Women for Women International
Kath and Clare Whitworth are a mother/daughter team, running our natural fashion brand Celtic & Co. from their hometown of Newquay in Cornwall. To highlight the charity Women for Women International's work, we invited them to discuss their relationship by answering a few questions about work, life and how they, as women, support each other…
What’s it like to work together?
Clare: "I’ve grown up alongside the business and luckily have the same passion as Mum does, so it doesn’t bother me that the work/life divide can be somewhat blurry at times! Being in the same office does mean there is no hiding anything from her; those sneaky cheesy chip lunches on a busy Monday can’t get past without an eye brow raise. So she regularly sends me health and wellbeing emails to keep me on track."
Kath: "Clare has grown up watching Nick and I grow the business and has over the years worked in most departments, but we never anticipated that Clare would want to one day work with us. Having tried several other industries after university she realised that her passion was with Celtic. She has the energy that sometimes now I feel I am lacking, she makes us look at everything more thoroughly, helping to put a more modern slant on things. It is fabulous to watch Clare grow and develop."
Work aside, how do you support each other?
Clare: "Mums second passion is health and wellbeing. After about 4 years of nagging, I’ve promised her to try Hot Yoga in 2019 as I’m finally learning at 26 years old that she might actually know best! I often get to be guinea pig to new recipes, she keeps me stocked up with healthy food at home and she’s still my first port of call for anything household or illness related. I like to think I nag her to push herself out of her comfort zone. We have a long running joke about having to ‘pull on your big girl knickers and get on with it’. While I’ll never get her to do any form of public speaking, I’m proud of how many things she has done which are totally against her gut reaction of ‘stay out the limelight’."
Kath: "Clare is much stronger than me and far more driven, but she hasn’t yet ‘agreed’ that you can’t have it all, so my main concern is how hard she pushes herself in all directions. She does now realise that you have to take care of all aspects to get the best out of yourself. Her exercise of choice is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which is seriously tough and like me, ‘when the going gets tough – the exercise needs to get tougher!’ As I get older I realise how important it is to try and stay as healthy as possible, so I qualified as a nutritionist, gym instructor and spinning instructor to try and learn as much as possible to promote good health and hopefully prevent injury. So Clare frequently has to put up with my nagging (not to mention my husband Nick!)."
Why is it important that women should stick together, women for women?
Kath: "There is so much competition in life, no matter what schools try to stop with doing away with competitive sports, and everybody needs to learn that you can’t always win/come first/get what you want immediately. For women I feel that we have been sold a mistruth and we can’t have it all, without there being casualties. Surely if we help each other out when possible and are honest, women might have more realistic expectations and learn that failing is better than not trying at all and that some of the biggest lessons come from the mistakes that we make. We need to be each other’s support network, not compete with each other. I think social media is one of the most dangerous things and although I miss out on so much by not actively participating, I wish I could convince women to switch off and use the time more wisely; to meet up with friends, chat on the phone, go for a walk or just chill – any of which would be far more beneficial than constantly comparing yourself."
Clare: "I’m massively impacted by the whole social media problem. We’ve all got so much on and I think we add extra pressure on ourselves by feeling like we aren’t looking like or having as good a life as people we follow online. The body image issue aside, it’s hard to remember that a lot of time, most people are just finishing work, going home and slobbing out in oversized comfies like the rest of us. I really value coming across honest ‘filter-free’ people in life. I found talking openly has helped with my anxiety as well. Everyone can relate, we all go through rubbish times, and chatting with someone has helped far more than sitting on Instagram feeling bad for not going to Bora Bora. It doesn’t take two seconds to drop someone a text checking in on how things are, and can make a difference on those harder days."
More about the charity Women for Women International
Women for Women International is a unique charity. Not only have they been helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives since 1993, they also create platforms and campaigns to promote sisterhood and behaviour change by inspiring women to support each other. This includes encouraging women to write a letter to a sister who has been a survivor of war, these letters have proven to be transformational for the recipients and show the power of communication and support between women across the world.
Find out more about the charity's work with women survivors of war by clicking here.
Registered charity no. 1115109
Tell us about the special women in your life
Let's share the love! On a social media channel of your choice, post a picture or video of the special women in your life that have supported you in some way (this could be a friend, colleague or relative).
Tag @celticandco and @WOMENFORWOMENUK and invite them to share their story!
Also if you'd like to help towards the work that Women for Women International are doing, DONATE HERE.