EVENT RECAP: Coffee and Jam #210

Welcome to Coffee and Jam #210! Today Ruby Arrowfield and Di Foster will be sharing their journeys. 


First Speaker: Ruby Arrowfield - My Entrepreneurial Journey

 Remember that children's song we used to sing back in primary school? “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage…” From a very young age, society teaches us to live by a generic life template, with a career driving our life’s focus. What Ruby wants to know is what happens when we start to question and disrupt that universal life structure?

 Since the beginning of 2017, 19-year-old Ruby Arrowfield has been involving herself in the entrepreneurial community, in any way she can. Starting out as the Awesome Intern at Ministry of Awesome, she is now working with two different social enterprises; Limitless and Krama & Co. while taking the first steps towards pursuing her own venture. 

 As a recent High School Graduate, many people are perplexed by Ruby’s path of choice, considering that entrepreneurship is not a well trodden path by people her age. Ruby is not attending university, nor does she consider herself as taking a gap year, but rather prefers to define her situation as working in the entrepreneurial community.

 She never planned to end up in this situation, in fact, Ruby didn’t even know what entrepreneurship was until late 2016. After experiencing Venture Up, a 6-week youth accelerator programme over the summer, Ruby returned to Christchurch with the intention of going to University of Canterbury to study Sciences. However, between the first and second weeks of the semester, Ruby attended WWGSD, a Women’s unconference, where all the puzzle pieces ‘clicked into place’ and her course-of-action changed completely.

 Special Goodbye: Today is Ruby’s last day interning with Ministry of Awesome. Ruby, you are a bringer of joy and energy and you have contributed so much to our team. Thank you for your support and involvement over the last three months. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

Second Speaker: Di Foster - Foster Wellbeing

In Japanese tradition, an origami crane symbolises the bird of happiness. If you fold 1000 origami cranes, it is said that your wish will come true. If you gift 1000 cranes to another person, the ability to make a wish will be passed onto them. When Di first found out she had breast cancer, she had a life expectancy of 12 months. For the first time in her life, she didn’t have any words to say. In this quiet, it became clear to Di what she needed to do to carry on.

Be happy - This was no challenge: She had met the love of her life and they had just bought a home together. Di knew all she needed to do was nurture that relationship. Go natural - For Di, this meant go drug-free, for as long as she possibly could. Be grateful - Di was 38 years old with a collapsed lung, only able to walk up 5 steps at a time. This didn’t stop her from being grateful for everything, to every one, at any time. 

 Di was gifted 1000 hand folded, origami cranes from her friends. When she had settled on her wish, she hung her 1000 cranes outside. It is said that as the weather slowly causes the cranes to fade and disintegrate, your wish is coming true. Di didn’t fight cancer with positivity, but what she did do was embrace and accept her cancer. Di knew the outcome would always be death, the question was ‘when?’. 

 Di lived out her 365 happy days. She got a CT scan after the year was up, with results coming back completely cancer-free. She now has a 5-year-old boy who has just started school and in the last 7 years, she has only taken 2 panadol. Di learnt how to live. 


 The Christchurch Circus Trust runs fun and practical circus classes for all different ages. Whether you’re an adult with flare, a daring teen or a gymnastic child, there’s something for you! To find out more, find the Christchurch Circus Trust on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CircusCentre/ or email Lisa on clownz@xtra.co.nz

Mato Hill is a media wiz, with a background in graphic and motion design, directing and cinematography. His dream is to become a film director and create a prestigious, high performing film studio in Christchurch. Mato is currently looking to build a team of all different media expertise to make this happen. Contact Mato on 022 193 9142 or email him on mato.hill@gmail.com

Special Announcement: Ministry of Awesome are excited to announce Design Jam, a Startup Weekend inspired challenge powered by Regenerate Christhchurch. Design Jam gives participants 48 hours to come up with design solutions for the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor former red zone. Whether your background is architecture, sustainability or you just really love to create beautiful, practical designs, this is your Jam! Find out more about this awesome, free event here!

Coffee & Jam is Christchurch's longest running weekly meet up for entrepreneurially-minded people. It’s a great place to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things, meet people, learn and share in a creative space, hear about other events in Christchurch and indulge in a little bit of free coffee, jam and bread.

If you have an idea you'd like to pitch get in touch with Gina at gina@ministryofawesome.com.