Katherine (Kat) Lockridge, co-owner of Classical Tents and Party Goods, can really be credited as giving me my biggest push into the wedding industry. Several years ago, she saw some of the marketing work I was doing with another business and asked if we could meet to discuss how I could work with CT. We immediately connected, and I began assisting her team in various ways. Soon afterwards, she asked me to help her with the very first Lenox Wedding Tour, and already being a lover of all-things-wedding, I jumped at the chance and have been involved ever since! If it weren't for Kat's constant support and "swift kick in the rear" I may not have made so many great connections, and my business may not have evolved the way it has! So thanks, Kat! And here's our recent interview for my Featured Member blog posts...
Tara: Tell me how you first got involved in your business.
Kat: We purchased our business with no prior experience working with rentals or events. We did have a desire to own and run a business. It has been an exciting journey, full of learning, and it has allowed to us to meet many wonderful people. We had worked in Yellowstone National Park, and in Park City, Utah, prior to purchasing Classical Tents.
Tara: What is the most surprising thing you've had happen to you on the job?
Kat: Overall, owning Classical Tents, I have learned so much about life, myself, and others. I can think of little else that I could have done in life that would have taught me as much. I have faced huge challenges and have overcome those challenges. That which does not kill us makes us stronger!
Tara: What is your ideal Friday night?
Kat: Friday nights during the busy season often mean kicking back on our terrace with a bottle of wine and a grilled dinner. Saturdays are usually reserved for showroom visits, and in the evening, visits to job sites, so Friday nights can't be too late or too busy! We work seven days a week for almost half of the year.
Tara: What do you like to do during your free time?
Kat: I love to garden and hike. Time outside is invigorating and energizes me.
Tara: When you travel, what do you like to do (adventure, relaxation, food...)?
Kat: We like to visit countries like Guatemala, or Costa Rica, but we spend our time both relaxing and having an adventure. For a few days we'll spend time kicking back by the pool or ocean, in a resort setting. Then we'll drive around for a week or so in a rented 4WD vehicle, visiting small towns and seeing farming communities and rain forests. Visiting local markets is a favorite activity, where we try the local fruit and cooking.
Tara: What is the last book you read?
Kat: A biography about Steve Jobs.
Tara: What is the best advice you've ever received?
Kat: Don't make mountains out of molehills. Pick your battles. (Is that two pieces of advice? They almost seem like one.)
Tara: Which movie genre do you prefer?
Tara: What is the last movie you saw in the theaters?
Kat: The Dallas Buyers Club
Tara: Which music genre do you prefer?
Kat: Blues!!!!! New and old.
Tara: Your idea of adventure is...
Kat: Going for a drive where I am sure to get lost, taking a trip to the West and going hiking, visiting a country and hanging out with the locals.
Tara: How do you like your steak cooked?
Kat: I order Salmon. :)
Tara: What are three life memories you recall most frequently, and why?
Kat: Wow, this is the hardest question for me. I have had a busy and interesting life!
- I often remember sitting on top of a mountain in Yellowstone National Park, with music playing, and some friends around me. It was so stunningly beautiful there, on that one particular mountain, and life could not have been better.
- I remember being in my neighbor's house, playing with their children ( I was a teenager) and we were just hanging out, but my neighbors were like my second family, and I enjoyed being with them.
- I think back to a night when a few of us were lying on the roof of a car, under the amazing display of stars on the side of the road in Yellowstone, talking about the universe and galaxy as we tried to pick out the constellations that we knew. The world seemed infinite and full of promise.
Tara: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want with you?
Kat: Duck tape, salt, a knife.
Tara: Tell me something that most people don't know about you.
Kat: I could name some odd fact, but instead I'll talk about the heart. I often come off as being all about business. But the reality is that I am soft hearted. I am very empathetic, I like to cuddle, and I love kids. I get great joy out of helping others, or mentoring young people.
Tara: What is one thing you'll do this year to step outside your comfort zone?
Kat: I'll buy a building and move my business. This is kind of freaking me out, but I know it's the right step for the future of my company! I am going to cheat and list one more thing here. For my 50th birthday next year I am going to take one month off from work, for the first time in over 20 years, and I am going to travel to Scotland, France, and Switzerland, visiting family and friends.