Finding Your Calling

with Kacie Carter of Honey Hi

"I'm not really afraid of failing" Kacie explained as she poured a cup of rose tea. After spending years in the fashion industry, Kacie Carter experienced a health crisis that would not only change her well-being, but her life forever. NSF Creative Director, Jamie Haller, sat down with Kacie of Honey Hi to talk us through her journey from fashion stylist to restaurant owner.

What inspired Honey Hi?

Honey Hi was inspired by my journey through chronic illness. I spent a majority of my 20’s really sick and struggling with autoimmune disease. Through a lot of trial and tribulation I eventually changed the way I ate and once I changed that my life kind of clicked into place. When I changed the way I ate, I had to cook for myself and that’s when I felt like I could express my art. My business partner also had her share of going through hardships and health issues and that’s when we decided to come together and start this business. 

What was it like to leave a job in fashion and start your career as a holistic nutritionist and restaurant owner? What did that transition look like?

Well for a few years I continued to work in fashion while going through all these challenges. I started cooking for myself all the time and I would bring all of these tupperware with me to work on set and I was that girl. I was also talking about it and people would start to ask me for advice and what I had learned. I started to discover how passionate it I was about it. I was reading 500 page books on nutrition just for fun and was like what am I doing? I really cultivated it as my hobby for a long time before I got the strength and confidence to leave my career. I went back to school to be a nutritionist and it was while in school that my business partner and I hatched this plan. It all started as a joke but we decided to throw ourselves into it to see what would happen. I’m not really afraid of failing.    

"I learned to not be afraid of hard things because they often give you a gift."

What do you think has been your biggest hardship and how did you overcome it?

Honey Hi came from a hardship. This experience of being sick turned out to give me the greatest gift of finding my calling. I learned to not be afraid of hard things because they often give you a gift.

How do you create work life balance?

I didn’t for a long time. We did everything when we first started Honey Hi and just gave it all to figuring this out. I think sometimes you have to do that like when you’re a new mom, but you get to a point where you have to understand that you can pass off certain responsibilities. A couple years into our restaurant my health began to regress from all the stress. I learned I can’t show up in my life if I’m not taking care of myself.  

Kacie wearing NSF Alana Jumpsuit

What is your favorite dish to bring to a dinner party?

Something eccentric, spicy, in season and is full of vegetables. 
What’s your next goal you’re looking to achieve?

Personally, because I learned to put my personal goals ahead of my professional goals, I’m looking to achieve more ease in my life and less rigidity. I’m so goal and action oriented that I want to be able to let things flow. For Honey Hi, we’re always looking to improve our environmental impact. We’re also looking into new locations.

What is your favorite piece from NSF?

The NSF Alana Jumpsuit is cozy, baggy and really soft. Jumpsuits are great because you don’t have to think of an outfit. I finally get to redefine my style now that I’m out from behind the kitchen, but an apron with a jumpsuit works really well.