Have you heard of the fashion brand Maggie and Me?
If you haven’t, we’re sure you will soon know the brand well, as determined and talented fashion designer Catrin Sain Watkins (pictured left) is making a big name for herself despite beging in the unenviable situation of suffering with Crohn’s disease.
The basic concept of Catrin’s brand Maggie and Me is clothing you can wear to work and also adapt for evening wear.
It’s the really heart-warming story about how the brand began and where the name came from is what we love.
Catrin had grown up watching her grandma, Maggie, design and sew clothing. Fashion design was her grandma’s passion and became Catrin’s passion. From the age of 5 she dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and spend hours watching her grandma in front of the sewing machine creating clothing. Through this shared passion Catrin and her grandma became exceptionally close. Catrin is quoted as saying:
“Growing up, it was always just us two, Maggie and me, so symbolising that time we spent together with the name of my label just felt right.”
Catrin’s passion for sewing and fashion never reduced and the thought of any other career path never crossed her mind.
At 19 Catrin started a degree in Fashion at Nottingham Trent. Unfortunately in her second year, Catrin received the devastating news she was suffering with Crohn’s disease.
Catrin says about the time she first found out about the disease:
“It really set me back, and although I was determined to struggle through, I realised I needed to take time out to get my head around the illness and to get healthier. I took a year off which was really hard. It’s a difficult illness to live with.”
Dispite the disease, which will always affect Catrin’s lifestyle, she completed the course and secured herself a job in Debenhams in London – a far reach from her home town of Penyrheol, Wales. After a few years, she left there and started freelancing for various companies but still had a strong desire to put her own stamp on the world of fashion.
So in the middle of last year, Catrin took the leap into self-employment to try to launch her own brand. By October, Catrin had launched her label, having spent the previous months designing collection pieces, sourcing fabrics in China, and getting samples made.
She didn’t tell her Grandma, Maggie about the brand idea until she was sure she was going to go ahead with it. When Catrin was 100% sure, she wore some of her own clothes round to her grandma’s and waited for her to comment on them and ask where they were from before showing her the label, and bring her grandma to tears with the concept of her brand!
Maggie & Me is now being sold in House of Frazer as well as numerous boutiques across the UK. Catrin is also getting a lot of interest across Europe and China.
Catrin already has one member of staff, a friend who she’s always joked she would employ when she became a successful fashion designer.
Catrin has worked extremely hard to get where she is, working 12 hour days 7 days a week to get her brand of the ground and has all but given up every other aspect of her life during this start-up period. She’s quoted as saying:
“With fashion, you just have to stick with it….you need to live and breathe it…if you really try and put your mind to tit, you can achieve anything”
We wish Catrin all the luck in the world with her brand although looking at her collection and knowing her hard working and determined nature, we know she won’t need it at all!
The original story can be read at West London Online