Catherine Isabel Audrey Kidston, famously known as Cath Kidston is an English entrepreneur, author and fashion designer who was born on 6th November 1958. Her company Cath Kidston Limited sells home furnishings and other associated products through mail order or shops. Kidston is famous for her floral patterns.
Kidston’s grandfather, Glen Kidston, was a champion in race driving in the 1920s for Bentley. Her uncle is a former Christie’s chairman, Charles Henry Allsopp. Kidston’s parent died because of cancer and at the age of thirty seven, Cath Kidston was detected with breast cancer. She grew up with three more siblings in Hampshire and gained her education from several boarding schools before moving to London. Before establishing a business with her friend and partner, Hugh Padgham, Kidston worked for Nicky Haslam, a socialite.
She met Padgham when she was asked to decorate his house and after moving in his house she changed the decorations according to her taste. Due to her illness, she couldn’t conceive children although she wanted kids. Kidston minds this saddening fact but since she is a strong-hearted woman, she has overcome the sorrow. Her business became her child and she is close to her step daughter.
In 1964, Kidston launched her first store in Holland Park, London, after recovering from cancer. She began selling revamped furniture and tea-towels with hand embroidery. Later, she described all this as a glorified junk store. By 2011, there were 57 shops of her brand in the United Kingdom, Japan, Ireland and Korea.
Kidston describes her business as ‘producing products that people like a lot or they don’t like at all’ and although this is the case with her floral prints, they have been conquering the high street market. At times Cath Kidston is described as having similar impact on the fabric market as Laura Ashley did. Kidston is not only a brand, she’s a real person who suggests that her stores’ palettes have been inspired by her childhood memories of a rambling house, boarding school and ponies.
Cath Kidston describes her mother being a motivation for her to start this business. Kidston’s mother was completely dependent on her husband and once he died she was left alone in a vulnerable state. This gave Kidston the strength to be independent in every way and the designer has no aspiration to be a typical housewife. Her childhood days have made Kidston an ambitious and powerful woman with a full control over her life.
Despite all this, she is interested in decorating houses. Since childhood she has had a curiosity to design and rearrange rooms. She often re-styled her bedroom. In addition, she loved playing games about shops, traders and customers. She has always been a business oriented person.
Kidston was eager to make money and at the age of seventeen she shifted to London and jumped from one job to another. The jobs were as petty as walking the dog or packing chocolates. She always tried to find things that she could create and sell. Life was great for her before her father died of brain tumor. Kidston was only nineteen then. However, she didn’t stop from achieving her goals in life with determination and conviction. Even finding a cancer in her body, the designer did not give up completely. Every barrier in her life gave her fuel to move ahead. She struggled for success and now owns a flourishing business.