What Inspires You?

We posed this question to three of our own associates
to find out what puts the jingle in their bells. Here’s what they
had to say about the most wonderful time of the year.

Angie is a Store Associate for Catherines, and is inspired by her family around the holidays

“My inspiration is my family. I love spending time, playing
family games and just enjoying one another.”

–Angie, Store Associate, Orange, CT

As an assistant manager for Catherines, Angie really enjoys building close personal relationships with her customers and co-workers. But at holiday time, she can’t wait to come home and be with her family.

“I have a very close knit family,” says Angie. “We all live in the same general area, about 15-45 minutes away from each other near Bridgeport, Connecticut. We became even closer when my sister passed away recently. I gained custody of her daughter, my niece, who I’m now raising. She’s in first grade now and is just adorable. She loves all the things little girls love, but her favorite is drawing and coloring.”

Angie tells us that it hasn’t been easy. She was very close to her sister and still feels a great sense of loss. But with the love and support of her family, Angie is working hard to provide a happy, loving home for her little girl— filled with fun, laughter, games and holiday traditions.

“I want to make this holiday season really special for her,” says Angie.
This will be our first Christmas together and I want to make sure
we start our own traditions.”

Barb draws her holiday inspiration from her daughter

“My daughter is my inspiration. She encourages me to live life outside the comfort zone. To explore possibilities and allow the world to see the light that is in each of us.”

–Barbara, Director Merchandise Operations

Barbara’s story begins in Memphis, where the Catherines story also began. Long before plus size fashion was commonplace, Catherine Weaver opened the first store in 1960. One store became many, and many stores eventually required a home office. And in 1987, Barbara joined the home office working in the credit department.

After 29 years, Barb has experienced many changes with Catherines, including a move in 2008 to the current headquarters in Bensalem, PA. But after all these years, some things haven’t changed.

“We’re very passionate about our product and customer,” says Barbara. “Our service is extremely personal, which is rare in our fast-paced digital world. We’re still hands on, and we work very hard to give customers what they want. I’ve always been so proud of that.”

Barbara is equally proud of her daughter, who she describes as free-spirited and eternally optimistic. Now 23 years old and out on her own, her daughter still comes home on Christmas Eve for family dinner and to wake up on Christmas morning with her mom.

“As a plus size woman, it’s not easy out there,” says Barbara. “It’s just the two of us, and my daughter has always been there to give me that extra boost of confidence. She’s my strength and my inspiration.”

Suzanne is a classically trained opera singer, and draws her inspiration from music

“Music inspires me. All kinds of music. It reminds me
that there is passion and excitement and meaning in the world.”

–Suzanne, Sr. Buyer, Intimates & Sleepwear

Who knew that Catherines’ senior buyer for intimates and sleepwear was a classically trained opera singer? (We sure didn’t!) Which explains why music is such a great source of inspiration for Suzanne.

That inspiration was evident at an early age. Suzanne’s passion for music, as well as her vocal talent and determination, led her to pursue every opportunity to sing, from song groups to choirs to competitions. She spent eight hours a day in a practice room, and her social life included the same cast of characters she performed with in school.

As a music major in college, she continued to pursue singing, from theater to jazz to opera (which she performed in eight languages). It wasn’t till the summer after graduation that Suzanne discovered her talent for retail. She found a new career path (and a life outside the practice room!), which eventually led to Catherines. But her love of music never died.

“I still enjoy all kinds of music and really appreciate the talent of musicians,” says Suzanne. “I took piano lessons for 11 years, but never really got it! So I’m envious of what it takes. I appreciate it all.”

So who are her favorites? Suzanne rattles off a few of the classics: “The Eagles, Queen, James Taylor, Eric Clapton. During the holidays, I love to listen to Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald. And this is the one time of year I really enjoy church carols.”