The Cath Kidston brand is synonymous with floral prints and chintzy kitchenware, and we love it. Here are seven things you didn't know about the floral-design guru.

[Read more: Bringing the outdoors indoors: how to try floral inspired interiors in your home]

1. Her business is worth an estimated £50 million, with more than 100 shops and concessions worldwide in countries including China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, France, Spain, Ireland and the UK.

2. In Japan the brand is so popular that she travelled under a pseudonym to avoid being mobbed. "The Japanese love cheerfulness and they love things that they call kawaii, which means cute, and the history of things," she explains.

 

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3. One of her first jobs was with Nicky Haslam, interior designer to the stars, whose clients included Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger. "When I first went to work for him, he sent me to Ava Gardner's house to measure up some curtains," she recalls.

4. Cath was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, at the age of 37, and had a mastectomy, but wasn't off work for long. The illness prompted her to close her interior design business to focus on developing her stores and the Cath Kidston brand.

5. She is celebrating her brand’s 20th anniversary this year. She opened her first Cath Kidston shop in London's Holland Park 1993, filling it with vintage fabrics and all the bits she'd collected as well as brightly painted old furniture, to create her concept of modern vintage.

6. Kidston met her long-term partner, record producer Hugh Padgham, when she visited his home to measure for curtains. They live together with his daughter Jess.

 

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7. Cath Kidston is the cousin of property guru Kirstie Allsopp and was also in the year above Princess Diana at West Heath boarding school in Kent.

Read more about Cath Kidston’s life in her book Coming Up Roses: The Story Of Growing A Business.