HR in the Car - Episode 3: "Need Energy? Catherine May Have Some to Spare…"
In Episode 3, Miriam and Tom are joined by the original Purveyor of Fun, Catherine Hover, founder of Palette Community, and Saratoga Paint & Sip. You’ll hear about her first internship (highs and lows), some fantastic examples of what mentors are supposed to be doing, as well as what’s next on her plate. Listen in as we discuss how Catherine is redefining what it means to be part of a community.
About Catherine Hover:
Catherine Hover Founded Palette Community and Co-Working space in 2019, expanded and maintained growth throughout the pandemic, and continues to see increased revenues with two locations in the Capital Region and members nationwide. Within this role, she leads community engagement, membership recruitment, corporate partnerships, vendor relations, event planning, and promotion. Catherine manages a team of 10 and a family of five. She prides herself on her healthy work culture and family life, employee retention, and membership engagement.
Connect with Catherine:
Founder, CEO and Purveyor of Fun
Voiceover: Welcome to HR in the car with Miriam Dushane and Tom Schin of Alaant Workforce Solutions, where exciting HR Professionals and business leaders share laughter, insider stories and maybe even a few tears about HR in today's world. Buckle up for the best half-hour of your week.
Tom: Hey, Miriam, do you remember any individual in your career that stood out as a rock star before anyone knew that they were going to be that?
Miriam: Very few people come to mind. But the person we're going to talk to you today, Catherine Hover, is definitely one of those people.
Tom: So you might not know this, but I met Catherine ten plus years ago, right when she was coming into her own. She was just starting Paint and Sip up in Saratoga Springs. And it's fascinating to hear all the stories that we just went through with her about how she got here, how she got to Saratoga Springs, how she had her start in New York City, and how that inspired her over her career.
Miriam: Absolutely. And I loved the part that she talked about her experience when she was an intern in New York City. It was a very interesting story that I do believe shaped how she moved forward in her life. So I'm excited for everyone to hear it.
Tom: And I can't wait to share with others the stories about what she has coming with her Palette community. It's so inspiring to see what she's trying to provide for everyone here in this region, not just for where her family resides in Saratoga Springs, but also for the greater capital district.
Tom: We're excited to bring together today with Catherine Hover, she has started multiple businesses, most notably Palette Community. Some of you may know her from her time starting Paint and Sip up in Saratoga and then branching to Latham and Burlington. So we're excited to have you here today. Thanks for joining us, Catherine.
Catherine: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Tom: We'd like to go through a round of different questions with our guests, but we thought it'd be really intriguing. You have a different perspective than the traditional HR person because you've got a couple of businesses that you're running and it's just a different capacity as a business owner versus an HR person. So we thought we'd dive into some of our questions and the first one we'd like to start with is when you go to a cocktail event or a social event, how do you describe to others what you do?
Catherine: So first and foremost, I usually say that I own a coworking space of create. I'm the founder of a community which is a female focused coworking and community space, and I also am Paint and Sip and so that usually doesn't really garner any more explanation. I think sometimes people will say, Well, what is that? And I'm like, well, it's literally a paint and a sip studio. We're a bar and we also teach you how to paint.
Tom: Fantastic. Yeah. I remember going to a couple of sessions there early on because you and I have known each other a long time, probably about the point that you started paint and sip with the first store right on Henry Street. It's been marvelous to watch the growth and your career trajectory over these last several years in terms of when people go off of the Palette community answer, how do you explain to folks who don't understand that co-working space thought process?
Catherine: So I can tell you that it's few and far between at this point. After two years of COVID and the experience we've all lived through, co-working is a definitely a better, easier conversation to have with people. But before that, I would just say, you know, it's a space for again, it's a female focused community. So a lot of stay at home moms who all have a side hustle, believe it or not, and they want to get out of their office. And so it's also a great space to meet clients in that you you know, you don't want to meet these people in your living room. I don't know about you in my living room is like, you know, a landmine of toys everywhere. I have three daughters. So it's an opportunity to kind of just showcase that this is a space, it's an elevated environment. There's, you know, casual seating, but also professional boardroom, if you need it, just to get out of your house. And I would say the majority of our members are in that little that bracket.
Miriam: Sure. Getting out of their house, something a little bit different. Tell us a little bit more about some of the member benefits of being part of that space and part of the community. You were mentioning events for members and you're digging into some other areas where you can provide more services to your members. So talk a little bit about that.
Catherine: So as a Palette member, you have access to our entire network and these are, you know, men and women who are already value wise the same as Palette. So they're like pre-vetted individuals that believe that they're in collaboration over competition, constantly looking to give support to others as as also a means to advance themselves. And so what's really cool about when you come to Palette, you meet someone that is a member. It's kind of just that that check in the box where it's like, Oh, they get it already. So there's no need to like further explain like why we're working on what we're working on. It's like we're all very passionate people. We all want to serve others. And then you also have like the tangible stuff, right? One of our brand promises is that there's always a seat to sit in. We have software that you can actually reserve the seat that you want to sit in prior to showing up. So I always think, like before Palette, I would go and meet people at Starbucks or Panera and it's like you get there and you're like, Oh, it's a really important meeting or a client call whatever. And you're like, There's nowhere to sit or, you know, there's like the teenager streaming Netflix. And so the Internet is not working and it's like and so you're always just feeling a little struggle and, you know, there's none of that Palette. So you can kind of set the tone and set the stage and space for what kind of day you want to have. And so that that to me is really important. Like I get it, I have three kids, I have a husband, I have multiple businesses. And so when I show up to work, I need to be able to get to it and not dilly dally, so.
Miriam: Talk a little bit about some of the things that you're working on to expand the member services to the community members that are part of Palette.
Catherine: Yeah. So like I said, a lot of our members are women. It's not just women. We also I always say we welcome emotionally evolved men who believe that there's nothing wrong with putting more money and resources in the hands of women. But so a lot of our our members are parents, working parents who are juggling, you know, the ongoing childcare discrepancy that we see in our community. So we are actually converting our downstairs Schenectady space into drop-in flexible onsite childcare for our members. And I'm really excited about that because I just think like we've been waiting around for another person or the government to kind of come in and save the day. And it's not just about grants and money that are going to be able to to solve. It's going to take, you know, the private sector, it's going to take, you know, all hands on deck and all lanes advancing on this. So this model will be very flexible. And what I think it's going to be great for is for employers to partner with us to provide the service in their own offices. So there's a lot of I mean, we can talk about this. I'm sure you you know more about this than I do. But there's a lot of people who are just not coming back to the office. They enjoy the flexibility. They enjoy working from home in some cases may be more productive. You know, so and it's this childcare thing that I think could be the carrot that gets working parents back to the office because it's showing like partnership and support on the home front. And it's impossible to deny that, that working parents need that now.
Miriam: And it's happening right now. You know, everybody's complaining about not having enough labor and labor shortages. And one of the main reasons is because of child care. It's because of parents prioritizing where they're going to spend their money and how they're going to raise their families. And many, many families decided, you know what, I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm going to stay home with the kids and I'm going to do it my way. So when you say that flexible child care, does that mean so say I'm a community member at Palette and I need to come to Palette to do my work, bring my child there in the childcare. But what if I have to go to an offsite meeting?
Catherine: You just have to be back within a two and a half hour period. So that's the trick. So this is not going to be licensed, this is not going to be regulated by OCFS. So, yeah, it's not, but it's illegal. So we're definitely going to make sure we're checking all the boxes, we're going to background check our employees. We're hiring experienced child care educators, some of which who are done working in the childcare industry because they're only making $15 an hour. They can't even afford to send their own kids the very, you know, program or center that they work at. And it's exhausting and it's thankless work. Right? So we really do not as a country do not appreciate our childcare providers.
Catherine: So there is a handful of them that are just sitting at home and would like to get paid more than $15 an hour, which is what I'm going to pay them. It's absolutely out of the box. And I think that a lot of people who I've told this to, they're like, I mean, can you even make this work? And it's like, I believe we can. We're going to test it out over the next six months or so. We'll be launching it in Schenectady. Yeah. And anybody else who wants to partner with me to provide this service and benefit to their employees. There's a huge opportunity here to stop talking about how much we support our employees and how much we care about our, you know, our teams. But then we're like, leaving them high and dry when it comes to the childcare front, this is a great way to say we do believe in this. So we're going to bring in Pallete to facilitate the childcare operations in our own space. This is on site and that's the thing, right? Like mom and dad have to be on site.
Catherine: Right. Yeah.
Tom: Boy, oh, boy. It's so fascinating. Catherine. I think the entire time I've known you, it's always been one goal. Reach it, exceed it, another goal, reach it. Exceed it. I remember when you started Paint and Sip in Saratoga and you were talking about the second spot. I can remember when you decided to run a marathon and you did all that and you ran the marathon, and then you're on to the next challenge. And so I remember it seems like five or six months ago we were talking about this child care matter. And it's fantastic to see that you've brought it to the table and you've made it happen and I'm so excited. What's next?
Catherine: Well, I definitely have to do this first. And then the other thing, too, that I think it's important to not lose sight over, like why I'm doing all this, right? Like I have three daughters. And in a world where, you know, it's very uncertain what their future will look like and what rights they might have or not have, you know? So it's important for me to demonstrate to them that they can do anything that they want to do. They can raise a family, they can have the businesses. They can be a great partner. That's my why. And that's why I do everything that I do. And I think some people might say that I'm like too ambitious. Like my mom, especially my mom and dad are always like, why are you doing so much? Like, just just like you don't have to, you know? But I do have this, like, sense of urgency. I don't know why. It's just like there's. You only get one life. You got to you got to pack it all in and make the biggest impact that you can.
Tom: Live for today, prepare for tomorrow.
Tom: I love it. I love it.
Catherine: And I can remember when I opened, Paint and Sip, people thought I was absolutely mad. And I'm like, But look at me now, you know? Like, it's just like everything that I do is kind of, like, maddening to other people. But I and I also want to say, like, it's not that I haven't, you know, given other people the opportunity to do these things right. Like, you know, Paint and Sip was the first of its kind in the region. And I think that that was a huge testament to my success of it all. I mean, it is a great time and I don't want to take away from that. But, you know, being the first out of the gate to do these really cool things in our region, I think has been, you know, really like gave gave me a leg up.
Tom: Yeah, that's fantastic. I remember those days fondly because you were so new to Saratoga and just trying to absorb all this information from the collective that we're working with. So we have these questions of the week that we put on our weekly newsletters and our social feeds like LinkedIn, and we'd like to gather that feedback. They're usually poll questions that provide one or two or three answers just to see what the pulse of the area is bringing to us. This week, we wanted to talk to you about stay interviews or engagement surveys. And because you've had a different level of employees at different times and both businesses life cycles, what are your thoughts on that? What have you found from doing those types of stay interviews or engagement conversations or one on ones? What have you found for them? What have you learned from those?
Catherine: I can tell you that they're they're absolutely imperative to retaining a successful team. You know, and I don't want to have a retention problem at Paint and Sip and Palette, you know. So I just think that I lead by listening to my teammates. I don't know at all, you know, and I don't ever claim to know it all. I also feel like as a leader, I remember so clearly being an employee of people who didn't give two $%&#*s about what I what I thought or what I brought to the table. You know, I was just like a pawn. I was just like a person that they were using, like, you know, what's that like, a cog in the wheel, you know? And I think that that hurts, you know? And I feel like early on, had I been led by a stronger mentor, leader, boss, I might have stayed in that role. You know, I definitely probably would have stayed in that role because I love being part of a team. I love being a team player. I love being heard. And so I think that's just something that I remind myself constantly with with my team. I mean, Palette is run by Marcella. We call her our resident unicorn because she can do everything and she can pivot from having like a very, you know, personal, sensible conversation with one of our members and then go professional, you know, so she can kind of toe the line so well and even better than I can. She has so much experience and it all falls if she's not happy, right? If she's not being supported, if she's not getting what she needs, if she's not getting the flexibility, she also is a caretaker to her mother. And, you know, she has other responsibilities. So it's important to like always remind myself that she is like a whole person and she you know, it's not just what she's doing for Palette. It's, you know, is she a happy person? And that really means the world to me. And at Paint and Sip, Mandy is our manager there. She was an artist and I just kept on giving her more responsibilities. Yeah, well, obviously paying her for that. But, you know, in order for me to go out and do all these other things and explore all these different services or businesses, you know, and family, my own family, you have to have really good people to support you. And so I think if I'm not supporting my team, yeah, like it's not going to work, it's not sustainable. So I think a lot of times I think we've seen a lot of retention issues in the workforce over the last two years and I think it all goes back to their leaders are not listening to what their needs are and then delivering on that too, because you can you can listen all you want about like, you know, and you have to be able to tell when you need to take action on it or, you know, give some somebody the day off. I mean, sometimes just giving somebody the day off is so rewarding and it doesn't cost anything.
Miriam: Exactly. Absolutely. That, you know, some people call it a mental health day. I find that, you know, with even with my own team, I have the same situation. I always make sure that I carve out one on one time with every single person. And when I have a new employee start, I think they're very nervous about that. So I give them a couple of months to like settle in and then I'll be like, Hi, so I do this with everyone. We can do it once a week. We can do it once a month. We can do it whenever you want. But I want to get to know you as a person. I want to see what makes you tick and how can we support you both professionally here in the office, but potentially personally too, like with causes or charities or whatever it might be. So I think that's really, really important. What tweaks is anything coming to mind when you know, when you're talking about Marcella, let's say, and you're getting to know her and what her needs are as an employee, what have you been able to do or accommodate, let's say, in a way that maybe would be nontraditional or something that may be in an air quotes, corporate environment might not be willing to accommodate for someone.
Catherine: Oh my God. I think everything about what we do and how we work together is not traditional. Okay, she's completely remote. She works whenever she wants to. Going back to the engagement interviews, it doesn't have to be so, you know, it doesn't be so structured. I think you there can be such a disconnect, right? When like you got to have sit down with somebody and they're like, Oh my God, I'm having a sit down with Catherine. Like, Is everything okay? Well, I'm constantly talking to everyone all the time. It's never really, like, structured because it's just how we operate, you know, everything is very gray. But with that being said, we still have reports, we have, you know, boundaries. We write everything down. It's hard to explain that, it's like it is business, right? And it's important to make sure that everyone knows what they. Our deliverables are and expectations are clear. And, you know, we're just constantly checking in. But yeah, Marcella has like a full autonomy. I trust her with my life. I mean, this is like my baby. My my business is my baby. And I, she actually worked with me at Paint and Sip. And so there's like a lot of built in history and trust, I think is huge, you know, but no way you would find that in corporate and just have a very, very short experience in corporate. I think at this point I'm completely un-hirable or unemployable. It's funny, I just worked with someone, Miranda VonFricken and I think everybody knows Miranda, but I worked with her on my resume just because I felt like, you know, I should update my resume. It's been ten years since I did anything with my resume, and you never know, you know, what the future holds. I'd like to just always keep that updated, but it's like it was a good exercise. And then also just a reminder, like, I'm never going to be able to to work, I shouldn't say never, never should say never right? And corporate is changing. So I think there's a lot of…
Miriam: Is it though?
Tom: Some, some…
Miriam: I think it depends. I think it depends. I think there are organizations and we're seeing it firsthand that are kind of coming around. Some take a lot longer than others to figure out. I have been impressed with some organizations that are really forward thinking and I'm like, wow, that's a great company. And I always look at a company when I evaluate a client for our business, I go, would I want to work here? Could I see myself working here? It's one of the bars that I use to try to evaluate clients that I want to be engaged with. And if I can't honestly say, yeah, this would be some place that I could work at, then it's probably going to be hard for me to provide them employees here.
Catherine: Y'all probably see under the hood of everything, right? You see things that you just…
Tom: You see the good, you see the bad, right?
Miriam: But you also see companies that say, we're dying. We don't know what to do. Please help us. And you know, I've been using an example lately of a company that was kind of old school, and they finally recognized that they were too old school. And so they asked us for our advice and pleasantly, we were like, Let's see if they're really going to change their tune. But they did. And they are. And now they're they've hired like five people within the last probably two months and it's a good thing. So I think I'm an optimist. I know you are an optimist. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.
Miriam: I always think the best. And I will say in this region, 25 years of working in this area, I think let's say 50/50, I think that's a good balance. We need more to come over to the more progressive side of thinking. But I think people like you continuing to tell your stories on how it's working is what's important.
Catherine: Yeah, I mean, it's working and it's possible. And, you know, it's the people out there, you know, and I think that we live in such a great community. I mean, so I'm originally from New Orleans.
Catherine: And I can tell you, when you're not in Albany and you go outside of the region and you tell people that you're from Albany, New York, people like they raise their eyebrows. They're like, $%&#*, Albany, New York. That's the capital. I'm like, You're damn right it is, you know? So I think sometimes we are in here in this region and we're like, we think we're little. And it's like, No, no, no. We have to reflect what other people are actually thinking of us. Like we're hot $%&#*, and we have a great community. We have great schools. We have I mean, granted, we have a lot of work to do, but it's all it's all on the up and up and we're capable of making those changes. And I think it's a great time to be, you know, great time, great place. And there's like something to build off of. And yeah, no one's going to like me here saying this about New Orleans, but like, New Orleans is a much bigger problem to deal with. And it's like years, maybe decades or even more to change or impact that community. Where I think in Albany and the capital region we have a lot going for us and we got it all. We just have to start really collaborating and working together. We need more demonstrations of like what that looks like to think creatively, to think outside the box and and to make money doing it because there is it's and we got to eat.
Miriam: Yeah, well.
Tom: That's the thing. It's like we constantly hear that there is no new idea. It's a recycled idea from some other time, some other person, some other place in the world. And we're just putting it to use in a newer context, a newer box. So that way other folks have an example to live on. And I think it's fascinating to look at all the things that happen around this region, the software that's being developed, the restaurant ideas, the hospitality ideas. You just see so many new things coming to the frey, much like Paint and Sip ten plus years ago. And it's an explosion of creativity and entrepreneurship that's here in this area.
Catherine: Yeah. I mean, I think, too, it's like people don't realize just how much more development is left to have here. There's like so much opportunity to develop. And, you know, we were just in Austin and it's just you come back and you're like like, I don't know what the word is. It's like I'm.
Catherine: And inspired, but just. Like, amped to like and hyped to just, like, do something else. And every idea that I've had has absolutely been a replica and my own spin on it. And because it's just not here yet.
Miriam: Right. Exactly.
Catherine: And I also think that there is another piece to the capital region and these like secondary tertiary markets where people like I don't know who these people are, but they don't think that there are enough people here to support certain initiatives or certain businesses. And I think that's B.S. We are I call ourselves micropolitan instead of Metropolitan. And we have like great average household incomes here. There's a million people within, you know, a hundred mile radius. And I just think there's so much opportunity. And there are people here. And then after COVID, right, like droves of people coming up here because we have it all we have like that city living, we have the urban, we have the farm, we have the rural, we have it all.
Miriam: And you can literally sometimes, like I did that I went from farm life for 25 years back into Albany. But if I drive 10 minutes down Krumkill Road, I can hit a farm. Yeah. And then 10 minutes the other direction, I can be back in the city of Albany. So I do think it does have the best of both worlds.
Catherine: And 3 hours, 3 hours. You can be in Montreal, you can be in New York City, you can be in Boston. I mean, that's incredible.
Miriam: Yeah, I totally agree.
Tom: So we all have these stories of things that other people just wouldn't believe are true or would happen. And many HR folks talk about, oh, when I retire someday I'm going to write a book about this and that and the other. What's the first story in your book?
Catherine: Oh, my God. So this is so perfect. I actually tell the story more times than I would like to. But since you're HR people, I think you might just get a you know.
Tom: We're going to fall over in our chair.
Catherine: You. Well, I'm sure you've seen it all, but I was an intern in New York City. I was 21. And I never had been in New York City before. So I had gotten an internship. I was in school for fashion merchandising, which is what I went to school for. And so my dream, I was going to go to New York City, I was going be a buyer for Macy's or something, and I was just going to live the life in New York City, you know, and I literally had never been there before. So anything I saw was just television and a big lie, right? So I landed this internship at BCBG Max Azria and there a sample closet. And at the time I was 2008. So it was a very stressful time to be in the fashion industry and it was a full semester, it was a full non-paid semester. So I was putting myself in massive credit card debt living in New York City. I was also working in their flagship store like I was working nights and weekends. It was miserable, but I also loved it. But so anyway, my point was, halfway through this internship, I think I'm doing a solid job. I'm like not getting paid for this internship. And I was essentially like a sample assistant at this point because they had like let go of so many people. I mean, every day you would show up for work and there would be like little pink sheets on people's computers. I'd come to talk to whoever and like, off they go. I'm like packing up desks and stuff like that. So stuff you see on TV, right? But I like experienced it firsthand. It was like mortifying and but they kept me obviously going there free.
Miriam: You were free.
Catherine: I was totally free. They gave us a $10 stipend for lunch.
Miriam: Ooh, wow.
Catherine: So that's about it.
Tom: Yeah, that's an egg sandwich.
Catherine: Yes, exactly. And if I had time to eat an egg sandwich, so I'm halfway through the semester, I have like a review that my, my teacher from college had emailed me and like have your, your supervisor fill this out. So the four of them, no it was three of them came in and they put me in the board room and I'm thinking I'm about to get rave reviews. I show up every day on time. I late I stay late because I would literally have an hour between, you know, this ending work day and then going to the flagship store on Fifth Avenue to work. So I would just hang around and like do work. The review was horrible. Like one of the main things that they told me was that there are professional or like physical appearance. I got like a zero on, okay.
Miriam: Ugh, dagger in the heart.
Catherine: Absolutely crushes crushing. And she tells me, you know, there are people who can get away with not wearing makeup and are naturally beautiful, but you're not one of them.
Catherine: Wow! So, I'm like everything else they said, like, I just I only I only ever wanted busywork to do. I'm constantly asking for what the next thing is, but the next thing is, you know, I just like it was the, the worst. And I was just I was mortified. I mean, absolutely mortified. And I will never forget these women's names. I mean, and just what a, what a horrible experience. And I can't imagine that that's like still happens to this day, like or even that was in 2008. You know, it's like not that long ago.
Miriam: No, not that long ago.
Catherine: And I just think, you know, it really it really impacted me because I felt like I knew who I was. I knew what hard work I was putting in and also how much I had risked. To, to take an entire semester off of school, to come up to New York City, to, like, prove myself. You know, I was clearly failing miserably or just not placed in the right company, right? You know, just the power of mentorship, how impactful that can be. You know, imagine if these three women looked at me and said, hey, let's support her. Let's figure out what's going on and let's kind of demonstrate how she can improve in ways that are sensitive and respectful of another person.
Miriam: Being a good human.
Catherine: Yeah. Yeah. So, oh, my God. Yeah, that's by far, I think the most, like, HR relevant, crazy thing that's ever happened to me.
Tom: Oh, that's a great story.
Miriam: The makeup thing, I'm still, I mean, I'm glad this well, it's almost unfortunate that it's not being videotaped because the look on my face, I was like, I'm mortified right now. That is just…
Catherine: Like I'm 35. But as a as a professional woman who meets younger kids at this point and they are seeking mentorship or I'm paired with them, I'm also on the board of Sponsor a Scholar. Mentorship is so important to me. And I think, you know, you meet kids 18, high school, 24, college kids, they don't know yet. Right. They haven't experienced life yet. So they have an experience and, and probably more times than not, they don't have, you know, family members who might, you know, show them the way. Who knows? Right. Like and I just think what an opportunity they missed to kind of do the right thing or just be a little sensitive. So, I don't know. It haunts me still to this day because I just can't imagine being in that position to to say that to a kid, you know, just lose a mind. Yeah.
Miriam: Nothing like tearing somebody down instead of building them up and helping them out. Right?
Catherine: And the only justification that I can come up with is that they were struggling themselves and they were miserable, probably not getting the support they needed. Their employer underappreciated, like lack of resources and just like stressed. I mean, I can imagine.
Miriam: Well, it's really interesting because I think your outlook on it, maybe not at the time, maybe now as you look back on it, is there is always a side to everything. And the reason why people act certain ways and sometimes they're just not good humans. But other times, like you just said, maybe they were struggling, maybe they had this certain stress.
Miriam: I also think of it from a standpoint of or maybe they were threatened by seeing someone hustle.
Catherine: You know. And the other piece of it is like literally that day they actually sent me home early that day and I did. I cried. Sure, I might have had some drinks, but that, that night I went online and I actually used the rest of that internship to, you know, like, yeah, I take it more seriously, but also like do the bare minimum at that point because I was not being appreciated for what I was doing. So I was like, I ain't getting paid for this, you know? And I'm actually getting paid to work at that store in Fifth Avenue and I get a commission, so I'm going to hustle over there. So I actually took that time to land another internship at Marie Claire Magazine the following summer, which I loved. I was in the fashion closet with 25 other girls who were my age, and it was the most amazing summer I had ever had. And at the time my now husband was working in Saratoga Springs. So, you know, it all comes back around. And that summer we took the train all the way up to Saratoga. Like that was the first time I'd ever been to Saratoga. And, you know, now I've been here for 10 or 11 years now. So it all it all worked out, right.
Tom: When you take the lessons that life gives you and do something. We had an intern with us this spring and last fall, and I can remember telling her as she was departing. Hopefully all your other employers treat you this way because she was she was being very complimentary of her experience with us and she was fantastic. But I let her know, look, you may not come into every scenario like this, but this at least helps you understand what you could have and keep an eye out for that. You have options, find the right path for you.
Tom: And that led you obviously to great things over the last ten plus years.
Catherine: Yeah, I actually I sent an email to this woman. She lives out in the Midwest, and she went to veterinarian school, and she's, like, starting. She's in a new marriage and, you know, new life, whatever. And she wrote on Facebook something like how important it is to be supportive of the people around you. And I was like, I got to shut this down. You know, I sent her a message, like on Facebook, like a direct message. And I'm like, Look, I'm really happy for you. I think it's great that you have this new calling in life and everything. And I just I just really do wish that you would have given me that support that you've received now and this new, you know, venture, you know. And she of course, she didn't reply to me, but whatever.
Tom: Her loss.
Catherine: Her loss. But I got it off my chest and there you go.
Miriam: There you go. So wrapping up, again, thank you so much for sitting down with us today and having this really honest and good conversation. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us? Maybe a personal cause or something in the community? Charitable, whatever it might be that you either want to get the word out about or want to make sure people are aware of so that maybe more people can support it. Anything come to mind from that perspective because you're involved in a lot. I see you a lot of places doing a lot of things.
Catherine: Wow. There are so many to choose from. I'm on the board of Sponsor A Scholar and I talked about this a little earlier. I was a mentor for them before I joined the board. And I just I love meeting young kids who are, like, ambitious, and they they already know what they want to do, you know, and they just need, like, just a little support to get into the next step. And then, I mean, honestly, all of our members at Palette are doing incredible work and they're part of like amazing companies and nonprofits that are just kicking ass and taking names. And I just think I'm so lucky and grateful to be in a position to reflect what their needs are. And so that's why we're going to dabble in this childcare concept next. And so yeah, just to stay tuned to what we're doing at Palette and I appreciate being here. I thank you for that for the mic.
Tom: That's fantastic. Thanks for joining us. We're so thrilled that you got some time with us this afternoon and let folks know all the exciting things that you're doing.
Miriam: So. Wow. What did you think of that? First of all, holy energy. Like if I had even a half of a cup of the energy that that woman has, I think I could do like 15 more things a day.
Tom: I can't imagine what it is to come up with the ideas in her head and bounce here and there and everywhere with all the things that she's done. But I just always leave conversations with her wanting more.
Miriam: I totally agree, and I just love picking her brain and hearing about what she's looking at in society, here in our community and things where she might be able to help make a little bit of a difference or a change that will set other people up in the future to be more successful, whether they are solopreneur a working mom or helping an employer figure out a way to get people back to work and provide childcare at the same time, I think she's full of ideas and I think it's just because she observes what's going on around her and in our community and then going, I can fix that.
Tom: Yeah, I think she looks at it from how do we make the entire human successful versus just the employee and bringing that to set the example for all the other businesses in the area. Fantastic. I can't wait to see her again to see a second round with her at some point in the future.
Miriam: Definitely. Definitely. So for more information on the work that Catherine's doing at Palette Community and the other great things that are happening in our community from all of our speakers, please go to our website Alaant.com, and we thank you so much for listening and please join us again soon.