For the second instalment of our celebratory ’20 minutes with…’ series, we caught up with Ellen Kitson from KITSON Architecture Ltd.
KITSON Architecture is an award winning architectural practice, based in Altrincham and working throughout the UK. We work across many sectors and offer a full suite of architectural services. Our approach is friendly and professional and we are proud to be an RIBA chartered practice employing chartered architects.
Find out more at www.kitsonarchitecture.co.uk
And now on to the questions!
What one piece of advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
There is life after being an architecture student. Never give up however bad it feels!
You find £20 down the back of the sofa, what do you spend it on?
Stationery or chocolate.
If you could spend 20 minutes with a successful or famous businessperson, who would you choose and why?
Baroness Karren Brady. I really like her shrewd approach and she is hilarious on The Apprentice. I really admire what she has achieved and I think we’d find plenty to chat about.
If you could be stuck in a lift with any two people, who would you choose and why?
Steve Jobs and The Queen. Steve Jobs because he wasn’t afraid to make mistakes and contradict himself from time to time. The Queen. I just want to know how she has tolerated all those prime ministers!
Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?
Hopefully at 68 I won’t still be working full time and will be able to spend more time by the sea with my family. Not sure where though!
What’s been your personal highlight since joining 2020?
Visiting the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT) for the first time with my daughter at Christmas time was very special. Once I saw the charity in action it all fell into place and I realised what an amazing place it is and why 2020 is dedicated to fundraising for it.
What’s the best thing about being a member of 2020?
It’s a very friendly and supportive network and I must admit I’ve shed some tears along the way! There’s been a lot of laughter too though.
You have 20 days holiday to spend away from your business, where and how will you spend it?
Road trip through California.
What will you be doing at (the time) 20:20 tomorrow evening?
Watching Strictly Come Dancing.
What advice would you give to a woman starting out in their first 2 years of business?
Don’t fall out with anybody. You never know where your network will lead you so make sure you don’t burn any bridges! This is probably the best bit of advice I have ever received.
You can have 2 minutes time with a famous person. Who would you choose to spend it with and why?
Michelle Obama. I’m reading her book at the moment and find her fascinating and inspirational!
Tell us 2 things the rest of the 2020 members might not know about you.
Not many people know that I still write to my childhood penfriend in New York. We’ve been writing to each other, every month, for the last 38 years! It was 15 years from the first letter until we met in person (aged 25 in London) but since then we’ve managed to meet up quite a few times on both sides of the pond. We even share the same name ‘Ellen’ and we were born 7 weeks apart in 1971. Hopefully that’s enough for ‘2 things’ as I can’t think of another!
Show us the 20th photo on your mobile phone!
This is the pier at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 2017.
Thanks Ellen! Look out for our next two member interviews next month.