In Her Shoes: Catherine Forster Connolly Owner & CEO of Merida

Catherine Forster Connolly is the owner and CEO of Merida, an American textile design house based in Fall River, Massachusetts, with a focus on 100% renewable natural fibers. She is also on the board of Nurturing Minds, a non-profit organization that provides technical support and fundraising for the SEGA Girl’s School in Tanzania.

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Q: What are three words people use to describe you? 
A: Optimistic, compassionate and insightful.

Q: What’s your favorite thing in the world?
A: Skiing, particularly in Wyoming.

Q: What’s your favorite city to travel to?
A:  Paris, and luckily for me, our artistic director is based there so I get to go relatively often.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from your mom?
A: Leave the party while you are still having fun.

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Q: Name a novel you recommend to your friends?
A: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.  

Q: What do you most admire about SEGA and Nurturing Minds?

A: I think the vision of the team at SEGA to change the trajectory of many Tanzanian girls’ lives is extraordinary. SEGA not only provides a great education, but it also teaches the girls entrepreneurial skills that increase the chances that they will be able to provide for themselves and their families. The girls are remarkable young women.   

I’ve recently joined the board of Nurturing Minds, and I am inspired by their commitment to ensure the success of this wonderful school. It is really an honor to work with them.

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