I’m Catherine Tatum, owner and designer of Classic Legacy. I am often asked how I began my business. Where did it begin? People look at me now and see that my clients are high end retailers, large luxury hotels, museums, and corporations…..but how did I get here. This is my story. After getting my masters in education and teaching first grade for five years I became a mother of two little girls. I’ve always loved to make things, experiment, and create. In those years my creativity involved art projects, French Hand Sewing, and smocking. When the girls were in preschool I noticed that hair bows were the trend. I thought, I could make those! I bought 6 different colors of grosgrain ribbon and experimented, creating the BEST hair bows in the South. We lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at the time. My business began by selling wholesale to small boutiques. Business was good and I hired other young mothers to help me. Eventually I developed accounts with department stores as well. We moved to the Memphis, Tennessee area in 1986 and what I thought would be the end of my business actually turned into a time of growth. Following are some questions I’m often asked:
What Inspired You To Start a Business, Catherine Tatum?
I was inspired to start a business as a way to make a little money as a mother of young children. I loved making things and thought I could use my gift of creativity to supplement our household income. I had the desire to be flexible as a Mother and liked the idea of “being my own boss”. My husband also encouraged me to learn more and more about business and technology. I was encouraged each step of the way especially when buyers liked what I produced. Hair accessories became a BIG market and I kept evolving. I imported French tortoise shell hair clips and added silver medallions to them. I learned each time I sourced materials where to buy the best supplies. I attended trade shows and events all over the United States. I enjoy meeting people and continued to learn what retailers wanted to buy. I was one of the first vendors to create wine charms!…..when I noticed this trend I knew where to obtain all the parts and a new chapter began to evolve again…..wine related gifts.
Did You Have Any Background or Experience, Catherine Tatum?
When I think about this question at first I want to say no, I didn’t have any background in business….but then I realize I did. My father was a farmer. My mother was a teacher. My grandmother owned a bookstore. All of these family members gave me experience in business. I saw the difficult times and the exciting good times. I learned to persevere, to develop new skills, and to continue to be a life long learner! I worked in the book store on Saturdays waiting on customers and sometimes created displays. My college degrees are in education. I do love children and especially love being creative and having fun! These are the little ones I enjoy being with now!
What Part of Your Business Do You Enjoy Most, Catherine Tatum?
The thing that I enjoy most is helping people solve a problem. I enjoy when some asks ….”Can you make a bottle stopper that includes a Texas theme with a star for a wedding?” I enjoy when someone asks if I can make a customer letter opener for a Mardi Gras Krewe event. I enjoy learning how to use Canva to create wonderful graphics. Keep your questions and suggestions coming!
Currently I serve select high end gift stores, hotels, resorts, online stores, and museums. Classic Legacy now specializes in creating custom gifts. I look forward to continue to serve you and your customers. I would love for you to have the free Classic Legacy eBook, 43 Gifts. It highlights 43 PROVEN gifts that I’ve created for businesses that have helped them stand out and get noticed. Click here or on the image below to receive the free eBook. Let’s stay in touch!