Sympli Women That Inspire: An Employee Spotlight
Meet Kathy Stuart, A Woman Who’s Been with Sympli from the Beginning
Kathy Stuart with her daughters Katie and Lindsay
It all started in a little white house at the heart of Deep Cove Village in North Vancouver. That’s where Jan Stimpson began designing women’s clothing with the mission to fit, flatter and empower, but she couldn’t have done it without the support of some of her closest friends! Kathy Stuart is one of those special people who’s worked with the company from the very beginning. While the business may have grown, the values here at Sympli have always stayed the same. Here’s a look at Kathy’s journey as an entrepreneur and innovator..
How did you get involved with Sympli?
Back in the 80’s, my friend Jan Stimpson approached me with an idea. She wanted someone to support and manage the business aspects of her designs. We were both mothers with children at home, and we understood the struggle of balancing life and work. Our passion for developing fashion that embraced all women drove us to find a solution. A few years down the road, and our daughters even joined us at the company! Despite all that has changed, women, friends, and family are still at the core of everything that we do!
How did you overcome the obstacles you met along the way?
There were many roadblocks, of course! We began this business back in a time where entrepreneurship was discouraged for women. When we approached the BDC for help in launching our small business, we were rejected! They thought it was more appropriate for us to stay at home and look after our families. Despite this setback, we were determined to forge ahead. Many years later, the BDC was applauding us through our recognition on the Profit 500 list! We had become one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, ranking 171st place! We had come such a long way, all due to our dedication and commitment to providing women with the fashion they deserved. We couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments, but it’s our incredible team of people that is our true legacy!
What’s one piece of advice you would like to pass along to future women in business?
It’s all about finding a balance. Hard work will lead to great achievements, but your personal life should always come first! You don’t want to lose yourself to ambition. Don’t be afraid of being driven and passionate, but remember that it’s all just work at the end of the day.
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