Anna Maria Locke

Inspired Life Interview with Kate Hickey of Sunshower Coffee

December 2016, 2016Anna Locke

Hello friends!

I'm breaking my blog hiatus with the first sneak-peek installment in a new video series I'm going to be launching in 2017: The Inspired Life Interview Series!

The more I dive into my self discovery/creative/life coaching journey, I'm learning that I LOVE connecting with ambitious women who are hustling with heart to create an inspired life.

Let's face it: life is hard and scary, and it's important for us to know that we aren't alone by connecting with other people who are in a similar journey or facing similar struggles.

Connection is especially important when we're pursuing something that's really important to us, and MOST important when that thing is something that goes against the grain, because your friends and family might not immediately support or understand you.

My vision for this interview series is to sit down for a casual virtual coffee or wine date with other multi-passionate and creative women who are trailblazing their own path, chasing dreams, and making it happen on their own terms. And you're invited to the conversation!

Wherever you're at on your own journey I hope you'll leave these conversations feeling uplifted, encouraged, and inspired, or at least entertained :)


First up is a fun chat with my friend Kate Hickey of Sunshower Coffee in Holualoa, HI!

It's perfect timing for Kate to share her story because we just had our first snowfall here in Chicago and if you're from the Midwest (and a large city in particular), you've probably experienced one or many of those life crisis moments in the middle of winter. You know what I'm talking about.

When you haven't seen the sun in weeks because you go to work before dawn and come home long after 4:30 sunset, the sidewalks are encrusted with dirty salt and yellow snow, your morning gym routine has been replaced by shoveling out your parking spot (dibs!) and chiseling a new layer of ice and snow off your car everyday, you can't get warm because the drafty windows in your 19th century walk-up don't fit the frames, small talk with strangers/friends/co-workers is dominated by the topic of the weather and you start to wonder "WHY DO I EVEN LIVE HERE!!??"

Have you ever let your imagination wander to would happen if you actually listened to your heart and broke the seasonal depression cycle to relocate somewhere sunnier? Or quit your draining desk job with long hours to be your own boss and create a passion-driven career on your own terms?

That's literally what Kate and her husband Doug did three years ago, and she's here to tell the tale!

In 2013 Kate and Doug decided to leave their successful yet draining law and finance careers and move to Holualoa, HI without a master plan.

They fell in love with a farm in the heart of the Kona Coffee Belt and decided to start a coffee farm because that is what one does in the Kona Coffee Belt. I recently met with Kate over Skype to chat about how her life has changed, where things are with the farm these days, and what prompted her to make such a drastic life change.

This interview is for anyone who:

+ Is feeling a little stuck or in a life rut and wants to hear an inspiring in-progress success story of someone who was brave enough to take a chance and pivot from a stereotypically successful and "secure" career (law/finance) to a start-up entrepreneurial venture.

+ Loves coffee!

+ Is a conscious consumer passionate about social justice, supporting small business, the slow food movement, and buying local.

+ Anyone who wants to know what it's REALLY like to start a Kona coffee farm (hint: it's not all sunshine and rainbows! Just 80% of the year…)



3:17 Kate shares how she went from a Philosophy/Political Science/Public Administration triple major to law school to practicing lawyer to coffee farmer

8:52 Why choosing to stay where you are is just as risky as choosing to make a big change

10:00 Be careful of the "fallacy of sunk cost" -- just because you might have spent time and money earning a degree doesn't mean you have to directly use it. Focus on the skills you're gaining, because they'll be applicable to any path you choose.

15:00 The realities you need to face before starting an organic farm (or any small business)

18:30 The biggest lessons Kate has learned on her entrepreneurial journey

21:00 "The Tractor Metaphor": start small wherever you're at and grow as you go. Earn your business investments!

25:45 Why a "weighted" pro/con list is important when you're thinking about moving or making a life or career pivot

29:00 How to shift your perspective to be happier if you hate your job (without quitting and moving to an island!)

34:00 The process of starting a coffee farm and growing coffee trees.

39:00 What makes Kona coffee special and better, and the social justice impact of supporting the Hawaiian coffee industry (especially small family farms). Hint: the price is worth it!

43:00 Why supporting small family farms is the most socially and culturally conscious choice when buying coffee.

44:00 The difference between Fair Trade coffee and small local farms. Know your supply chain!

45:45 How you can order Sunshower Coffee and follow Kate online!


"If there's something in your life that's consistently bringing you down, cut it out!"

"Nothing's perfect. You need to be ready to face your failures because you will fail sometimes. Embrace that as a learning experience."

"When you buy coffee from a Kona or Hawaiian farm, you know you're supporting fair labor practices."

Use coupon code "annamarialocke" to get 15% OFF or "ship100" for free shipping for orders over $100! Good until Jan 1, 2017.


Enter to win a free tasting gift pack with all 5 flavors (pictured).

Giveaway closes Friday 12/9. The winner will be contacted via e-mail by Anna or Kate no later than Saturday 12/10.

If you or someone you know might be a good fit for future Inspired Life Interviews, click here to reach out and send me a message! I love connecting with like-minded female entrepreneurs, coaches, creatives, and big dreamers :)