What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
I covet the mornings and a typical Thursday starts out like any other day of the week. I have an espresso and read the newspaper in bed. I don’t open my business until 11am, and while I could definitely make better use of my time in the morning, I like to work later into the evening to make up for it.
I work at the store from 11am until 7pm on Thursday. The store is like my office, with a revolving door of people dropping in throughout the day to shop and say hi. Depending on my deadlines, I spend the day selling to customers, researching new lines to carry, designing print ads and developing new marketing projects and publicity to get the word out to my customers. I’m working a lot more with yoga and dance studios to cross promote our businesses.
I usually try to get out to a yoga or spinning class after work. It`s good to be out and meeting different instructors and business owners. No excuses anymore, although I`m having trouble accepting that fate.
If I’m home by 8pm I’ll cook, but if I get home after 9, my boyfriend and I often go out to eat and have a drink with friends.
Couch time usually runs from 10pm-12:30am. I might watch some tv and work on my laptop. I’m in bed by 1am, usually after first falling asleep to Stephen Colbert on the couch.
What was your first job out of school?
I suppose Music Video production was my first job out of school. I was actually completing my second year of Journalism School at Ryerson, when I was asked to audition for a music video. The video was for a Canadian band, “The Odds” and the video was starring Bruce McCullough from Kids in the Hall. I ended up getting the part and at 20 years old, thought I had hit the BIG TIME. I couldn’t believe no one had told me about film as a career. I made it clear to the production company that I was cut out to work “behind” the camera, I dropped out of university and I spent the next year making sandwiches for crew members and begging producers to let me help them out in the pre-production. I didn’t get rich at the time, but I met my best friends and had the time of my life that year
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
Communication skills are vital for a career in sales. I spend my entire day communicating with other people, either customers or networking for my business.
Time management is something that I’m always trying to improve. I`ve read enough books on the subject by now that I should be better at this, but if I just take a few minutes out of my day to plan out the day and the following week, I’m far more productive. I often ask myself, “is this task the most effective use of my time?” Do what you do best, and delegate the rest.
Creativity is a big part of my job, from merchandising my store to the graphic design of an ad, I’m constantly looking for new ideas. Sometimes if it`s quiet in the store, I like to create a mannequin photo shoot if I`m looking for some inspiration.
What do you love most about your career?
I had a moment on my last buying trip to NYC, when I suddenly realized I had created a career for myself that required me flying regularly to New York and LA for shopping trips. I love going to trade shows and mingling with buyers from all over the world, meeting and learning from other people, and realizing that my business has infinite opportunities as long as I’m willing to work for them.
Do you have any warnings?
Don’t assume you can get by with a small amount of capital. Businesses require cashflow to grow, and you never have enough. How much are you willing to sacrifice to get your business off the ground? I own a retail store and have no money to shop anywhere other than my own store. I love my inventory, but how many yoga pants does one girl need? I do miss the days of shopping with careless abandon.
I also have moments when I feel like my job would be a lot more interesting if I had a friend to share it with, not to mention a to-do list half as long. But I have to remember that with partnerships comes a whole new set of obstacles. Take the time to make the right decisions about your business structure and how much time you’re willing to invest.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
I’m obsessed with cosmetics and definitely the amateur make-up artist in my circle of friends. I would love to spend a year as a make-up artist working on film and photography sets.
Cat Tilt Yoga Boutique
1-198 Walnut St. W (just SE of Trinity Bellwoods)