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Kitty Lin - from lawyer to restaurateur

In April this year former commercial property associate Kitty Lin decided to pursue her passion for sustainability and nutrition to start a healthy, planet friendly eatery, Green Time. Kitty originally joined Simpson Grierson as a law clerk in 2009.

“I realised I could combine my passion for environmental matters and my love of food into one project I could get behind. I want to make a difference - making the world a better place in my own little way,” she says.

Kitty's new venture means a busy day. Every morning she discusses what the chefs are to prepare and sets up the front of house before the Fort St eatery opens at 12pm. A lot of the work in operating a restaurant involves extensive planning, marketing, running errands, meeting various interested parties and co-ordinating and facilitating her team, she says. Once the restaurant closes at 8pm, it's time to clean up and shut up shop, which takes around two hours. Seldom does she get to bed before 1am.

“I thought I was working pretty hard at [Simpson Grierson] and often spent long hours at work, but working in and on Green Time is a whole new level of hard work”.

Starting a business has its challenges. Kitty's been focusing on financial planning, timely execution of plans and maintaining consistency across what her team offers. But once she's built her dream team, Kitty's mandate is to innovate, improve and push boundaries.

But a lot of her work ethic and training could be attributed to her time at Simpson Grierson, she says.

"Besides gaining legal expertise, I got to work with the best team and learned to appreciate and respect different working styles. Within the property team I also learned about leadership and positive teamwork from those who led by example - having senior colleagues who are generous with their time, feedback and advice and partners who always looked after and engaged the team. I learned the significance of good leadership and mentoring junior staff in keeping up team morale.

"I also learned to train and manage juniors, and to delegate and supervise tasks. All of these skills have proven helpful in my new venture."

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