Katya Baxter: Mina and Katusha

Editor’s note: Katya Baxter is the founding director of two fashion businesses, Mina and Katusha and Gusto and Elan, as well as Made in Melbourne, part of Melbourne’s Big Fashion Week. It’s fair to say this serial entrepreneur leads a fairly busy life! But while Katya acknowledges that it isn’t always rosy, she can’t help but look on the positive side of living her dream. Tiring though it is, she is compelled to power ahead, and her drive and positive attitude is what has seen her through the busiest six years of her life. Katya takes us through the pros and cons, and her decision to remain the eternal optimist.

It’s nice to stop and smell the roses and realize that I am living my dream …Yep, sounds awesome, doesn’t it? The truth is that my dream as a “reality” comes with its own set of challenges. So many challenges, in fact, that it’s easy to forget what the dream was in the first place, and to get stuck in the current “nightmare”. It’s possible to look at every situation in two ways – “glass half full” or “glass half empty”.

Take my life, for example: I graduated from Swinburne University with a double degree in Information Systems and International Business/Management. I loved the course, and there I met my life partner – now my fiancé and business partner. I literally fell into having my first own business straight out of uni at age 24. In the fashion industry! I have always been a visual person and passionate about design, so it was perfect.

For the next 6 years I pursued new business ideas in the fashion industry and at the same time have developed a parallel career in marketing and events in the technology industry (long story that I hope I get to tell you later).

I have travelled to enviable destinations, at enviable frequency.

I have been blessed with amazing family support, a bunch of great people that come into my life and help me on my way. I am currently the director of Gusto & Elan, Mina & Katusha and Made in Melbourne.

I live in a bright and sunny inner-city apartment in Melbourne and drive a convertible. Reading over this, I’m thinking “geez, I want to be me.”

But I am not saying this to boast.

There is a point to my story, because if I take the ”glass half empty” approach, it reads something like this.

I am exhausted by the last 6 years of my life. I work 7 days a week in multiple jobs. I choose to invest back into the business, so I am living on a shoe-string while my friends are enjoying their money and weekends.

I barely get to travel, which is all I ever wanted out of my career.

I’ve just turned 30, so the topic of children arises more often than not, which TOTALLY freaks me out.

See. Same life, two totally different ways to look at it.

I’m only human but I choose to dwell in the “half full” view on things.

When I ask myself why, the answer is because I actually don’t have a choice.

There is something deep within me, almost an obsession, and a strong desire to not give up and it is driving me endlessly to pursue my dreams.

I hope it’s something that leaves its mark on this world.

As they say, success is a journey, not a destination; and I want to share my journey with you and hopefully inspire you to pursue your dreams. Or, if you are already pursuing them, to keep going!

To make sure Katya claims a regular spot on WOMAN.com.au, share her posts on Facebook and Twitter, leave comments and vote.

Voting starts today and ends 8pm AEST, Tuesday, 14th May.

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