Living the Wellmade Life
Storyteller + Podcaster
Kestrel Jenkins is the founder of AWEAR World, a platform that inspires us to think about where our clothes are made, what they are made of and who made them. Her podcast Conscious Chatter dives deeper, exploring stories along the global garment supply chain. Kestrel is a storyteller who has been working to bring the conscious style conversation to a larger audience for the last 10+ years.
- What’s one thing that has surprised you on your path so far?
- That I've navigated my way back to audio. During college, I studied international journalism, which involved an internship in the U.S. as well as an opportunity working in the media abroad. In Minneapolis, I was fortunate to work at KFAI, a community volunteer radio station, where I covered events and read the Monday night news report. While I've worked as an editor for online publications and continued to build my own blog and website, I never truly realized the power of that radio internship experience and of audio in general.
- Many of us have done interesting and weird things before we got to where we are now. What were some of your past lives? How did they lead you to the present?
- When I was a kid, I was obsessed with apes - especially chimpanzees. Jane Goodall was my mentor and I wanted to be an animal biologist and literally just wanted to be her. I got the chance to see her speak when I was in 5th grade and I was so in awe of her work and presence. Turns out, I am now working in the fashion industry, but it's all connected to a respect for people and the planet which truly is reflective of who and what Jane Goodall represents.
"I consistently bring a question of "what can we do as everyday people?" to my conversations. It may sound simple, but knowledge is power and we can all be more empowered by having more opportunities to do good and influence positive change through our lifestyles and what we buy."
- When did you actually start doing what you are doing now as your job? How did you get started?
- I started podcasting a few months back in March 2016, entirely on a whim. A good friend of mine said: "Kes - what if you started a podcast to be able to dive further into the topics you share on AWEAR World?" I instantly told myself there was no way I could pull that off. But, I couldn't stop thinking about the idea. I researched, read blogs about podcasting and listened to podcasts about podcasting. And then, I just dove in to see what would happen.
- What/ who are some of the biggest inspirations on your aesthetic ?
- Manrepeller x Mara Hoffman x Eileen Fisher. I consistently want to reduce my closet to more versatile and classy pieces, yet I desire the vibrancy of Mara Hoffman and the creative mayhem of Manrepeller. A friend once described me as "a hybrid Ferrari".
- What’s one piece of advice to someone who has no clue what they want to do?
- Sometimes you don't know right away, but it boils down to being true to who you are, and being aware of the moments in life that have left you with a fire in your belly and an energy that you can't describe. When you feel that, whenever you come across that, don't ignore it. Embrace it until you can find a way to monetize it. Talk to anyone and everyone, read and learn as much as you can, and make yourself visible. It's not self-indulged; it's important so people can learn about you and realize that you exist.
- What’s the best part of your job? What's the worst?
- I have the opportunity to connect with some of the world's most innovative changemakers, who are working to transform the fashion industry and others for good. Basically, I have the chance to consistently speak with some of the most interesting and intelligent humans, and learn from them. On the downside, I end up spending several hours on a computer screen waiting for my next chance to get out into the woods for a hike or to the beach for a swim.
- What are the goals you are still working toward?
- Becoming more self-sustaining when it comes to generating income streams. I work a few side jobs still to pull off what I'm doing. I am continuing to grow the Conscious Chatter podcast into a hub of amazing information and a diverse community of listeners, so I can partner with a truly aligned sponsor.
- What is something an employer of yours did/does that really made an impact on you ?
- I worked with People Tree in London about 10 or so years ago. My boss at the time - Antony Waller - was the PR Manager. I was fresh out of university and had the opportunity to literally become his sidekick. He took me along to big meetings, introduced me to everyone as if I was anyone else and never once talked down to me as if I didn't have value to offer. Sometimes, small things can have big impact. In this case, Antony listened to my ideas and gave me a voice.
- What daily rituals help get your creative juices flowing?
- To be honest, I am working on this. I too often will wake up, open my laptop and just go to town, only stopping momentarily to make myself a coffee. However, I know that when I take an hour in the morning to go to yoga, sweat it out and breathe, I am suddenly even more efficient, more in tune with my work, more productive and have better energy with everyone I interact with. Also, getting out of the city for a hike in the mountains consistently reignites parts of my brain I have been ignoring.
- Subscribe to the podcast here!