Tell us a bit about what you do, and what do you enjoy most about it?
I develop co-branding partnerships for S’well through Koru Distribution – the leading source for innovative eco-friendly lifestyle brands in the Canadian market and the exclusive distributor for S’well in Canada (for more info about custom S’well Bottles, email me).
Three things I enjoy most: 1) I work in a team of dedicated, genuine and passionate people who strive towards making a difference in people’s lives and the environment. Koru is a proud member of 1% for the Planet – supporting organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation, Evergreen and Environmental Defence. 2) I get to work with five badass working mothers that have children of age 1-3. I get to learn so much about motherhood and I admire the way they balance work/life. 3) I LOVE S’WELL – the product itself, its values, and its mission to rid the world of plastic bottles while giving back to Unicef and reforestation projects.
What attracted you to Lean In Canada?
When I moved back to Toronto after doing a MSc. in London UK, I felt quite lost during my period of transition and job-hunt. My best friend told me to read Lean In and dragged me to Lean In Canada’s 3 Year Anniversary panel event and promised me it would help. And it did! It made me feel so inspired and empowered through the fruitful panel discussions and the women I got to interact with. Since then, I’ve been trying to attend every single event. “Branding for Business” and “Negotiating with Confidence” were my two absolute favorite sessions with practical advice that I can apply throughout my professional career.
If you were to recommend Lean In Canada to anyone, what would you say?
I’ll say this: the women and mentors I met through Lean In Canada have uplifted my entire ecosystem! We learn and grow together. Lean In is a great platform to ask questions and share experiences without any fear.
How are you leaning in?
I’m a huge advocate for social and environmental justice and my worldview is centred around the idea that WE, women, are Mother Earth. Nature and women are both producers of life. Women are resilience and a powerful driving force for change.
I also advocate for natural hair and self-expression. I’m proud, and grateful, to have participated in Dove Love Your Hair Real Beauty online campaign. It aims at engaging the public in embracing diversity and letting women wear their hair and expressing themselves the way they want. It’s great to see campaigns uplifting young girls and women and celebrating diversity in beauty!
Name a notable woman in your professional circle that you think deserves a shout out or career recognition – and what would you like us to know about her?
I had the privilege to meet S’well’s CEO and Founder Sarah Kauss when I first started my role with Koru Distribution. She flew from New York to give a talk at our Suppliers Social Event and shared her journey since founding S’well in 2010. It was honest and incredibly inspiring. Her determination, vision and confidence in the company, on top of the sustainability and philanthropic values that she carries, are admirable.
She’s a great inspiration for women in business. Prior to founding S’well, she worked in Real Estate and as a CPA for Ernst & Young. She holds a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Colorado Boulder and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. She was the only employee for the first year and a half after she founded S’well. In 2014, she was included in Fortunes’ 2014 40 under 40list and selected as a member of the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. In 2016, S’well was listed first on the Women President’s Organization list of fifty fastest-growing women-owned businesses (Forbes) & named number 49 on the Business Insider 100 list: The Creators.
Also, I follow her personal account on Instagram! Her Insta Stories truly reflect her values. She is actively involved in Women Mentorship Programs. She also engages with Koru’s Instagram page, supporting all the eco-friendly products we carry.
She keeps it real – so does S’well’s brand!