Kristina Breckon is the Senior Marketing Manager for Consonant Body Organic Skincare, a line of 100% natural skincare products that feel as good as they make you look.
What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
There really is no such thing as a “typical” Thursday for me. Because Consonant is a small company and things change so quickly, what we’re working on varies week to week.
I like to set my alarm to go off 20 minutes before I need to get up to give myself time to snooze. I get up around 7:30, get ready and ride the rocket up to Yonge and Eg. It’s a great time to gather my thoughts and prioritize what needs to get done for the day.
Our office is located above our flagship store so when I arrive at 9, I’ll open the store, make sure everything looks great and get some good tunes going to set the tone for the day.
I like to tackle orders and urgent e-mails (and a green tea) during the first hour or so before Bill, the founder, arrives. Once he’s here we both sit down for a status meeting. It’s a really collaborative work environment so we help each other to make sure everything is taken care of. The rest of the day can consist of anything from calls with the lab, promotional planning, and sourcing packaging, to visiting our retailers and helping customers.
Unless we have an event at the store, I’m usually pretty lucky and get to leave around 5. In the summer I like to head up north on the weekends so Thursday nights are a nice night to catch up with friends on a patio.
What was your first job out of school?
I started off doing marketing for a brokerage on Bay St. While I was there I planned client events, produced marketing materials and wrote a book on the different financial life stages dentists go through. It was a great first job (and a lot of fun!) but I realized that the financial industry wasn’t the place for me. I need something with a bit more creative freedom.
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
Flexibility – At a young company, things change quickly. As the company grows, I have to learn how to take on tasks I had never even thought of doing before. For example, we opened our first branded store about 8 months ago. Making a bricks-and-mortar store successful takes a whole new approach than doing wholesale.
Multi-tasking – Since I work on all the facets of the business I need to be able to jump between tasks while staying focused. My prioritized task list is my best friend!
Creativity – It takes a lot of creativity to stand out from the pack in such a competitive industry. Especially when you’re competing against multi-billion dollar corporations.
What do you love most about your career?
Where to start… I love how no two days are ever the same. One of the nicest things about working for a small company is that you can have a big impact. When I implement a new marketing program or work on new packaging I get to see how that influences the bottom line very quickly.
Something I’ve learned to appreciate after hearing complaints from friends at big CPG’s is that, as a small company, we can work very efficiently. The day isn’t filled with meetings and long approval procedures so we can make decisions quickly and move on.
I love working specifically at a natural skin care company because we’re actually making a difference in people’s wellbeing. We get calls or people will come into the store all the time to say how our products have helped them with skin issues that have plagued them for years. It’s such a pleasure to work on something that you actually believe in.
Do you have any warnings?
The personal care industry, in particular, is very competitive. You need to have a strong will to go up against the industry giants. Additionally, working at a small company is not for everyone. If you’re someone that needs a defined career path or cushy benefits, you’re probably better off at a larger company.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be? It would be a toss up between two.
Psychologist: I always enjoyed my psych courses in school. I think it’s fascinating to learn about what makes people act the way they do.
Travel journalist: I have a serious case of wanderlust.