Last year in 2016 we celebrated 20 years in business. We decide to include my favourite charity Act for Kids and make it a fundraising event . It was a stunning party held Hanworth House and everyone wore white. It was a beautiful celebration of all we have achieved , the ups and downs of running a business, the risks and the triumphs.
How hard it was starting out and the crazy hours I used to work, and starting my own family at the same time, but I was never deterred I had a dream!
My amazing twin sister Jo spoke at our celebration, I am blessed to call her my twin.
"You had a dream
For those of you who don't know me, I am Katrina's twin sister Jo. Yes I know we look so alike.
So I feel I am most qualified to talk about this amazing woman.
Katrina started off like as a dreamer. Whenever we could not find her, she was wondering around calmly dreaming. I always wondered how was she going to survive later in life. Little did I know what a wonderful attribute this was.
As a child she was defiant and stubborn but always willing to give anything ago, yes reckless at times. She cruised along not sweating the small stuff.
On completing schooling she decided to venture out into the wider world and saved her pennies to go travelling and fulfill more dreams. I was devastated and decided that I would join her. About 9 months later we meet again in London. Katrina was living in a friend's lounge room floor spending nights going door to door selling art. She had little money buy was having fun.
Katrina always is able to see the bright side of life.
After many adventures across Europe and Africa, some extremely dangerous she returned to Australia and had to think seriously of her future.
She had taken numerous photographs on her trip with AN AUTOMATIC CAMERA but what was clear to her and everyone who saw the photos was her nack to "catch the moment".
She applied to Art College. One of the pre-requisites was a portfolio. Quickly she put together her photos from her trip and gave each capture a name or saying. I was less than confident she would get in. The University could obviously see her potential and she was accepted on the first round.
To support her studies Katrina needed to work. She had been nannying up to this point. Katrina approached a photograph printing shop and on the spot was offered a casual position. Katrina went on to manage this shop successfully for many years.
BUT she had a dream!!
On weekends she started to photograph weddings and building her exceptional skills that we know today.
Even during her pregnancy she continued photographing with the "poor" student of a sister as her trusted assistant. They were such fun times.
At this junction I need to acknowledge the wonderful man in Katrina's life who has supported her through so much and helped her dreams come true.
Whilst Katrina worked so hard to build her business and take care of baby, Andy worked incredibly long hard hours to also support the family.
At some point as a family a decision was made to put all their energies into growing the photography business. Andy made the momentous decision to be the home dad. This decision is an enormous part of why their business is the success it is today.
Katrina has always seen the good in people, she has great levels of trust and love for all. She also knows she is not the expert of everything and has smartly and strategically called in experts to provide great advice to help her business along. This has included franchising the business, recruitment, marketing, being involved in National Judging competitions, becoming a judge herself, building partnerships, assisting families in times of crisis. She has endured the effects of the global financial crisis and come out on top.
The person you meet today whether on social media, phone or face to face is the real person, genuine in all her interactions. This is not a fake sales job. Katrina loves what she does and loves the relationships she establishes whether long term or a one off. She is caring, nurturing, a leader, an inspiration and you just want to hang around her and soak up the vibe.
So you had a dream my beautiful sister.
Well you have definitely achieved this one and I am sure there are many more mountains to climb. But today is a good time to sit back and acknowledge all that you have achieved both individually and as a family.
Congratulations and I/We love you to the moon and back".