They are few and far between, but every once in awhile you stumble across people that make you ask, “How do they do it?” Well, looks like we stumbled on a whole family of ‘em. Let us know if this sounds appealing to you: Running your own business that gives back in a huge way, homeschooling your kids to focus on what’s important, and using a mobile store to take your income on the road for summer adventures. Yeah, agreed. That’s why we sat down with the Mundell family to discover their secret sauce to happy and healthy living.
If you’ve set foot in the Dixieland Mall, you’ve probably walked by A Kind Place. Step inside and it lives up to the name; Ida Mundell and her children run the counter at this shop filled with fair-trade, socially-conscious, and environmentally-friendly gifts. Every item inside has a story about where it’s from and who it’s helping. Plus, A Kind Place is the #1 store for picking up unique works from local artists you cant find anywhere else.
Meanwhile, in the same mall, Nate Mundell runs Lakeland Pallet Company, designing beautiful furniture, accent walls, and much more, all made out of those pallets people can’t seem to get enough of. And if you can believe it, two of their four children, 10-year-old Aurora and 7-year-old Elenor, also run businesses: Shop Aurorable & A Donut Shop.
So, how DO they do it?
Ida says that the children and the family always have to come first. When you start there, your priorities and strategies can really start to shift. Then, it’s all about synergy. Work-life balance is a myth for most of us, so why not take the plunge and turn your work-life into your life’s work? Everyone in the family is involved in every activity, from managing the shop to having lunch together every day.
Next, the Mundell’s are thinking about everyone else and how they can serve. You may know about VISTE, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly. When Nate and Ida learned VISTE was dealing with a food shortage, they used A Kind Place as a platform to spread awareness. Shortly after, Nate is driving three truckloads of food to VISTE headquarters. Giving doesn’t get much more effective than that, folks.
They’ve even raised thousands for Syrian Refugees by hosting a dinner filled with Middle Eastern delicacies inside a beautiful barn. Local artists painted live art during the meal, and Ida’s new friend from Syria spoke on her experience to help us truly understand how we can make the right impact in the right way. It’s part of their family philosophy that people are fundamentally good and want to participate in helping others; they just need to be shown how.
But now, it looks like the Mundell’s are going mobile. A Kind Place will be moving into a mobile unit, that will still be parked outside of Concord Coffee all weekday. On the weekends, they can travel to Indie Flea Market, neighboring towns, or the Downtown Farmers Market to reach more people. It’s no surprise that part of the plan is to vacation with the family up in North Carolina, spreading awareness through A Kind Place, designing art through Lakeland Pallet Co, and raising funds for missions trips through Shop Aurorable and A Donut Shop (formerly Do Good Doughnut Cart, of course).
Perhaps following this inspirational family gives you some new ideas about your own life. We all put our family first, but maybe you could start investing in your local community too? It pays dividends, and the Mundell’s are proof of that. We’re honored to have them as tenants, and can’t wait to see what other mini-Mundell-miracles pop up over the next few years.