Kathryn From: Our Fearless Leader
At the helm of Bravado Designs Ltd., is Managing Director, Kathryn From. Dynamic and innovative, nurturing and passionate, Kathryn personifies an eclectic mix that defines a modern woman in today’s multi-dimensional world.
After earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Kathryn started her career with The Monitor Group, a strategic consulting firm founded by Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School. She returned to school to complete an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, then lived and worked in Europe for five years, most notably as a pan-European communications and marketing manager for 3M in Paris.
Kathryn knew from a young age—after she had eliminated acting as a viable career path—that she wanted to be an entrepreneur. In 1995 she founded her first company, EuroAccess, a consulting firm specialising in international marketing and strategy, which she ran for five years. During that time she met Shery Leeder, co-founder of Bravado Designs. Kathryn became co-owner of Bravado in 1998 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today Kathryn, like most working mothers, continuously strives to find the delicate balance between work, home, family and time for herself. It’s a constant challenge in which she succeeds on some days but not so much on others. Her work at Bravado is her passion; she finds that collaborating with a talented team to build a solid company and unique brand is incredibly stimulating and a great way to exercise her ingenuity. Yet nothing recharges her faster than being greeted at the door by the smiles of her two young children, son Logan, and baby daughter Riley.
Kathryn does try to carve out some personal time to do the things she enjoys most, like running, swimming, cooking and reading. In 2009 she completed two Sprint triathlons six months after giving birth to her second child (she says that pumping breast milk in a car post-race while exhausted, drenched in sweat and covered in mud was quite an experience!). She has also, somewhat foolishly, recently decided to undertake a full-scale home renovation project with her husband, a film director and producer.
Along with her main priorities as a successful entrepreneur and devoted wife and mother, Kathryn is a member of the SME Export Advisory Board for Canada’s Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Peter Van Loan. A long-time supporter and patron of the arts, Kathryn was also a member of the Marketing Advisory Committee to the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFF) from 1997 to 2009, when the mandate of the board was completed.
Over the years Kathryn has received several prestigious awards, including the Rotman Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (CWEYA) Award in 2002 in the Export Category, as well as being named one of Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs every year from 2002 to 2009, as ranked by PROFIT magazine’s annual W100. She speaks regularly at business schools about her experiences as an entrepreneur and gives advice to young women who are interested in following a similar path.
A truly inspired individual, Kathryn’s mission is to ensure that Bravado continues to set the gold standard in maternity and nursing intimate apparel and, as a leading authority and source of information on breastfeeding, to provide comfort and support to pregnant women and nursing mothers around the world.