Carly and Bailey run Redstone Agency, an events and association management company.
What is your morning routine?
[CS] I’m a natural morning person, and I truly believe that getting up before the hustle begins will set you up for success. I try to go to the gym when I can, but that’s more of a bonus than a routine. My preference is to go in the morning. If I wait until later in the day, something (anything) gets in the way, preventing me from making it there. Things I do each morning are check my emails, hug my husband before we each begin our days, pack breakfast and lunch to go (I eat at the office), get ready and walk to work or hop on the subway.
[BR] I too consider myself a morning person, but I will gladly stay asleep until my alarm clock – in the form of a three year old child – wakes me for the day. My morning is a hustle, much like Carly’s, but it includes negotiating clothing choices, packing school lunch (with all four food groups), preparing breakfast and ensuring it gets eaten, then getting myself dressed and out the door. Once school drop off is complete, I sit in my car and check my emails so I know what the day has in store for me.
Tell us about your career paths.
[CS] I’m the CEO of Redstone Agency. I went to Western University for a general arts bachelor’s degree, like many others, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life post-university. Upon graduation, I was eager to get into the workforce. I opted to get a job, any job, and forwent the Euro-trip that many of my friends took. After working in various marketing and management roles in the fashion industry, I decided to go back to Western to pursue a postgrad diploma in marketing. Being a part-time program, I found myself wanting more, so I got a job with a boutique event management firm in London, Ont. I fell in love with the little details: stuffing name badges, organizing registration lists, drafting communications – you name it, I loved it. In second semester, we had to complete an industry externship. I did mine at the same firm and got to travel to the U.S. to execute events for one of the world’s largest technology providers. After completing the program, it was time to get back to the big city I call home: Toronto. I worked in various roles within the event and association management industry in Toronto for about three years before making the decision to go out and launch Redstone Agency.
[BR] I’m the President of Redstone Agency. Ever since completing my Management and Organizational Studies program at Western, I knew I wanted to serve the not-for-profit world. I started off working at a community-based not-for-profit organization and saw so much inefficiency and waste. I wanted to change that. I moved to a for-profit company and gained very useful experience in annual budgeting, strategic planning and HR management. I learned to develop cost-saving strategies for all kinds of organizations, and to build strong and dedicated teams. When Carly approached me with the idea for Redstone, I knew it was what I was meant to do; a combination of all my passions all in one place.
What challenges do you or women face in your industry?
[CS] I’m not sure my answer is industry specific. We’re all pressed for time these days. Everybody wants everything done yesterday; factor in volunteering, family priorities and time for yourself, and you’re maxed out. I would say finding a healthy and sustainable work-life balance (at Redstone we call it the work-life blend) is challenging. This proves more challenging for women when you factor in pregnancy, maternity leave and childcare responsibilities. I think that as a society, we have to work to achieve 100 per cent gender equality so the time-crunched environment where we find ourselves doesn’t impact women more negatively.
[BR] I agree with Carly. That’s not to say many men don’t take on a lot of household responsibilities; I know I rely on my husband for a lot, but I do feel there’s added pressure on women to achieve in all realms, and to do everything well. In our industry specifically, we work with many volunteers. You’re often expected to be responsive and available whenever the volunteers have time to work on their projects, which is often early mornings, after 5 p.m., into the night or on the weekends. When you’re trying to achieve a work-life balance, these expectations can be challenging. That’s why we aim to achieve a healthy work-life blend. It might mean taking my son to school at 10:30 a.m. some days so I can spend time with him if I have an evening board meeting, or buying a few groceries each day while I grab my lunch instead of trying to find two hours to shop during the week.
What advice would you give to younger females who want to be the NEXT you?
[CS] First, I would say thank you so much, I am truly flattered! But I would follow up by saying that you don’t have to be me. You can be the fabulous, successful and awesome YOU! I firmly believe that each and every one of us can be who we want to be and achieve what we want to achieve. We live in a time where opportunities are endless (think education, industries, travel, volunteer, etc.) and we can really achieve “career by design.”
[BR] I agree with Carly!
How do you separate work life from your personal life?
[CS] Like I said, at Redstone we promote work-life blend. We try to accommodate the things that our team needs to get done for both work and personal life. I have a hard time with this one personally. I would defer to someone else who may have better advice. This is still a work in progress for me.
[BR] I would say that you need to pick specific times where you turn work off completely. For me, these are from wakeup until school drop off and from dinner until my son’s bedtime. I have so many goals for my professional life, but I also have so many goals for my family-life. When people prioritize their family goals as highly or higher than their career goals, it’s much easier to separate from work.
What inspires you?
[CS] I’m inspired by possibility. When starting Redstone, we did our due diligence and assessed the risks, but you never truly know how things will unfold. Every day I’m inspired by the possibility of what might unfold for me as an entrepreneur or for our business as a trusted brand in the industry.
[BR] I’m inspired by watching all our hard work pay off. It makes me want to work harder. I’m also inspired by people who think we can’t make it – they make me want to work harder too. Oh, and my family inspires me!
When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?
[CS] I’m a self-proclaimed foodie. When I’m not at work, I’m exploring the great city of Toronto (unless I’m traveling to another wonderful destination), drinking full-bodied red wine, eating the most unique menu items (oysters, raw fish, beef tartar, bone marrow) and enjoying the people closest to me – my family, friends and husband.
[BR] Definitely food as well – and binge watching great TV.