Sometimes there are women who cross your path and they fascinate you. Their energy, their aura, their intelligence, how "put together" they are, the way they dress...OK, I'd better stop before I sound too Single White Female!
In short, Kris Lloyd is that woman for me.
Artisan Cheesemaker and Manager at Woodside Cheese Wrights, Kris almost stumbled upon the most recent of her careers and, has since, created her own label, Kris Lloyd Artisan.
A Corporate Developer who also worked in the family's winery business Coriole, Kris seized the opportunity to purchase Woodside in 1999, a decision that paved the way for the South Australian cheese industry to really shine on the world stage.
The self-taught cheesemaker now has a blend of accolades under her fashionable belt including The Australian Financial Review and Westpac prestigious 2015 Women of Influence Awards, the 2010 Telstra Business Woman Award for Innovation and a host of medals for her delectable cheese including a gold and two silver medals at the World Cheese Awards last year.
Biz Gals: What is your greatest achievement?
Kris: Falling into something I didn’t know I would love quite accidentally and then taking it to the next level in as many ways as I possible could and possibly still can.
Biz Gals: What is the greatest lesson you have learnt?
Kris: In the beginning of my career it was listening to the sceptics and doubting myself. This should never have happened. I have since learnt to largely ignore the sceptics.
If you have an idea and you believe in it and its potential, my advice is to simply go for it. If you are confident about what you are doing you can convince anyone about anything! But you have to be confident.
Biz Gals: What is the best bit of advice you have been given?
Kris: Never say it can't be done. Of course it can! No matter how crazy an idea! Watch me do it and have a vision that is not fixed. We are in ever-changing times. Think and think progressively. Always be willing to change.
Biz Gals: What inspires you?
Kris: Challenge inspires me. Creativity. Things I have not done before. I have an appetite for risk. I like to put myself in a position where I need to prove myself to myself. It doesn't always work, but when it does it is so satisfying. I am happy for mistakes to occur. That is how I learn they are important, learn to accept all feedback.
Biz Gals: What is your biggest hope for women in the future?
Kris: I hope that women are treated how they want to be treated as individuals. We all have different objectives and far be it from me to generalise about the human being male or female.
I am not a feminist and have never had any bad experiences in my career with males, but I have demanded respect and I have got what I came for. I expect to be treated with respect for who I am as a person and portray this in my conversation, my body language and how I conduct myself - always with confidence and a generosity of spirit. We can all be kind to each other and we should all be kind to each other.