Cathie Heart, Director of The Heart’s Design

A serial entrepreneur operating within a variety of sectors – including web design and branding; portrait photography; and jewellery

There’s a couple of things that people should know about me… Firstly, I have an inner core of rebellion. With my short hair and long streak on top, I don’t fit the larger society’s mould of what a woman should look like. Secondly, I love patterns, lines and structure – creating order out of chaos. These particular facets of my personality are crucial to the three business areas I now operate within.

Before I went self-employed, I worked in the computer systems validation field – specialising in the pharmaceutical industry. After going through a redundancy experience, I left my home in Buckinghamshire and relocated to Leeds to look after my grandparents – one of whom was heading into full dementia. Both grandparents have since passed on and I supported my parents as we delivered end of life care.

During this period, I needed some part-time work so I founded The Heart’s Design in 2012. As a certified tech geek with an MSc in Information Management, I’d designed websites before and knew it was something I could do. What the business has turned into is something which resonates with me on a personal level, because the primary objective has evolved into enabling women to do for themselves regardless of what they’re told – and make an income doing it!

I first picked up a camera in 2001 when I needed some stock images for the websites I was building. I relaunched Cathie Heart Photography in 2018 and always shoot for the end purpose. If my client requires images for social media or a portrait for their wall, the approach has to be different but I’m comfortable with any brief. Again, it comes back to creating order – teasing out my clients’ real purpose so the end result is wholly representative of what I’ve been entrusted to deliver.

My jewellery business, which I founded two-and-a-half months ago following a nasty bout of flu, is a heart hobby that gives me the perfect reason to have some much-needed time away from the computer screen. Using chain links to create handwoven jewellery, I want to use this venture as a marketing strategy – showing people how to build microbusinesses of their own with my help.

The Heart’s Design