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Cat, This year has been a real changing point in your life can you tell us a bit about it and what inspired you to change your lifestyle?
I moved down to London about 9 months ago and since then, I've been trying to perfect my life a bit. I think I've become addicted to self help books. I always see the new year as a good chance to make big changes, so I set myself a number of resolutions which I've been sticking too pretty strictly in 2009.
The first was to say YES more. I read the book Yes Man by Danny Wallace last year and it was really inspiring. Saying yes can really change your life and opens you up to all kinds of wonderful experiences. I'm not stupidly saying yes to every single thing, because that could be dangerous, but I am saying yes to opportunities and anything which could have a positive outcome. So far, I've noticed that it's making me more adventurous and outspoken - I would never have dreamed of going up and speaking to a stranger last year, but I can do it now without a problem. I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me.
The second resolution kind of fits in with this and it's to think positive. Sometimes I get depressed but I'm training myself to think positively and see the best in people and situations. I have this stupid habit of thinking that the worst case scenario is going to happen all of the time, even when I know that everything is going to be fine, so now when I notice that I'm being negative, I snap out of it and talk to myself positively, while trying to keep the best case scenario in mind.
The third resolution is to eat healthy and get fit. Last year my resolution was to stop eating meat and I found it really easy after the initial few months, in fact I would never look back, so this year I'm taking it to the next level and cutting out all junk food from my diet. I read the book Slim 4 Life by Jason Vale, which aims to expose junk and processed food for what they are, explaining how you get addicted to them and how to cut them out of your diet. It's helped me a lot and I no longer eat junk food, chocolate, candy, white bread or pasta, and happily tuck in to lots of fruit & veg, brown pasta/rice/bread and fish instead. I've also cut out dairy, opting for soya milk in my tea, so I'm half way to becoming vegan (just got to cut out the sushi). As well as eating healthy, I've started jogging for 30 minutes to an hour each day. I thought it would be hard work before I started but it's actually a lot of fun, maybe even addictive. Just get yourself some good music or an interesting podcast to listen to.
The fourth resolution was to be more organized. I'd done a lot of work and research to get organized the previous year, so my new aim is to perfect this and be in total control. By organized, I mean having a spotless house and being on top of my work and to-do's. I love watching the TV show Anthea Turner's Perfect Housewife and seeing people tidy their messy homes - it made me want to do the same with my place. When I moved to London, I had to do a lot of de-cluttering and that taught me to be selective with the things I keep and think twice before buying new things. If you get rid of the stuff you don't need, it makes the things you do keep more important and even more valuable. Mess really stresses me out and I don't feel like I'm able to work until things are clean, so I'm learning to tidy as I go and put everything in it's place. After reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen, I've learnt to write absolutely everything down and keep my to-do's in comprehensive lists. If you write the things in your head down, you don't have to think about them anymore and it makes life a lot less stressful. You don't feel like you're forgetting things all of the time. It may sound easy but it takes a lot of practice to get perfect.
What does it feel like to be so young at the age of 23 and own such a big business?I feel really lucky, I get to wake up and go to my dream job everyday. It's kind of weird though, because it wasn't a sudden thing - Cut Out + Keep started as my blog in 2003 and since then (with the help of boyfriend Tom) it's grown, year by year, in to the community that it is today. It's only when we think back to how many members and projects we had a year ago, that it sinks in and we realize just how fast it's growing. Hopefully, in another year or so, it will be able to support both Tom and I to work on it full time.
What are your healthy new tips for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
First of all, I'd recommend getting the three books I mentioned about - Getting Things Done, Yes Man & Slim 4 Life. Secondly, know that anything is possible - it only takes 30 days to gain a new habit, so if you do something over and over again for about a month, it'll stick for life (if you want it to).
Your most favourite designer EVER is obviously Strawberry Anarchy but can you tell me what other artists you like?
After Strawberry Anarchy of course, I love Vivienne Westwood. Her clothes, bags and accessories are really unique and I just love the style. I'm slowly gathering a small, but very expensive, collection of her things. I also love Joey D, a fashion designer based in Edinburgh who reconstructs clothes out of found items, army clothes and lots of denim. I have several of his handbags, including one made from neckties, another with bullets down the strap, and one with strips of fabric hanging down in a fringe, which he gave me on my birthday. Tom has a whole wardrobe full of jackets by him too. Keep an eye for him, I think he'll be the next big thing.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years time?
I hope I'll be happy and I hope that all my family and friends are too. I hope I'll be living somewhere exciting that I love and that I've managed to keep all my current and future resolutions that I make. I hope Cut Out + Keep is bigger and better than ever and that it inspires lots of people to get creative. I've got a big list of ambition, all kinds of big and small things that I want to do or achieve (living in New York, going mushroom foraging, becoming a roller derby star), so I hope most of that's been scored off and that I've added all kinds of other things too.
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Also check out Cat Morley's Blog here