So every once in awhile, I get the privilege of being able to have some alone time with a dear business friend I’ve know for a long time. Meeting Catherine Colebrook was just that – a true privilege.
As we sat sipping our diet cokes and eating our fish cakes (with a sneaky portion of fries to share), we recounted one of our favourite memories. It was when Catherine told me about her ‘wall of sales’ – literally a dusty wall in her ‘un developed’ basement, where she, with a pencil, would track her sales. We laughed because at this point, it was such a cold and mucky basement and as she was expanding so rapidly, she had no choice but to work in this environment. So what kept her going was marking carefully the next milestone of sales she reached on her wall – connecting these dots with a ruler and pencil. We remembered her calling me and us laughing, as her really ‘professional’ way of tracking sales had a problem – she’d reached the ceiling and so what was she meant to do!
Catherine has gone from the kitchen table, then the living room, then her cold basement, then into her ‘done up’ basement, then to practically the whole house and now works from her very own shop.
We laughed at how our children miraculously have turned out ‘okay’, even after all these years of what we thought was neglect! Far from it, she confirms that her children are so proud and thought nothing of when they couldn’t ever see the Christmas tree in their house, as it was always hidden behind a mountain of Royal Mail bags.
Now Catherine, after such hard work, is in a place where she can prioritise her children and their secondary school journey, run a shop where her brand is finally brought to life, continue her brilliant relationship with NOTHS and concentrate on innovation.
Congratulations Catherine on being the woman who gave us ‘Save Water and Drink Wine’ – an iconic print, before it’s time and a business leading the way in this small business revolution.
I hope you never painted over your ‘wall of growth’, as just like a child’s height chart, it’s a constant reminder of how little you once were and how grown up you’ve now become. Precious.