Deborah Henry-Pollard’s business is Catching Fireworks which she started 10 years ago. She is a coach to creative people and also the author of “What’s Your Excuse for not Succeeding as an Artist”
How long have you lived in the area?
Since December 2001.
What brought you here?
I lived in Chester for 10 years but got homesick so came back for a job at English National Opera. Nunhead was intended to be for 6 months whilst I looked for somewhere north of the river where I had lived before. Now, I can’t imagine leaving south London.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
Paper and pen. I know we are in a digital age, but nothing is better for me than the ‘old school’ way of capturing ideas. I have notebooks in every room of the house and always one in my handbag. I am one of the few remaining Filofax carriers!
The most famous person you’ve seen or met?
I used to work in theatre, so met people like Kenneth Branagh and Anthony Hopkins through that, plus saw lots of famous people on stage. Perhaps the most bizarre sighting was many years ago on an August Bank Holiday Monday. I was shopping in Oxford Street and Marlon Brando walked past me, just sauntering along with his hands in his pockets and seemingly not a care in the world. Not something you expect to see when you are preoccupied with buying new towels!
Do you belong to any groups?
A few coaching groups and First Friday, a fabulous networking group run by Shona Chambers at Space@61 in Nunhead. It is a wonderfully supportive group of small business owners and has a great ethos and atmosphere.
Describe your perfect weekend
A visit to an art gallery or museum with friends; lots of reading and doing nothing. And NOT looking at the clock or the laptop!
Coffee or tea? Where?
Tea – gallons of it! Kanella & Co in East Dulwich and I’ve just discovered Two Spoons Cafe & Bar in Honor Oak Park. Both have great atmospheres and are really friendly places.
The best kept secret…
Our own potential – what we can really be capable of once we know how to work with our fears, Inner Critic and Imposter Syndrome.
Where’s your favourite place to walk?
Nunhead Cemetery – atmospheric in any weather, a great way to clear the mind and has some great views over to St Paul’s Cathedral.
When I want to relax…
I settle down on the sofa with a pot of tea and watch old black and white films. It takes me into another world and I often get a lot of my best ideas when I am watching them. This is why I always have notebooks around!
The book I’m reading at the moment…
‘What are you looking at?’ by Will Gompertz, about the history of contemporary art. ‘Story Driven’ by Bernadette Jiwa, about finding your meaning and purpose in business by knowing your story.