Meet the GirlCrewer #8: Katrina Mather, Owner of The Body Toolkit

“The retreats are helping people in such a profound way that The Body Toolkit is even more than I hoped it could be and I’m delighted about that.”

Meet Katrina Mather from GirlCrew Glasgow and Owner of The Body Toolkit

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After completing a degree in design engineering, Katrina spent a number of years living and working in Mexico, before returning to Scotland to run a company with her cousin. Four years later, she took the plunge and went solo by setting up her own company in October 2014. Nestled in the Scottish Highlands, The Body Toolkit is an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and everyday distractions. The first health retreat of its kind in the country, they offer a series of all-inclusive detox programmes that focus on both physical health, and mental well-being.

For founder Katrina, this is a concept that she holds dear to her heart, “As varied as my career has been, something that’s remained utterly consistent is my passion for health and a desire to help others. Twelve years ago, my own health issues led me to look for better solutions, and in doing so I was amazed by the body’s incredible ability to heal, given the right conditions.” With purpose built 4-star accommodation, the luxury retreat makes the most of the stunning scenery in the area as visitors are encouraged to explore the locale, with roaring log fires and areas to relax when you return. While this makes the surroundings ideal, the philosophy of the company is just as inviting. For Katrina, the goal is to empower people by giving them the knowledge to maintain their health goals long after they have left and “make a genuine difference to [their] lives”. Although her “route to entrepreneurship took many twists and turns”, judging by the success of the company so far, The Body Toolkit is definitely on the right path.

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1. What is the best thing about starting your own business?

I guess, the best thing about starting a business is that I’ve managed to create my dream job, and it wasn’t by accident! About this time last year I did a funny little exercise: I sat down, with pen and paper in hand, and started to write a eulogy… for myself, aged 90. It sounds morbid, but what would you like other people to say about you at your own funeral? It’s definitely a very powerful way of concentrating the mind on what’s important to you! That exercise made me realise that helping others is what gives me the most satisfaction in life. I had had the idea of opening a retreat a few years before but writing the eulogy made me question what I was waiting for, and forced me to make it happen.

2. What did you find most challenging about it?

I think the biggest challenge about starting your own business is keeping the faith. That first year of deciding to go solo is probably the loneliest and scariest time you could possibly have! It’s so important to be clear about why you’re doing what you’ve decided to do – I really believe that so long as your intention is good and that your business is satisfying a need in the market, then you’ll succeed. So I made a vision board of what I wanted to achieve and I plastered the ‘wallpaper’ on my laptop with inspirational quotes to give myself a bit of daily encouragement!

3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?

When I first set out to create the Body Toolkit retreat my purpose was to share the techniques that I’d used over the years to transform my own health, to help other people make serious improvements to theirs. That’s always been my mission, and yet the testimonials I’ve received, even from the very first retreat, have continued to blow me away. From women who managed to lose over half a stone in weight in 1 week and who “never thought it could be this easy” to one lady who had been on anti-depressants for 27 years who, after the retreat, “felt like she had a life to look forward to”. The retreats are helping people in such a profound way that The Body Toolkit is even more than I hoped it could be and I’m delighted about that.

4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get into this industry?

Regardless of the industry you want to go into, there has to be passion for it to succeed. I really do think that the secret to success is loving what you do and having a good intention. It’s so easy to spot someone who is purely motivated by profit and doesn’t really care, and in the age of online reviews someone who’s in business and isn’t authentic probably won’t survive. So, I would say that you want to find your passion first. In my case, my passion is for helping others improve their health and being from Scotland, it’s always upset me that we have the lowest life expectancy in Europe – and I’d really like to do something to help change that.

5. What would be your motto in life, and in business?

“Gut instinct”. When something feels right, I go for it. It’s something I really try to be aware of and listen to, and conversely, if it doesn’t feel right then it’s probably best to avoid. That and good old ‘Carpe Diem’ – no one else is going to seize the day for you!


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