Meet Kathryn Schwarz

Kathryn skydiving in Mexico

When it came time to decide her career path, Kathryn considered going into interior design, and it shows. She decorates any and every space she spends time in, “In university, I painted my dorm room in September and ended up having to paint it back to the boring, uniform colour in May,” she says, “but it was totally worth it!” Her current workspace is no exception, as it is decorated with photos of family and friends, artwork, a Baby Groot flower pot (from Guardians of the Galaxy), and other novelties that spark conversation.

Like many Farberites, her passions extend to culinary endeavours, exotic getaways and the world of cinema.

Seafood, sewing machines and speaking Spanish

At home, Kathryn loves to garden and cook. She and her husband have a backyard garden where they grow herbs and vegetables—foods she incorporates into her cooking. “I recently started eating mostly vegetarian and pescatarian,” she explains. But while she enjoys making a variety of vegetarian and seafood dishes, her husband is a total carnivore. “Left to his own devices, he’d just eat meat. I have to force him to eat vegetables! I think that’s the real reason married men live longer,” she jokes.

If she had more time on her hands, Kathryn would learn how to sew. “I bought a sewing machine and took some classes, but nowadays, the machine sits idle in the closet.” Learning Spanish is also one of her future goals, especially since her husband is Mexican. “I can already understand a lot of what I overhear,” she says, “though it would take a period of immersion for me to really pick it up.” Moving to Spain someday might not be out of the question.

Adventures overseas

Travel is a big interest for Kathryn. “I took a gap year after university – and it turned into three,” she laughs. Her list of past travels include various destinations in Europe, India, Central America, and the Caribbean (including living in St. Lucia for a month). In India, she explored the states of Rajasthan in the northwest, where she traveled the Golden Triangle, and Tamil Nadu in the southeast, next to the Bay of Bengal. In addition to the sites, she enjoyed the cuisine, being a big fan of Indian food. “I ate everything—and was fortunate not to get Delhi belly.”

Next on her itinerary is Spain and Turkey, perhaps in the Spring. “I’ve been to Barcelona, but not to Seville or Madrid,” she explains, “and in Turkey, I really want to see the architecture in Istanbul—especially the Hagia Sophia.”

f mark multiple colours

Film is in the Family

Kathryn developed an early interest in film and wound up majoring in cinema studies in university, as her sister did before her. “My parents might not realize it, but they’re total cinephiles! We actually grew up on the classics,” she recalls, “like all the Hitchcock movies and Gone with the Wind. As kids, we even filmed a comedic version called Blown Away with the Wind.” With her film background, she finds she has a natural tendency to evaluate movies and TV shows critically. “Sometimes I find mainstream film a bit too predictable, but there’s also some really good stuff coming out.”

Life lessons in the service industry

If there’s one thing Kathryn thinks everyone should experience in their lifetime, it’s a stint in the service industry. “You can learn so much about how to read and deal with people—and you can always spot people who have never been on the other side.” She considers it a basic building block of social learning. “Character is not about how you treat the people you’re trying to impress,” she explains. “It’s about how you treat everyone.”

Figuring out Farber

Kathryn’s only been at Farber a few months, but she’s been impressed with how friendly and welcoming people have been. “I like the emphasis on work life balance and the fact that people care about the culture so much.”

As for Farber’s 40-year mark, she admits it’s hard to comprehend that milestone in business when you’re not even that old yourself. “It obviously shows we’re trustworthy and that clients appreciate our expertise,” she notes. “Clearly the culture has a lot to do with it.”


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