Beyond the Road: Hannah Catmur
Welcome to Polestar Beyond the Road. In this new content series, we will meet Polestar owners from around the world to explore their stories. First up is tech aficionado Hannah Catmur. From pitching apps to Tim Cook to travelling through the South American jungles, her story is one worth telling.
Hannah is many things. A product designer, app developer, adventurer, Polestar fan, nature lover and mom. She’s also career driven with a problem-solving mentality that has helped her build a life around what she loves.It all started with a coincidence. Studying Design at the University of Leeds, Hannah explains how the idea of digital design wasn’t even on her radar at the time. “I was studying something more like traditional design and there wasn’t really this concept of digital design then,” she explains, “we basically learned Photoshop and that was it.” The rest she had to learn on her own. Around the same time Hannah graduated from university, Apple launched their first iPhone. Like many others, she was inspired by the possibilities that this new tech provided. So much so that she decided to pursue app development. “I wanted to make a product for families to get their kids to be outside more,” Hannah enthuses.Conscious and a bit worried about children’s tendency to glue themselves to their screens, she decided to build an app that would encourage children to become more active. “It was all about getting kids to be connected to the outdoors.”
In her final year of university, she surprised professors by presenting the app to an audience of interested investors. “I remember the lecturers didn’t believe that I had done it because they hadn’t taught it,” Hannah laughs.Creating her first app, PocketExplorers, sparked her interest in creating products and showed how quickly it could be done. Her passion for problem-solving grew as she worked for different design agencies in London, soaking up knowledge wherever she went.Her career within product design culminated in her pitching the hiking app, ViewRanger, to none other than Tim Cook. “It was very nerve-wracking. At first, I didn’t even realise that he was in the auditorium,” she says of the experience. The app earned Hannah and her team the Google Excellence award and has since been featured in the App Store and Apple Retail Stores around the globe.Just like her first project, ViewRanger motivates people to explore the great outdoors. This is no coincidence, as she is - and has always been - a traveller and nature enthusiast.
Her love for nature started at a young age when she would go out birdwatching with her grandparents. Since then, the appetite for adventure only grew. Hannah has been around the world, spending many years travelling through South America. “I love seeing new things all the time and experiencing a different way of life,” she explains. Travelling has given her a broader perspective on life and she finds that she is constantly learning while on the road. Her problem-solving, which has defined her professional career, is also present in her travels. “You have to be quite organised when travelling, but at the same time, I think the best things happen when you are not planning,” Hannah enthuses while explaining how she manoeuvred past a collapsed bridge in Bolivia.But when she is not making her way through the South American jungle, she drives a Polestar. When asked why she has chosen Polestar, unsurprisingly, Hannah comes back to design. “Like every area has been thought about, and just looks like it has been purposefully designed,” she explains. The silence of electric cars and how it fits perfectly with her birdwatching is also important. “With this car you pull up in stealth mode, nothing sees or hears you.” She continues, “and you can even watch through the roof.”Hannah represents a lot of what we as a brand hold dear. A love for nature, design, and exploration. A perfect match in every sense.
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