Who and What Is Masters & Harris?
We met 5 years ago, thanks to two very good friends, Jason and Sarah Rade. They introduced us to each other at a painting party in their London flat. Paul was in on the scheme, Kim it is safe to say had no idea it was a sort of blind date.
Trying to get the first date was a challenge, as Kim would not let Sarah give Paul her number. But then fate and friendship lent a hand. Basically Sarah told Jason to give Paul the number anyway....... After a few hiccups (including Jason giving Paul the wrong number) the first date was made, and the rest (as they say) 'Is History'
We were married in October 2010 in South Africa.
Who are we?
Kim was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied English and Industrial Psychology and then a post graduate diploma in Business Administration. She moved to London in 1998 where she took up various rolls, mostly in finance.
Kim's dream was to be a writer. Her theory was quite simple...Start out writing for magazines and then progress to novels...With that she decided to have a go as a freelance journalist. There was some success with articles published in Here's Health, TNT and Writers News.
With lack of money from her ventures, finance beckoned again, so it was back to the rat race, but only for a few years........
In 2009 Kim took another plunge into the self employed world, and started Masters Bookkeeping Services, which is still running successfully.
Paul was born in Gloucester, England. After completing his A-Levels, this country boy headed for London (something to do with streets being paved with gold). His brother set him up with work in a small hotel in Knightsbridge, and a career in hospitality was born, lugging suitcases for the rich and famous. Progression took him to The Dorchester (where he almost ended a Pop Goddess' career with a lift door), 51 Buckingham Gate and Covent Garden Hotel.
Fed up with the low pay and long hours, Paul jumped from the hospitality ship, and took his career on a totally different tangent, to one of the most adored, and loved industries; he became a lettings agent......
This part lasted 6 years before coming to an abrupt end in 2012, but was reignited again a few months later on a temporary, contract basis.
"If you build it, he will come"
Field of Dreams
Where did Masters & Harris come from?
During our courting days, we both realised that we shared some of the same passions; mainly books and writing, plus a desire to 'do our own thing' and somehow, make a difference.
During drives along the M4, we plotted our novels. In pubs and bars we talked and dreamed our dreams of the business we were going to start.
Kim had always dreamed of becoming a best selling novelist, and had a tiny idea called 'Dream On', where she could help others and make a difference in their lives. Paul wanted to sell second hand books, ideally in a shop.
So why had we not done this previously?
There are a couple of reasons (or excuses), for Kim it was the big question. How do you write a best selling novel? and a lack of confidence in what she had to say. For Paul it was a lack of knowledge about selling books, and the belief from others, that he would not make any money from it.
So how did we change?
We decided to believe in ourselves and our dreams. Paul bet Kim that he could get a novel published before her (a secret desire to write had been there, but a lack of confidence and a belief that writing was this hard, super intellectual thing had stopped him) hence Rotten Apples was born.
Kim started the Dream On blog, and found that this type of writing worked for her, and gave her the confidence she needed, in her writing, plus the blog has given her the opportunity to follow another passion, which is meeting and interviewing inspirational people.
Masters & Harris Books was born, no shop, but selling on line, and learning every day what makes a book valuable and the difference between printing and editions.
"You are not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have"
So what now?
Our journey is just beginning. We want to do so much with Masters & Harris and take it to places you can only imagine in your dreams.
We have had ups and downs, but together we have overcome the downs and celebrated the ups.
We want to help others and create a community where people help each other.
It's going to be a great journey, come along, we think you will enjoy it too.......