Emily Ramshaw is a marketing and brand consultant working with consumer brands across lifestyle and tech. Formerly, she was a journalist and editor, working at Flare and Coveteur in Toronto and New York. Most recently she was Country Lead at Bumble Canada, overseeing all marketing and growth for the brand across the country.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to take the leap into brand consulting?
I started my career as a writer and editor in fashion publishing, writing articles and, later, creating digital content for some foremost publications. A few years ago, after working in New York for two years, I decided to try my hand at freelance, expecting to do mostly freelancing writing for fashion media. I did that, but I was also approached by a number of diverse brands across all sorts of different lifestyle industries (food, real estate, tech, etc.) and ended up doing a lot of consulting on brand identity and content marketing. After being freelance for about seven months, I was hired by Bumble as their first employee in Canada as Country Lead, tasked with launching and leading all marketing and growth. The learning curve was steep, but the role was incredibly rewarding. After seeing the number of Canadian Bumble users grow past 5 million, I decided to go out on my own again, and have since launched my own consulting firm, advising companies on marketing strategy and brand identity, with a special focus on helping brands to understand and be successful in the Canadian market.
What does your typical day look like?
It’s a cliché, but honestly, every day is different. As best I can, I try to follow a relatively regular routine—emails first thing in the morning, followed by concentrated work time on strategy or any projects I’m on, followed by meetings and phone calls—but that order often isn’t how it works out. When I’m not at meetings or events, I work at home, which often means that my work day begins right when I wake up and can go very late. For that reason, I do try to keep a “regular” work schedule and typically work from 8 in the morning until 5 or 6, when I try to log off and take care of the rest of my life.
What was the worst piece of advice you've ever received?
I got a lot of questions when I left my first job at a major media company. It was an amazing position, and I was lucky to have it when I was only 23. I learned a ton while working there, but I saw the writing on the wall when it came to the transition from print to digital, and I really wanted to be working for a digital-first publication. Looking back, it was most definitely the right decision.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me means feeling fulfilled. I don’t necessarily think having a certain job or making a certain amount of money equals success. In fact, I think while you might think you’ll feel successful when you reach those paycheque or position goals, it’s often not the case. I also think fulfillment in all areas of your life—and not just work—is what will make you feel successful. And that fulfillment can mean different things at different times. In other words, success is a moving target. I don’t think there’s just one element that equals success.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I have moments of self-doubt all the time—and I honestly think the first and best way to deal with it, is recognizing those feelings and knowing that everyone doubts themselves sometimes. When it comes to true moments of adversity, I’m really lucky to have an incredibly supportive network around me. Despite the fact that I work independently, I think it’s really important to have people who can provide support, advice and gut checks. Also, I try not to worry too much about things that won’t have a lasting affect (difficult for a natural worrier).
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
Every morning I listen to World Report on CBC and New York Times’ The Daily podcast while I wash my face, have my coffee and get ready. I also walk my dog, which helps me get out of the house first thing. I also charge my phone in my bathroom rather than next to my bed, which means that I don’t look at my email or Instagram first thing, nor do I look at it at night. And every night before I go to bed I read for about half an hour (or more if it isn’t too late!). I think of reading as my form of meditation.
What are you most looking forward to in your new chapter in your career?
As an independent consultant, I’m most excited to grow my business into something longterm and sustainable. I’m also excited to work with a wide variety of clients on creative challenges. Collaborating with different people is the thing that gets my creative blood pumping.
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