Updated: Dec 6, 2019
Last week we interviewed a successful entrepreneur founder of a brand which is "all about beautiful sunny escapes", (@catturnerlondon) and that surely is the feeling we get when looking at her stunning creations.
"I believe in “fortune favours the bold” and that many things are possible, you just need get out there, take one step at a time, think creatively and try and make things happen for yourself. "
Let's meet her.
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m Cat, the founder of Cat Turner – a brand all about beautiful sunny escapes that offers boutique style summer dresses for the stylish, international, contemporary woman.
- When did your journey start?
I have always been a wannabe entrepreneur! My father launched his own denim line and taught entrepreneurship at business school in Singapore. My mum had her own Bed & Breakfast in Barcelona. I was always coming up with entrepreneurial ideas throughout my 20’s. This particular brand journey started in 2017, with a brand launch date of September 2018.
- What’s the idea behind your business?
Women love to travel to the sun all year round, to all kinds of different destinations, but out of season mostly have the choice between beachwear or luxury resort-wear brands.
The Cat Turner brand offers a more versatile selection of summer capsule wardrobe pieces, perfectly suited to the contemporary woman who might be sightseeing or shopping in a city one minute, on a beach the next and then out for an aperitivo in town.
The styles are comfortable, flattering and can easily be worn across multiple destinations and wearing occasions.
The cherry on the cake is that they are beautifully and ethically made in London with high-quality natural fibre fabrics such as cotton and Tencel, that will not only look good but also feel good in the heat.
- Do you have a personal life motto?
I have lots of mottos or beliefs that I find very helpful in life. I always try and see situations as ”glass half full” or, one that my grandmother instilled in me, “every cloud has a silver lining”. I believe in “fortune favours the bold” and that many things are possible, you just need get out there, take one step at a time, think creatively and try and make things happen for yourself. I have found it challenging in the past when I have come across unfair situations and so it’s really important to me that Cat Turner also stands for ethical clothing UK and is mindful of sustainability.
- What is your main struggle in being a female entrepreneur?
My main struggle as an entrepreneur isn’t at all related to the fact that I’m a woman…it’s finding the balance between work and switching off! There is always so much to do – and a passion to do it – it’s hard to tear yourself away from it sometimes.
- How do you overcome it?
My husband often rescues me from my desk! He is a beautiful part of my life and gives me a fantastic reason to go and enjoy other things. Friends and family are incredibly important to me and so I’ll always make sure I consistently touch base and am spending quality time with them too. Most of my close family live abroad (largely France, Spain and Switzerland) which requires unchaining myself from my desk for a few days to go and see them!
- What was your biggest professional achievement during your entrepreneur journey?
I think simply the process of creating the Cat Turner brand and then launching it for the whole world to see, has been my biggest professional achievement during the journey so far.
- What was your biggest personal achievement?
It’s always hard to answer “the biggest or best” questions as there are always lots of options. Two examples for me might be getting into Oxford University and completing a round the world trip on my own (although I met lots of fantastic people along the way!).
- What is the greatest lesson you've learned from being an entrepreneur?
That it’s not as easy as you think! Build a website and “they will come” is simply not what happens. I think I was a little naïve on that front. You need a significant amount of hard work, patience and resilience, together with money to get the brand out there and known, whether that’s money for free samples or marketing tactics.
- How do you find inspiration on an average day? Do you have any rituals?
No rituals. My travel and multicultural experiences inspire me a lot and I consider myself to be incredibly lucky because of that. The fact that I am half French, half English, can speak 3 languages, have lived in Barcelona, Paris, Canada, Singapore and London and have travelled all over the world, opens me up to consistent and constant sources of inspiration.
- Who’s the female entrepreneur or leader that you admire the most and why? Anita Roddick is definitely on my list. She was such an icon launching The Body Shop. Possibly the first and biggest brand with a conscience and a strong ethical message to have gone global. She was a trailblazer. I love how she built an incredibly desirable and much loved brand whilst standing for such a powerful message of no animal testing. She was also a very active human rights activist and environmental campaigner.
- How do you advertise yourself as an entrepreneur?
I don’t to be honest! I think like many entrepreneurs I’d feel much more comfortable staying in the background and letting the brand and product speak for themselves. I do understand though, that in this landscape of transparency and stories, people like to hear who is behind the brand and what the brand stands for.
- How did social media help you to promote your business?
It’s a fantastic free way to get your message out there…to talk to people and to start building a tribe of followers…although it’s not quite so free anymore, as organic postings do not get the reach they once did.
- Do you have any advice to give to the new female entrepreneurs?
Go and do it and live your dream!…but do it with your eyes wide open! Talk to other entrepreneurs, read all the information available online, go into it understanding all the pros and cons and how you can best achieve what you want to in a strategic and considered way, in order to minimise risk and optimise your chances of success. There will always be things you have not foreseen, or bumps in the road, but as one of my earliest mentors used to always say to me, “preparation is the key to success”. Thanks Cat! To discover more visit www.catturnerlondon.com