Ten Years Ago – BY MIKE HUGHES (MD AKA maintenance Mike) – KATE+CO

Posted to News on Wed, 12 Oct, 2016

Ten years seems like such a long time ago to many people, but for me it seems like only yesterday. Although so much has happened in the intervening period I still remember the events of 2006 like it was yesterday, as that was the year Sarah Grace and I entered into, what would become, one of the most important relationships of my life. 2006 was the year I purchased the assets of Kate+Co Ltd and enticed Sarah Grace to join the company as my co-director and shareholder.

Now at the time this was a big deal for us both, when I say big, it was slightly overshadowed by Googles $1.65 Billion takeover of YouTube which happened at about the same time, but for both Sarah and I, it was a big deal financially and emotionally as I knew nothing about recruitment and Sarah knew nothing about me.

Like most good relationships it was cemented in a bar with lots of alcohol, false promises and a firm belief we could sort out any problems later. 10 years later we are still in business together and our business is as strong as it has ever been. (Interestingly Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes also married in 2006 and they could not keep things going, so maybe the Recruitment Industry is not as tough on a relationship as Scientology?)

A lot has happened over the last 10 years, Sarah already happily married to Richard inherited a work husband. Sarah gave birth to two lovely daughters Grace and Isabella and also moved house. Things for me have been a little different I got divorced, split with my business partner and I tragically lost my fiancé to cancer.

We later also invited another partner into our business relationship, Jo Callaghan who became the ‘trois’ in our ‘ménage’. But the constant thing that has kept us all going has been our love and respect for each other and also our passion for this wonderful, frustrating, rewarding, maddening company called Kate+Co and the crazy recruitment industry we operate in.

The company has changed hugely over the last 10 years, we have grown from 2 to 22 employees, we have moved into larger premises and established as a specialist recruiter rather than a generalist recruitment agency. We have experienced the explosion of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and its impact on the recruitment industry. Interestingly it was only after 2006 that Facebook really experienced its huge growth when it opened up its membership.

I do ask myself, now that we mark our 10 year anniversary, (which apparently is celebrated by the wonderful gift of tin), what would have happened had Sarah, Jo and I not met and built this business together. Would my life have been different? Would I have had so much fun? I did check on Google and if I had caused a public riot in 2006 I could have been sentenced to a mandatory 10 years, instead 10 years ago I bought Kate+Co Ltd and I have had a riot!!