impacting others. I am trying very hard to be slow and to be honest lockdown has helped this, as I can see in a blink my girls will be off on their own adventures away from us and I will miss what I have right now.
Granola - KARMME style
A wholesome mix of oats, nuts, seeds, fruits and honey baked to crunchy perfection — a delicious breakfast or snack.
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 45 mins
- 2 cups mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts and cashews work well, use your faves!)
- 1 packet rolled oats
- 1 cup pepitas
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 packet shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped up dried fruit (you can use cranberries, apricots, figs, dates)
- Blitz a selection of nuts in food processor or thermo, not too fine, leave some fairly chunky.
- Place in a large bowl and add a packet of rolled oats, pepitas, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Add cinnamon mix well.
- In another bowl or jug warm up about a cup of honey in the microwave, add in 1/4 cup coconut oil, splash vanilla and mix well.
- Pour over the dry ingredients and coat well.
- Place on large lined tray into 160 degree oven, turning frequently.
- After about 30 minutes add in a packet of shredded coconut. This cooks quickly so don’t add at the start. Mix well and put back in the oven.
- Turn until evenly toasted. Once cooked you can stir through chopped up dried fruit like apricots or figs or dates if you like.
- Let cool and keep in an airtight container.