Guest Interview 2: Inspirational Women

This "Inspirational Women" series was inspired by
some of the wonderfully creative bloggers I follow.
I wanted to showcase women who I felt were
inspirational in one way or another; however
big or small. One thing they all have in 
common is that they all 
followed their dreams. or 
lived their life authentically.

First up is the the lovely Catherine Robinson
who started her wonderful cashmere company

 Here's our interview:

 How and when did you get started in business?
 Once I had decided on what I wanted to do I had to find a 
supplier/manufacturer to make my products for me; 
it took awhile to find the right company, a lot of research, 
endless samples and negotiations. When that was all 
in place I worked with a web designer to create my website…
my business started in January 2010.

What was the inspiration for working with cashmere?

I adore it ;-) I wanted to work with a luxury product and 
specifically knitwear. It was also important as a small business 
to work with one size products and my first product I designed 
and had manufactured was the cashmere poncho; I wanted to design 
a product that was versatile and could be worn in a 
number of ways and would be an essential garment 
in a woman’s wardrobe.

What was one of the biggest obstacles 
you faced when you started your biz?
 I don’t think I necessarily had any obstacles…
it was very new to me and all consuming and 
I realised quite early on for something to actually happen 
you had to be consistently telephoning, 
mailing and meeting people…nothing would get done 
unless I was pushing for it; it took a lot of discipline!

What did you want to be when a young girl?
 Perhaps, like a lot of young girls, I wanted to be an air hostess…
it seemed so glamorous, I think by the time I was 14 I had changed 
my mind and it was always fashion I was interested in…
and I have worked in fashion most of my life.

If you get to play “hookie” for the day, 
what is always on your list to do?
 I live just outside London so I would definitely be driving 
into town for the day….
visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, 
having lunch in Hyde Park 
and then a little shopping in Harrods with my daughter 
who now lives in London…a perfect day.

Which celebrity do you think epitomises your brand?
Yasmin Le Bon…I know she likes wearing poncho’s 
and she would wear it simply or add her own twist and style to it…
she would look absolutely beautiful in my chocolate cashmere poncho!

Your favourite perfume at the moment?
Allure Sensuelle by Chanel

 Your fav app?
I don’t really have a favourite one.

 What’s playing on your iPod at the moment?
 I’ve just recently begun to enjoy listening to classical music 
and on my iPod at the moment is…
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto…
it simply takes my breath away.

Book or Kindle?
Book…I adore books!

What are you reading at the moment?
The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama…
I’ve read this book a few times and it’s 
just a book I enjoy to read again and again.

The one beauty item or beauty brand you can’t live without?
I’ve been wearing Clarins since my early twenties, 
so I would be lost without that!! 
Their Beauty Flash Balm is always in my make up bag.

 The place currently in first place on your travel “wish-list” ?
 It would be Italy…my favourite country and 
it would be beautiful Florence with my husband 
for a wonderfully 
romantic few days before driving 
to the Amalfi Coast…now that’s two places!

Amalfi coastal road

 Who do you think has the best look/style today?
 I know I’ve already mentioned her but I love Yasmin’s style and flair…
she always looks fabulous whether modeling, 
on the red carpet or out walking her dogs…
she has an innate grace and elegance and she looks as beautiful today 
in her forties as she did in her early modelling days.

Which piece from your collection would make a great gift ?
I think my cashmere socks make a wonderful gift to a girlfriend…
a little bit of luxury… and for a more expensive gift 
my cashmere poncho is the perfect gift to wrap yourself in…
sheer indulgence.

Who do you consider one of the most inspirational women and why?
 For me, Audrey Hepburn has been an inspirational lady…
not as an actress, although I admire her talent but for her way of being, 
her humanity and serenity, her kindness and humility 
and her passion and work and deep love and 
concern for the welfare of children. 
Through her role as ambassador 
for Unicef she raised the world’s consciousness 
to the plight of children in the Third World and inspired 
others to continue her work. A lady of such refined elegance 
and grace and inner beauty…she inspires me to be a better person.

Thank you SO much to the lovely
Catherine for her inspiring insights.

Here's one last word from me, taking
inspiration from this interview ;-)

I would love to hear your thoughts on this interview
+ dreams. Are you dreaming big?
Are you living your dream?
However big or small, tell us?


  1. A wonderful interview!! I remember seeing Yasmin as a model in Victoria magazine YEARS ago, and thinking she was so beautiful. :-) The cashmere poncho looks so cozy and warm. :-) I AM dreaming big, but right now I need to focus on very little things or I get utterly overwhelmed. :-) First on my list is an Australian visa. Once that is done, I can dream of travel and creating again. :-)

    1. Big dreams comes with lots of baby-steps. So it's all good Krista xx

  2. Thank you so much Vanessa, for including me in your series on your fabulous blog;
    I'm very touched and honoured to be here.

    1. I am honored that you gave your time so freely as I know how everyone is so time-starved these days. Thank you xx

  3. Good evening Vanessa!

    I adore Catherine. She started following me and I here several weeks...maybe months ago. Her style is impeccable and this was a wonderful interview. I have recently made a huge decision to not return in the fall as a full-time teacher. Benefits and retirement are out the window now; I am following a dream to be self-employed as an artist and writer. I know it will be difficult, perhaps IMPOSSIBLE in order to make a living. But I know one thing: I will be LIVING to the fullest as I try. Anyone who is an inspiration became who they are by hard work and a lot of disappointments. Reading about Catherine's progress reminds me of that daily discipline that is needed to make progress.

    Thank you for featuring a very elegant blogger friend!! Anita

    1. Yaaay Anita! I did the same 11 years ago when I left my profession, and no matter how hard it is, when you are working for yourself it just never feels like work. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Good luck Sweets and do keep us posted xx

  4. I've just been looking at Catherine's website and for the first time ever, I'm thinking Poncho!!! Lovely stuff. I hope your move has gone smoothly Vanessa. x

    1. TYSM SK. Yes move went very smoothly + still acting like a "mad tourist". I'm sure the reality will hit me soon though ;-)

  5. I love this post!! I love reading about inspiring women! This is pushing me to pursue my dream of designing clothing again!

  6. Loved this post, what a fantastic introduction to an inspirational and creative talent! The Amalfi coast is right up there on my list too!

    Hope all is well with you doll!

  7. Hi Vanessa,
    As a follower of Catherine, this post is so interesting.
    Always love to read about inspirational women.
    Hope you have a lovely day,

  8. Love this post. Catherine is my sister and I have always found her inspirational and a great support to my business too! Her cashmere collection is stunning, every woman should have a piece in her wardrobe!
    Sue x

    1. TYSM Sue for popping by and of course supporting your lovely sister xx

  9. Hi Vanessa, Great interview post! Cashmere is so beautiful and Catherine is so very talented. Cashmere socks do sound wonderful. Thanks again for sharing....these interview post are so interesting.
    Dee xx

  10. Loved this post, thank you for sharing x

  11. Vanessa,

    Wonderful interview and adore Catherine! Beautiful blog, inspirational, and very talented. Fun to hear a little more about her :)


  12. Oh vanessa u just do the most wonderful posts i love this whole idea. Great interview i must check her out i love ponchos and shawls and anything like this. Hope ur settling in well back home big kiss from Dublin xx leonie.

  13. Hi dear, these interviews you do are so inspiring, how creative to start a cashmere company! She is a really a go-getter and motivational to us all. I like her taste, very classy!


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