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Mypolonga's Kelly Johnson nominated for SA Regional Woman of the Year award
The local business owner is in the running to be recognised at the SA Woman Awards.
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The saying “you only live once” rings truer to local business owner Kelly Johnson than most.
Having just been nominated for SA Regional Woman of the Year, she said her businesses may have never existed had she not suffered a personal tragedy seven years ago.
“I was in a car crash by the Hanging Tree, at the intersection between the main road and the road heading into Adelaide,” she said.
“A drugged driver didn’t see us and went through the intersection, crashing straight into us.
“My son and an exchange student were in the car.
“I don’t remember anything from the three months after … it took a long time to recover,” she said.
She said that event amongst other personal set-backs have been the motivation for everything she has done since.
“Since then, I have stopped worrying; you have to be in it to win it,” she said.
“It was liberating … it taught me to be grateful and to do the very best you can in life.
“Certainly after that I learnt to turn what I say I practice into what I actually do.”
Today, Ms Johnson is the owner of two successful businesses, both with community at their core.
Since June 2021, her produce-drying business Woodlane Orchard has sold products to more than 30 outlets in four states.
“I started Woodlane Orchard to move surplus product in the area,” she said.
“I’m a farmer’s daughter … I want farmers in the area to get the very last cent for their produce.”
Earlier this year in March, café and tasting room Lot 23 was born.
Ms Johnson doubled the venue as a store to help other local women grow their businesses by selling their products, from honey to vintage collectables, bath salts, candles, even art.
“When we got the church, it was too beautiful not to share,” Ms Johnson said.
“It’s not that we set out to support women’s businesses on purpose, but I think because I am a woman, other women will come to me and I tell them to just go for it.
“The space is constantly evolving … it’s a lovely, collaborative place.
For nominees to qualify for SA Regional Woman of the Year, they must be “a regional woman who has created a thriving business/career and is an advocate for her community”.
To say Ms Johnson fit the brief would be an understatement – however, when she was notified of her nomination, she was shocked.
“I thought to myself, ‘wow’, I really couldn’t believe it,” she said.
The award will be presented at the 2022 SA Woman Awards gala dinner, at the Adelaide Convention Centre on September 24.