She’s So Inspiring – Cath Young

She's so inspiring

My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they  choose to live it have really inspired me. Some are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and  they are all special. I feel honoured and privileged that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!

Meet Cath Young.

Isn’t it funny how people’s paths cross? So this time last year, I won a cushion in a competition from My Bearded Pigeon. I loved the cushion and I still do but I loved the story and the people behind it. Cath is not only a talented creative, she’s a big hearted one too, treading lightly on the environment and passionate about helping others. Right now, Cath is involved in the Make For Good campaign. It’s a partnership between Etsy Australia and Plan international. Everyone involved in the campaign is committed to donating 20% or more of the proceeds of their items to the Because I am a Girl  an organisation which aims to assist young women in developing countries  to stay in school or start a business to help educate and empower girls to claim their rights. You can find out more here. Cath’s story is all about a  sea change, getting your creative on and giving back to others – it just fills your heart!

She's So Inspiring - Cath Young

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Cath, a wife, a mum, a tree hugger, feminist, bleeding heart leftie, a small business owner and a volunteer. I live in a tiny little town on the mid north coast of NSW on a few acres of forest, surrounded by even more forest. I have 2 girls,  3 and 8 and I am married to a very  loving kiwi Chef. I love photography and I have only recently realised of all the creative pursuits that have turned my head, I  always return to photography, but have so much to learn!

I like to bake, walk in the forest listening to podcasts and we love to have people over for long lunches that turn into dinners. We are passionate about eating good food, and growing it! I have an online business called My Bearded Pigeon, where I design fabric and then turn it into homewares. I work 2/3 days a week as a social worker in drug and alcohol and domestic violence prevention. I co-run Days for Girls, sewing reusable hygiene kits so girls don’t have to miss school when they have their periods..   I will rarely so no to a cup of tea and will always say yes to cake.

​ I am also passionate about human rights and social justice.​

She's So Inspiring - Cath Young

Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not. 

I struggled with this question so I asked a few friends and ​Neil and  the responses were hilarious! Nearly everyone said loyal and some variation of compassionate/ caring / sense of social justice and creative and funny.

Things I am not- 3 people including Neil said “a man” – good to know! Not lazy, not quiet,  not a fence sitter! I think not a fence sitter is very true I have often been described as all or nothing and not doing things by halves. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not​, but I guess it means I am determined and I think that is good.

Complete this sentence, ____________________  changed my life. How and why?

Deciding to move to the country with my now husband,  deciding to have children, and deciding to start selling online- all of these things changed my life in big ways. I never saw myself as someones wife, until I met someone I wanted to marry. I never imagined having two girls and how much that would fill me up, I never thought I would run my own business. I thought you would need way more skills than I have in that area!​!!! ​

She's So Inspiring - Cath Young

What has been life’s greatest lesson?

It is not the events in our lives that control the way we think and feel it is our interpretation of them. I’m not saying for a moment that all adversity is easy to overcome, far from it, but I do think we can make a variety of decisions every day that impact on how we think and feel about ourselves and others and we have complete control over that.

What is your biggest achievement?

Having a roof over our heads, a happy family and a good friends, it’s really all that matters. ​Making the time to give back, by volunteering when I can, by joining committees, by getting involved, by donating and supporting. My parents were like that too, I hope my children grow up to be like that too. ​

She's So Inspiring - Cath Young

What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?

Probably moving to the country from the city. It was 14 years ago now and it still shocks me that I live in the country. When I first moved here I had just finished uni and I couldn’t find a job I wanted to do and I got really sad. Then I got a job and between getting the job and starting it my beautiful Dad died. It was the worst of the worst times. But it was also when I knew without a doubt that moving to Bellingen to be with Neil was the best decision ​I​ have ever made because he was exactly who I needed him to be.

Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?

To encourage, motivate and enable people to be living their very best lives, which makes me sound like a total wanker I realise but I don’t mean in my day to day life but I mean in my work life and in my creative life.

​I just mentored a 1000+ group of creatives in Etsy Creative Courage Challenge and it was so fascinating to watch people come out of themselves, to have so much more confidence in what they were doing and creating. I was so proud to see this creativity coming alive! Also with my other work too.

She's So Inspiring - Cath Young

What are your words to live by?

Get involved. Don’t be an arsehole.

If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?

I love Brene Brown– because she says things that are really hard to hear and that’s why I know I need to hear them. I also love Elizabeth Gilbert, for similar reasons.

If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?

I would sleep in late, eat a huge breakfast involving haloumi, eggs, bacon and something green, on toast and a huge coffee. I would load up my phone with podcasts, pack my camera and head to either the forest or the beach and spend the day taking photos with my dog,

You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?

My time alone in the forest walking is really really important to me. We recently lost our beautiful dog Zac, who was 14 and he used to come with me and I feel his loss so much but there is something about walking in nature that makes ​almost ​
everything better. Walking up hills and getting puffed makes me feel really good.
​However, I only lasted about 3 months without a dog, I cried so much in that bloody forest missing my Zac, and I realised I wasn’t replacing Zac if we got another dog I was getting a new family member, then I saw Baxter on the RSPCA website and I knew he was ” the one” he is 6 months old and we are all so in love with him. ​
​I also like drawing- and have vowed to stop prefacing that sentence with “I am not very good but … “
I’m also a talker. I have so many beautiful friends who are always good for a laugh or a teary phone call.  I have a ​regular dinners with a group of women who could literally change the world, we laugh so much and I know I could ring every single one of them and they would have my back.

Thank you for sharing, Cath.

Let Cath inspire you a little bit more…

on the blog 

on facebook

on pinterest 

on instagram 

on twitter

and check out her awesome Etsy shop