Posted in Goals, Leadership, Management, motivation

Coming up Roses…


Cath Kidston’s book “Coming up roses” explains the growth of a brand and the maturity of an organisation and how the two are constantly entwined.  Organisational growth can often be compared to life development:-

Early years

  • When you set up your business enjoy the start – the passion and the simplicity – to Kidston this meant “playing shop”
  • DIY aspect – you do everything – you have total control

Teenage years

  • Midpoint letting go – employing others and outsourcing other areas book keeping etc…
  • Further into midpoint lose control where do you want the growth to be – Kidston found key investors wanted to expand too quickly


  • Maturity fulfilment the right people in place

This journey has spanned 20 years, the first shop was opened 1993 – 8 Clarendon Cross, London W11.

As the company evolved, Kidston in varying degrees lost and gained control of the brand.  As a larger retail company the Directors expected Kidston to follow seasonal trends and present collections.  However the business was harnessed in its vintage heritage so therefore customers expected to buy a “cowboy print” anytime of the year.  The vision of the business was always very clear making household products colourful and attractive.

There were some very strange ideas around products to license with the brand, anything from pants to a toaster!

Kidston has always been very modest about her achievements even with the labelling, the discreet red letters bear her name, but she always felt the designs were the part that was memorable.

Today Kidston leads the business and is back in the boardroom, she realises when she is not at the helm the integrity and the values slide, no-one cares for it as much as you do.

Below are some key things to remember about protecting and growing your brand:-

  • Brand be your own value compass
  • Products linked to your brand, ensure that you link up with the right services/partnerships/associates
  • You know your brand and business better than anyone else – lead it
  • Modesty – what sells the brand? the service? the products or YOU!

For a workshop on personal branding or for nuggets to facilitate a team workshop on organisational growth, please contact


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