Catriona Dolphin, Head of Product and Brands at Textile House, is celebrating ten years with the company. On theme with all things ten, Catriona answers ten questions from Nicole Tattersall, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, about changes that have occurred within the past decade, career advice, and the future of the outdoor apparel industry.
Q. What have you enjoyed most about working at Textile House?
A. The people I work with is what I love most about Textile House. They are a smart, funny, hardworking bunch of good people, who I simply love working with.
Q. Over the 10 years you’ve been at Textile House what has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the outdoor clothing industry?
A. There have been a lot of changes over the last 10 years. The industry has grown as technical developments have evolved. Wearer comfort and protection became more of a focus. These benefits are now normalised and now consumer expectations are around looking fashionable too, whereas ten years ago if your apparel wasn’t Navy or Stone – then it wasn’t outdoor apparel.
Q. During your time at Textile House, what has been one of the biggest changes within the company?
A. Our culture of continuous improvement has meant that there has been a lot of change since I started with Textile House. Appointing Stuart Revill as CEO is one of the biggest changes that has had the biggest impact on the company in my time. He is leading the company with a strong eye on our company goals and future growth.
Q. To date what has been one of your biggest achievements whilst at Textile House?
A. Hiring the right people and building a dynamic team of talented individuals is always one of the hardest things to do and right now I think that this is what we have in the Product / Brand area. I am proud to work alongside them.
Q. What inspires and motivates you in your work?
A. The people I work with inspire and motivate me. They are passionate about what they do – that’s motivating and inspiring!
Q. At Textile House we believe in finding balance, and are real people doing real things. What do you do to ensure balance in your life?
A. I make time and commit to activities that are good for my mind and body, outside of work. Spending time with my family is always the most important thing for me, but I also have plenty of creative interests like photography and painting that keep the creative side of my brain active. I also like to hike and explore (usually with my camera) and go to the gym 2 to 3 times a week to ensure that I stay fit.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice to yourself when you first started at Textile House what would it be?
A. Technical apparel is fascinating. There is so much more to this category than just how it looks – it needs to perform. Knowing this from design to end use function is what it is all about. Once you are in that loop no other apparel category is quite as interesting.
Q. Describe your role as Products and Brands Manager in three words.
A. Exciting. Demanding. Creative.
Q. What changes do you see in the near future in the outdoor clothing industry?
A. More and more we are seeing the gap between fashion and functional wear closing. Technical and functional clothing provides levels of comfort to consumers that are changing the expectations of how people want their apparel to perform. But consumers don’t just want to be comfortable, they want to look fashionable as well. So this expectation is forcing the fashion and functional markets to collide. This means that the industry is going through some exciting changes. We are embracing this shift and have some exciting things in the pipeline.
Q. What’s an inspirational quote you live by? Why?
A. Improvise, adapt and overcome. If you know me, then you know this quote. It’s one I use all the time. I like it because it doesn’t let the challenges of change get the better of me – It reminds me to just roll with it, flex and find a way through.