"I'm a celebrity," Catherine says.
In 2004, Catherine participated in a public advertising campaign spearheaded by Seattle's WongDoody advertising firm. The "Change Perspective" advertisements were displayed on billboards, bus boards, posters, and local television stations, and included a photo shoot that had Real Change vendors swapping clothes with local business leaders.
"It was very exciting," Catherine says. "People would stop me on the street because they saw me on the posters."
Catherine shows me one of the posters in the front window of the Real Change office: She dons a white pearl necklace, leather purse, and business slacks while pushing a stroller, and stands next to Linda Wilmer, an advertising executive who wears a black trash bag, layers of worn clothing, and oversized boots while pushing a shopping cart. The juxtaposition is striking and unsettling, beckoning viewers to challenge their stereotypes and act.
90-second video interview with Catherine, by Alex Becker, Real Change Intrn & Contributing Writer.
A Real Change vendor for 14 years, Catherine loves her job: "I don't need another job right now," she says, "This is it." She still stays in a shelter, but selling the paper makes her enough money to get by. Nonetheless, Real Change, she says, has done wonders for her.
"It's a good paper," she says. "It sells itself, [and] I have a lot of fun selling it."
You can find Catherine selling the paper at the Lower Queen Anne Safeway or Jefferson Square in West Seattle. And if you haven't seen it already, check out Catherine's "Change Perspective" video ad on YouTube.
To her customers, she says, "I'll see you guys out there, and have a nice day."