Catherine Clark was only 20 years old when she diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a diagnosis that kickstarted a journey that gave birth to her business, The Harvest Table. She discovered that the key to wellness was wholeness – a balance between what you eat, keeping your body fit, maintaining a sound mind and keeping your spirit on fire.
Catherine found it frustrating that certain products that she knew would be vital for shifting her health forward (additive-, gluten- and sugar-free) weren’t available locally. The Harvest Table was born out of this frustration, ensuring that she could source top quality products, whilst educating and encouraging others on their journey to health and wholeness.
Catherine who is now cancer-free, is passionate about helping people to reach their health goals and she says that she can spend all day dreaming about what the future could look like and strategising how to get there! “I think that dreaming is the easiest part of being an entrepreneur!”
Even though she is driven, passionate and has big dreams, she confides that she wakes up some mornings and wonders if anyone is ever going to buy her products again. “But then I lift up my eyes, tell myself that I’ve got this and keep moving forward.” She adds that her best pick-me-up on those ‘down days’ is feedback about how her products have changed the lives of her customers.
In addition to offering amazing products that really work, she is a firm believer that the reason people keep coming back is because it is an authentic brand that remains true to their values. “Building a business based on integrity and with a greater purpose than financial gain is a non-negotiable for me. Our vision is to not only create beautiful, pure, wholesome products that are packaged earth-consciously, but to shift the lives of our customers positively by educating them and helping them to make better food choices daily.”
She says that not unlike other budding entrepreneurs, she has faced challenges like cash flow and burning out, “One of the biggest issues as a business owner is cash flow, as banks don’t want to support you until you’ve made enough money, but by then you most likely no longer need their support. Suppliers also don’t want to open accounts for you, and the bigger stores want to pay you long after they’ve sold all of the stock. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole! That, coupled with the sacrifice of working long hours and fulfilling the role of packer, delivery person, quality controller and the accountant can take its toll, but boy, oh boy is it worth it when you come out on the other side!”
As a momtrepreneur, she admits that she doesn’t always manage to keep a healthy work-life balance, “Juggling work, school and home can be tough, but my husband Sam and I made the decision to carve time out for our two children (Josh, 11 and Ella, 8) by booking regular, device-free time away. In fact, our best memories have been made whilst caravanning and going away with friends.”
To find out more about Catherine, you can follow her on Instagram @whole_healthy_me, or to find out more about The Harvest Table products you can visit https://harvesttable.co.za.