Healthy Habits with Kelie McWilliams


This is part of a series of interviews I'm doing with creative entrepreneurs who I find inspiring. I was curious to know how they incorporate healthy habits into their work + life blend. I figured you were probably curious too, so I'm taking one for the team and having great conversations with amazing bosses so I can share them here with you. (Hard work, right?!)

My intention with these interviews is to showcase bosses NOT in the health and wellness industry and shine a light on their habits and routines that help them stay healthy as busy bosses. So, tell us a little about yourself and what industry you're in?

My name is Kelie and I am a pattern-maker/dressmaker. My cousin Emilee and I recently started a small sewing company called Sterling Sparrows. We are working on releasing several of our own sewing patterns. Emilee focuses on bags, and I focus primarily on clothing. I also provide limited consulting services for other designers, with plans to expand this option in the future.


Not only do you have your own business that you're growing with your cousin, but you also do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for your husband's business too. Please share your secret time management tips that keep your life running smoothly with me!

Systems save my life. Seriously. I have been dealing with a yet-to-be-diagnosed autoimmune disorder for about two years now, so I really had to figure out the most effective way of doing things. My husband’s business is also currently based out of our home, so we have a command center set up for him to use to stay organized, which has helped immensely.

"Systems save my life. Seriously." [TWEET THIS!]

I also keep a detailed calendar of all of our upcoming deadlines, meetings and what not, so that I always know what is coming next, and I’ve opted to track some of our metrics (like mileage) in apps that reduce my overall workload. I use the alarm on my phone to remind me of daily and weekly stuff, like taking the trash out to the street—things I need to do but that would likely be missed if we had to rely on my memory alone.

Outside of that, it’s important to learn your limitations as a person. If you need to rest, you’ll be more effective if you allow that for yourself, make the most of it, and then get back to work. In the past, when I’ve tried to push through to finish a project or get those last few emails out, I’ve paid for it dearly; I definitely don’t recommend it.

As you know, my tag line is health fuels hustle. Tell us how you prioritize your health so that you can be a total boss every day?

As I mentioned, I’ve been sick for a while, so for me, prioritizing health means learning my “new” limitations and not beating myself up over how different my life is now than how I thought it would be. It involves good food, lots of sleep, a four-times-a-day supplement program and letters from my Grandma full of corny jokes, because—as we all know—laughter is the best medicine.

Are you the type of person who thrives on habits and routines? If so, what are your top habits that make you feel like a total boss?

Absolutely. Every day, I get up, make breakfast, take my first round of vitamins, feed the animals, have some alone time and then start on the chores for the day. After that, I work on design stuff, do research and reading, and run our errands.

Getting the mundane out of the way first helps me to build momentum and not waste time feeling like there are all these other things I should be doing instead of whatever it is I’m working on. I also try to end every day by writing down a few things I am grateful for.

I fully believe that indulging in less-than healthy-behaviors once in a while can be part of a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. What is your number one less-than-healthy indulgence?

Easy: loaded mashed potatoes. Really, I am a sucker for potatoes of any kind (I’m from Idaho, so it’s in my DNA).

Are there any Kelie McWilliams health tips that you want to spread the word about?

This sounds so basic, but I’m going to say it anyway: get enough water. I have noticed in recent years that so many people don’t drink enough water. What’s worse is, they make excuses about not liking water or thinking there’s enough water in the other things they’re drinking. Neither of these ideas serve health.

Water is vital—it facilitates every function in our bodies. To get enough water, I do two things: carry a favorite water bottle and freeze fruit in ice cube trays to add to my water when I’m just not feeling it. My favorite is lemon and raspberry. 

"Laughter is the best medicine." [TWEET THIS!]

To learn more about Sterling Sparrows, Kelie's sewing company, click here!

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