Looking to set up your own successful creative business? If so, Coming Up Roses by Cath Kidston is a must-read…
“I don’t think any of my family or friends would have predicted that I’d run my own business or be considered a successful entrepeneur,” says Cath in the opening chapter of Coming Up Roses, the book released to mark the 20th anniversary of the Cath Kidston brand. “But look a little deeper and I think that you can see all of the ingredients and inspiration for what was to come.”
Part auto-biographical, part business advice, Coming Up Roses chronicles Cath’s meteoric success and provides fascinating insight into how she turned her dreams into a stark reality. It all began with a chance lucky break back in the 1980s, when a friend introduced her to celebrated interior designer Nicky Haslam, who offered her a week’s trial on his team. This turned into a stint of four years and during this time, Cath realised she had an eye for colour and print, as well as combining fabrics and textures.
In 1987, Cath went into business with a friend and in 1993, she took the plunge and went solo. She was confident that she had identified a gap in the market, and that people were ready to receive a new brand that was in stark contrast to the prevalent minimalism of the time; since then, the business has grown ‘steadily and organically’ and there are now over 100 Cath Kidston boutiques across the globe.
The book is crammed with pearls of wisdom, aimed at those looking to set up their very own creative business. Whilst Cath openly acknowledges that she has never had specific training in marketing, branding or PR, she shares countless tips for getting your work noticed, as well as providing an insight into the day-to-day running of your own business.
Most remarkable of all, perhaps, is Cath’s ceaseless optimism; at one stage, she muses: ‘Looking back over the ups and downs, the thing that has kept me going is the endless opportunity I can see ahead.’ Inspiring or what?
By Jill Byrne
Coming Up Roses by Cath Kidston (RRP £16, Quadrille Publishing) is available to buy here