This is my first blog post. How exciting! But where to start? How about an introduction?
I am Kathy, mid (to late) thirties, married, two children – a boy at infant school and a girl at juniors – living in Wolverhampton and doing my dream job for a living!
I am not quite sure how I got here and landed such an amazing job that lets me do my favourite things every day, but I feel blessed (cliched I know) and extremely thankful to be in such a position.
My love of crafts and making things began at a very early age, like most children I was fascinated with covering toilet rolls in tissue paper, making Wendy houses out of cardboard boxes and trying every creative process known to man, or child. I tried a lot of different things, with varying degrees of success, but remember fondly glass painting, clay modelling, calligraphy, bedroom decorating and furniture painting. My mom still uses an upcycled jam jar that I covered in glass painted fishes and an underwater scene!
I did GCSE art specialising in textiles and loved making bags, recreating famous artworks in fabric, screen printing, batik and using colour. I was devastated when my art teacher said I didn’t have the talent to be able to succeed at art A’Level. I took English Literature instead and got an E!!
With no idea what I wanted to do after school, I sought careers advice, basically camping outside the careers advisor’s office door until he put me forward for a psychometric test to tell me what I would be good at. The results suggested photography, psychology or public relations. A fear of the school dark room, coupled with the lack of psychology A’level teaching staff led me down the PR path and that was that.
I studied PR with French at Leeds Metropolitan University, spending six months in France at a marketing school which was fantastic and working as an English assistance in a French secondary school, which was not!
I graduated and got a job, pretty much immediately, at a small advertising and PR agency in Leicester. The two hour daily commute got the better of me, and coupled with moving in with my then boyfriend (now husband) I looked for a job closer to home. I started at a local housing trust, and quickly picked up lots of responsibilities including managing the transition to a completely new web site, dealing with media enquiries, drafting responses and carrying out proactive press relations activity. I enjoyed two years there before the lady I worked with in my first PR role informed me she was setting up her own agency and asked me to join her. That was a great experience, being there at the beginning when our office was a spare bedroom . I oversaw two office moves, the employment of six staff and lots of new clients, growing the business significantly.
However, with wedding planning underway and thoughts of starting a family, I wanted to move closer to home again. I started working at a PR agency, part of a wider communications company in Wolverhampton where I spent more than 10 years. Looking back I had some fantastic opportunities, and some of the stunts I was involved in were completely off the wall! I gave away free petrol in Knutsford and shut the M6! I got a top flight rugby league team to do their fitness training by using paint tins as weights, employed a queen lookalike to clean a stately home and worked with renowned chef Tom Kerridge on a national pub chef competition. To this day his scrambled eggs are the best I have ever devoured.
I also worked at a final of a national football competition at Wembley three years running, met a childhood hero at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, sat in a HGV truck in a German museum (?), met no fewer than three BBC Breakfast TV presenters, sat in a radio recording studio with darts and snooker promoter Barry Hearn, brokered a sponsorship deal with BDO darts world champion Mark Webster and (lifetime ambition achieved) worked with a BBC The Archers actress at The Chelsea Flower Show.
I don’t regret a single moment of my career so far, but am literally thrilled to be embarking on a new chapter, working with an amazing brand and inspiring team of people at Trimcraft.