|She Does the Un-Do-Able!|
The story of Kaaydah Schatten begins as an all too common Canadian tragedy. Born on an Indian Reserve at Campbell River, British Columbia, one of six children, parents alcoholic.
She moved to Nanaimo and became an honours high school graduate. At 18, just as things were going well, Kaaydah was badly injured in a car accident, lost a hip and one lung and spent a year in a wheelchair. But she fought back, took the seven thousand dollars she received in an insurance settlement and invested in real estate. She also trained as an accountant.
At 26, (1980) she was worth five million dollars! Then, her investments crashed and she was wiped out. She bounced back, invented a new method of cleaning ceilings of commercial buildings, brought her method of cleaning ceilings to Toronto and founded "The Ceiling Doctor", a company which cleans ceilings and ceiling tiles in offices. It became an immediate success so she decided to franchise. In just seven years she now has 80 franchises in Canada, the U.S., Japan, Ireland and Germany. She told me her company is a pioneer in Germany.
"We were the first Canadian company to franchise in Germany. Most foreign franchisers in Germany are from France. It's a very tightly controlled industry over there. We expect to do quite well."
What is the key to her successful operation?
"We operate lean and mean. Other franchise companies of my size would have a staff of twelve to twenty. I have four, but pay them well. Also being female I do more research than my male counterparts."
Up till now the franchise business in North America has been a male domain. Kaaydah is one of probably only six major franchisers. Jenny Craig
and Mary Kay being two of them. She has no partners. Her personal net worth is, "about 5 million dollars". Plus her company is worth, "Price Waterhouse recently did an evaluation for me and set its value at 10 million".
At 36, Kaaydah owns four luxury cars including a Maseratti and a Jaguar. (She recently sold her Rolls Royce.) Wears designer clothes and travels first class. Happily married, her husband sold his medical practice to work with her in the company. They have three children whom she is already grooming to bring into the business someday.
Kaaydah makes achieving sound so simple. "In a nutshell, the key to achieving is belief in yourself, your creator, and an unnerving persistence to do the un-do-able. Everyone thought I was crazy seven years ago. Now I'm being touted as some kind of an expert".
Never standing still, she has a new invention, "A type of screw-head that may revolutionize the industry. We're still working on it".
As busy as she is she works actively to promote Indian Culture and the status of Native people. Because, as she says, "If I could make it from the reserve to a luxurious life in the big city, others can" .
Twenty-one years ago Kaaydah was active as a founding member of Greenpeace with Paul Watson, Robert Hunter and the man who later became world famous as the promoter of "Live Aid", Bob Geldorf.
Kaayday Schatten, she's another Canadian Achiever.
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