Catherine from Bindle
Catherine Blackford is all about celebrating the diversity of Australian talent. Her unique gift package business, Bindle, blends sustainability and a love of local.
Dear Australians, do you remember Blinky Bill? You know, the cartoon koala bear who wandered around with his Australian-fauna friends with a stick slung over one shoulder? Yes? Well, you know that red-and-white checkered hanky bundle thing hanging from the top of his stick? You know the one. That’s called a Bindle. There you go; you learn something new every day.
Technically, a bindle is a “bundle of possessions carried by a hobo”, but Catherine’s version is far more glamorous.
I was pretty excited about that information when I came across Catherine’s story in Renegade Collective last year. As someone who loves putting together “care packages” for friends and family in times of need, Bindle is the fruition of that, in business form. These are care packages made with love, time, and sweet-as deco. Better than throwing some lollies, Sex and the City DVDs and a gossip mag into an old shoebox for your heartbroken friend (just me?!), Catherine’s Bindle boxes are so damn attractive.
"I’ve just had to believe in myself wholeheartedly. Conveying the story and philosophy around my business has been incredibly rewarding."
We’ve all experienced the stress of trying to figure out the perfect, personalised present for a loved one in the face of abundant gift cards and selfie sticks. Bindle is here to take the pressure off. Baby showers, blokes, body care, breakfast in bed and hostess gifts, Bindle has it all, for every occasion. As Catherine says on her website, “Each Bindle is a compilation of several talented individuals that brings to it his or her own personality and creativity.”
Let’s talk about the Love Birds Bindle package, for example. It comes with a bottle of Italian wine, a Maison Blanche hand-poured candle made in Sydney, Salus organic bath salts (free from artificial colours and fragrance), and Winnow organic chocolates (fair-trade, made in Sydney). Boyfriends, are you reading this?! Every single brand within the box has a message, a strong philosophy and an ethos of sustainability that is in line with the Bindle story.
Meet Catherine, the lovely lady behind the brand, who has a dog named Walter and whose boyfriend doesn’t understand why she needs coffee every day.
Find @bindlefare on Instagram and Facebook!
by Amy Lovat
How did you get to where you are today?
With a lot of tenacity and a vision to share a philosophy I am passionate about. I have a degree in landscape architecture and was working in IT but feeling creatively uninspired at my job. I circulated the idea with friends and found there was a niche in the market for Australian-made, personalised gift packages celebrating diverse and local-made artisan products. The branding and ideas kind of evolved over time. I haven’t done any traditional advertising, I’ve been really lucky in that people have discovered me for press opportunities, and customers have come mainly through word-of-mouth.
"I admire positive people who constantly challenge themselves to find truth in their being, and in doing so offering their passion and energy in a diversity of avenues."
As someone with no previous business experience, did you find the process daunting?
The biggest challenge that I’ve had to overcome and face on a regular basis is attempting to attain a balanced focus. As a sole business owner, there are a lot of areas that require constant attention from design and client management to logistics and accounting. But I’ve just had to believe in myself wholeheartedly. Conveying the story and philosophy around my business has been incredibly rewarding.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
Believe in yourself. Be brave and follow your intuition. Don’t be afraid to receive feedback, negative or otherwise. I admire positive people who constantly challenge themselves to find truth in their being, and in doing so offering their passion and energy in a diversity of avenues.
What does the future look like?
This is such a hard question! I hope to grow Bindle into a business that is celebrated and recognised by many. On a personal note, I hope to live in a home with a herb garden, stories to tell, and giggling children at my feet.
Take us through a day in the life…
First thing I do in the morning is take my little mini sausage dog for a walk (his name is Walter). Then I try to get to a yoga class to create calm for the day. The rest of the day is taken up with emails, meetings with clients and suppliers, whizzing around in the car and coffee catch ups. Finally, a glass of wine and sharing of the day’s adventures with my beautiful man.
What’s on your bedside table?
Magazines, I think the latest Real Living, a lamp, glasses, nailpolish… all essential things!
Can you juggle?
No. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever really tried. That’s a great question, I love that! I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that before.