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Meet: Awakening Festival's Kate

September 13, 2022 - Alice Barnes
Meet: Awakening Festival's Kate

Well, well, wellness! It’s ALL about wellbeing, self-care and connection at this year's ZENNEST festival - Awakening Festival on the sunny Isle of Wight. The perfect place to catch a breath and escape your everyday routines and responsibilities, the festival was started by Kate Taylor with the aim of bringing people together to de-stress. From zen crafting, yoga and meditation to glitter parties: this certainly sounds like the perfect antidote to modern society’s stress… Let’s find out more as we chat to Kate!

Heading over for the weekend? Catch Tatty Co-Founder Rosie Wolfenden MBE chatting ‘Empowering Activism through Creativity’ on the Spark Conversations stage at 4 pm on Saturday afternoon!

Hey Kate, can you describe yourself in five words?

Human, Dream, Catcher, Discoball Lover (I know disco ball is two words, but y’know!)

What inspired you to start Awakening Festival?

I host retreats on the Isle of Wight, which is where I was lucky enough to grow up, and still have lots of lovely friends living there.

Chatting to one of my friends while I was over hosting a retreat, she was telling me how exhausted she was, and how much she needed what I was offering… but she couldn’t make it work around her busy life. She said that if I was ever going to offer a one-day retreat she would be there with bells on! So, my creative juices went into over-drive with ideas of bringing incredible well-being practitioners together to host a whole well-being event. 

I thought: ‘Yes!’ One day (and a bit) out of life for people with busy lives, who then get the chance to don the oxygen mask of self-care, and take home some of what they experience at the festival each and every day

What can people expect to see at the festival?

There are over 40 different workshops and inspiring talks on the Saturday with some of the UK’s leading change-makers and disruptors. We really want to get people thinking and ignite their inspiration for doing things differently in a way that will have a positive impact on their world and the whole world. Al this is alongside yoga, movement, breath work, sound healing, holistic therapies, self-care sessions and a whole lot of love and creativity going on throughout the day. 

Into Saturday evening we are full on JOY with Glitter Party where we will be getting our down dog on with a yoga rave and live DJ set, a fierce femme peri-peri menopause comedy performance, a mass wellness Karaoke experience and then a Soulful Silent Disco epic feel-good dance battle.

And then on Sunday, we are slowing things right down with the Super Soulful Sunday, a chance to basically lie down for most of the day to integrate all the good stuff from the weekend. There’s even a napping tent in the Nature Calls space!

How did you become immersed in the world of wellness?

It was a case of having to after having one too many burnouts. I had come out of a very high-pressured job in the advertising agency world in London, which was a lot of work hard/play hard. I had reached a point in my life where I wanted to explore a career which felt more purpose-driven and soul-led, so I became a coach, which I LOVE, but the work-too-hard ethos kept me on a constant treadmill of work, eat, sleep, repeat. I found I was repeating patterns that had led to my parent’s ill health, so I needed to change that up. I wasn’t able to show up for my life, my clients and my business  by being permanently exhausted and in adrenal fatigue, I needed to find ways to support myself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

I was getting curious about the mind-body connection. The world of wellness, spirituality and my love of trying out new things set me on the path that I’m on now, which has opened so many doors and different avenues in my life and my work, it’s just part of who I am now.

Our Co-Founder, Rosie is festival ready in our Frida Kahlo Flower Necklace/Headpiece

Rosie will be joining you to talk about empowering activism through creativity - what does this mean to you?

Oh, I am SO excited to be talking with Rosie on the Spark Conversations on Saturday afternoon - when I put together the festival lineup of dreams, Rosie was the first up on my wish list. 

For me, activism can be all forms of self-expression… from the way you speak, the way you write, the way you dress, and how you express yourself. It’s your identity, and ultimately what your beliefs are for the kind of world you want to live in.

I have always been such a huge Tatty Devine fan for this very reason. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by the idea of activism, but the thing that Rosie and Harriet have always offered is an accessible way to express who we are with a beautiful piece of statement jewellery. For me, this is activism in action, because Tatty Devine jewellery is there to be seen, and so it invites conversation and a more inclusive way to look at the world.

If the Awakening Festival and Tatty Devine were in a Venn diagram, where do they overlap?

I love this question. Well, I would say that if the Awakening was wellbeing on one side, and Tatty Devine is creativity on the other, the overlap is a rebel spirit with a big heart.

Our desire with The Awakening is to create an offering where you can come into a welcoming and non-judgmental space and things beyond what you might expect from a well-being event. 

You don’t have to look a certain way, you don’t have to bend yourself into a pretzel in the yoga sessions, you can be a beginner or someone who comes along to this kind of thing on the regular. It is for everyone. 

Love that! What's your favourite Tatty Devine story/memory?

Well, I have to confess to having a drawer which is pretty much made up of Tatty Devine boxes, so people are never short of ideas of what to buy me for birthdays and Christmas! So, each one has a special story of memory, but I think my favourite Tatty Devine moment was being on a jam-packed tube and becoming aware of someone just beaming the biggest smile at me. I looked up and a lovely guy was admiring my Tatty Devine banana necklace (which always does get a lot of love). He told me how much seeing it had made him smile after a tough day, and he thanked me for that. How lovely is that? It always warms my heart when I think about it.

Do you have any tips for the ultimate self-care day?

I always invite people to go with their intuition. You may find yourself going to a talk or doing something you never thought you would do, and it ends up changing your life in the most incredible way.

I always say to people to take some space, and not try and stuff something into every single moment. The reason we have the festival on the Isle of Wight is that the Island is a very special place, and the land is pretty incredible. So taking some time to sit, connect with the ground and take a deep deep breath of the Island air can be just as powerful as doing a full yoga session!

Feel the love with our Festival Fashion edit!

Wow! Thank you so much, Kate, we can’t wait to take some time and fully zen out. Join Kate and Rosie at Awakening Festival at Northwood House on the Isle of Wight between 24th & 25th of September: book your ticket now.

Alice Barnes