A grandmother entrepreneur has made the finals of a national business newcomer award.
Kate Findlay, 65, from Barford launched online boutique gift shop Peach Perfect while nursing her husband through the latter years of his degenerative illness.
After many years in senior IT roles, redundancy led Kate to set up a joint venture with husband Ian and together they set up The Real Britain Company an independent travel service.
But six years later Ian was diagnosed with a form of dementia condition called Lewy Body Dementia or DLB.
Kate said: “It was becoming increasingly obvious that Ian was struggling to cope with the demands of the business and I was having to do all the work as well as care for him. We had made many changes to our life, one of which was closing down our beloved company.”
So she decided to make an idea a reality, to run an online gift shop that stocked beautiful and practical presents for people who wanted good quality gifts without any gimmicks.
“I knew deep down I still hadn’t achieved everything I want to achieve in life. I knew I needed something else. I realised what was coming and that I’d end up being a carer but needed something to focus on that would go beyond his death. You don’t choose to be a carer, it’s forced upon you. So the business has been an absolute Godsend.”
Ian sadly lost his battle with DLB in March last year, aged 66.
Since then Kate has worked hard, in his honour to grow Peach Perfect, which has won recognition from Ladies First Networking Group. But, due to COVID-19 she’ll now have to wait until September to find out if she has been selected as the category winner from six finalists.
There have been many forks in the road of Kate’s life journey so far – but today she’s among the first to champion the ambitions of wannabe entrepreneurs – of any age.
“You’re never too old to do anything. It’s your frame of mind that’s important. It’s never too late if you’ve got the idea and the wherewithal to do it. In fact, it keeps you young.
“I could never have foreseen the cultural changes and the twists and turns I’ve experienced in my working life over the past 40-odd years. But looking to the future, I’m certain of one thing at least – this is my time to shine.”