'boredom is not in my vocabulaRY'

Cathy Newton. © Unknown.
Cathy Newton. © Unknown.

What is the most interesting aspect of your job?

The product we develop in each merchandise cycle is always new. Every day I'm educated about something new. It may be a product attribute, new fabric, innovative ways of merchandising a product, new ways of sustaining a product thus ultimately contribute to the sustainability of the environment. Constant innovation makes each day original. Boredom isn't in my vocabulary!

Do you have a passion for homeware?

Most definitely. I couldn't be working in homeware unless I did. I also studied interior design.

Do you ever have to travel for your job? If so, where have you travelled to?

Travel is dependent on the supply base's location. In my buying history, I have travelled extensively to the east, namely China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Bali, Singapore and Vietnam - where most of our imported product is manufactured.

We also travel to New York, Paris, London and some parts of Europe on "retail trips". The purpose of these trips is to ensure that we as a company remain in season relevant in our selections.

Local travel up country to Gauteng and Durban stores is needed annually to ensure that stores interpret the buy as intended and it also cements business relationships with our up- country merchants.

What has your most interesting experience abroad been?

Every experience overseas is interesting. Learning about other nations' cultures and having the opportunity to experience the way they live, not only enriches oneself, but can also be quite humbling and sometimes makes one develop an appreciation for one's own home and possessions.

There are two experiences that I will always cherish, both of which took place in India.

The first was to have tea with Richard Gere at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi and the second was my chance to act in a Bollywood movie in Jaipur.