Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coming Up Roses by Cath Kidston

This book was on sale at Popular, so I got it for a song. I've always known about Cath Kidston, and I like the pretty designs, so I figured I'd like a book about how the business was built.

Coming Up Roses was written to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cath Kidston brand (I found out that Cath Kidston was founded in the same year that I was born!), and covers things such as her childhood, which influenced her style, her working life before she started the shop, the first few years of Cath Kidston, the growing pains, and so on. And of course, it's lavishly illustrated, with many photos and a series of prints in the middle of the book.

While the book is short, I did enjoy reading about the history of Cath Kidston. The brand came out from Cath Kidston's love of marrying antiques with modernity, and while I don't like every single piece that the brand comes out with, I do like quite a lot of it. It also made me want to go out and buy something from the shop, so I guess it was a fairly successful book.

The thing that I didn't like of the book was that it so heavily borrowed from the interviews with Cath Kidston. That by itself is fine, but it's jarring to read about Cath Kidston in third person, then have pages and pages of text referring to "I". I would have much preferred that the book be written either entirely in first or in third (I like first better, because it's a very warm, engaging voice).

You won't get much business advice in this book - it's very much a follow your heart, try your best and things will somehow be ok type of book - but it's a lovely, encouraging read all the same. It's probably suited to fans of the brand, and for entrepreneurs who need a dose of encouragement.

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