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Meet Cat from The Hanoi 75

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Cat and her mum

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business, i.e. what made you want to start your own business and how did you get there?

I was 21 when I left the UK to travel around SE Asia (typical, I know, but it’s gotta be done). I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to be, but I knew the office life wasn’t for me. I started teaching in Hanoi and fell in love with the place and the culture. I wanted to bring back a little part of this to the UK and do something different. Being creative has always been my thing and I knew that working for someone else would have it’s limitations. So I decided to build something that would always challenge me and give me the ability to grow at my own pace.

Which women have been your biggest inspiration and helped you to succeed?

I’d have to say my previous boss that I had at an art cafe I was working at in Didsbury. She had 4 kids, worked every day, was super intelligent and yet extremely humble. I felt I learnt more from her about business than anyone else. Including the Princes Trust! Also my mum and my sis who've both been a huge emotional support throughout these years, and especially my mum for building my confidence as a child to be creative and achieve whatever I want to achieve.

What tips would you give to other women who want to start their own business?

People will tell you you’re mad, that it won’t work, etc etc. men especially will question your ability. Your role as a boss will be constantly challenged, by both genders. But you can’t let it get to you. It’s the way society has always been and you’ll have to learn to fight against it. You have to learn to “absently listen”.

If you could choose to be any woman from any film, who would you choose?

Ooooh this is a fun one! I guess Wonder Woman?!!! Saving the world and wearing cool outfits. If not Wonder Woman, maybe one of the women in Hidden Figures. They are amazing.

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