In 2015, Hathart Founder, Catherine Watts, spoke with an artist who was facing hardships in life because she had been unable to find enough time and resources to paint great artwork and sell her pieces as well. Being a former opera singer herself, Catherine decided that she not only wanted to create a platform for artists and collectors, she also wanted to give back while doing it.
Wanting to help, Catherine created Hathart, a company that would donate $1 for every purchase made. What began as a simple idea has now evolved into a social enterprise that helps to address the needs of the entire arts and entertainment industry.
Catherine Watts is the Founder and the Chief Arts Lover of Hathart. But above everything, Catherine is also the person with the idea that she could create a for-profit business that is deeply committed to giving back.
The origin of this simple idea was not a recent development but instead sewed itself before Catherine was born. Her father was a huge lover of the performing and visual arts. He’s the type of man who loved listening to Disney music and show tunes while practicing his sculpting. Catherine’s father was sure to instill that same staunch devotion to his daughter.
While Catherine’s father passed down his love of the arts, her mother passed down a love for altruism. A woman who was always giving back, Catherine’s mother showed her how giving back was not only a moral obligation but also how it helped bring joy to her own life. To this day, her mom is quick to ask where her Christmas angel tree donations are and how many grandparents she will be adopting this year.
At age 7, Catherine discovered three things: One, she was blind as a bat and needed glasses. Two, she had an entrepreneurial spirit when she would pilfer finger puppets from her father’s dental practice and sell them to kids for candy cash. Three, Catherine had a natural talent for singing. Soon, her parents had her enrolled in vocal lessons which she continued for more than a decade. With the help and support of her family and teachers, Catherine was able to win numerous awards and honors. She even travelled to 5 European countries as a featured soloist in the Sound of America Chorus.
Hathart’s humble beginnings happened unintentionally. In 2015, Catherine stumbled across a video of an artist completing a painting. After finally escaping from the rabbit hole of Youtube videos (3-4 hours later), she decided she wanted to create a business for creatives and collectors. Being a former classically trained singer, Catherine knew that she wanted to create a platform that would eventually help creatives and collectors connect with each other. Moreover, she wanted to give back while doing it.
Catherine is a native of Virginia. She is an avid reader and spends her spare time refurbishing furniture, playing squash, and eating Asian cuisine. Catherine currently serves as a volunteer board member on The Essential Theatre’s Board of Trustees. She also serves as a volunteer board member on The Jane Franklin Dance Board of Directors. And as any true nerd would, Catherine also likes jigsaw puzzles.