fabric / Jobs / Quilting / Sewing

Book Review: Cath Kidston’s Coming up Roses

-The story of growing a business


I’ve just finished reading Cath Kidston’s book Coming up Roses and as I only started it a couple of days before that I decided it’s definitely worth sharing.

It’s an interesting mix of biography told by Sue Chidler and direct indepth quotes from Cath herself- so it feels very much like she’s talking directly to you. It’s a great mix of point on view: heartfelt from Cath’s perspective and then someone fairly objective to step in and point out the hard facts/praise without seeming over the top.

I don’t often read auto/biographies, because whilst they often have an interesting story to tell, they don’t necessarily have an interesting way to tell it- not everyone is meant to be a writer!

Coming up Roses is fairly short and also very visual- meaning it definitely appeals to it’s audience (who are going to be a visual bunch if they are under the Cath Kidston spell of signature prints), there’s even a glossy section in the middle just of copies of some of the most famous prints.

I started reading somewhat hesitantly, with reference to the [Laura] Ashley family- ‘neighbours of ours’- it felt like it was going to be one of those stories that proved how important knowing the right people is to get ahead (which is never very nice to hear from the majority of us who don’t live around the corner from a rising star about to give us the chance of a life time). Then I got to my favourite page in the whole book: Cath’s jobs (I flick back to this page now and then when I need motivation).


I love this list,  it starts like my list, and means my list too has the potential to go anywhere. It also shows how much Cath did work for what she got. With a couple of strokes of luck she also had plenty of pitfalls, that are very humorously and self-deprecatingly.

It also shines a new light on her shop- which is such a commercial and high street staple nowadays but in fact come from a quirky one off shop sharing vintage finds.

I also wondered why the oilcloth bags featured so much in her shops (I know it rains a lot in England but still…) but reading how the idea of coating cotton fabric helped her business develop and opened up new opportunities is really interesting.

If you’re a fan of Cath Kidston, or a keen crafter with a growing business I would definitely recommend getting a copy of this book- it’s a fascinating and easy read and very much a story of making lemonade when you’re given lemons.



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