Today’s Notable Young Professional is Carolyn Wright, who uses her business savvy to accelerate the Joe Fresh brand around the world. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her work and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
As Senior Category Directory for Joe Fresh International, I lead a team of merchants that assort, present and recommend business opportunities for our wholesale channel. We help the Joe Fresh business grow with partners around the world in countries as far away as the Philippines.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
Over the last 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most recognizable brands in the industry. I have an athletic background as an alpine ski racer and am forever seeking new challenges. I completed my MBA at Queen’s University and joined the growing team at Joe Fresh in 2010. I consider myself very fortunate to work in a field where I can pair my passion for both fashion and business.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
I’m not sure if there is a particular milestone per se, but I’ve been very fortunate to not only work with a great team, but also be supported by highly inspirational leaders and mentors both in my career and my personal life. Their guidance and support has had a major impact on my approach and perspective.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
In 20 years, building my dream home on a remote lake somewhere. Creating a completely unique and personal home environment is a dream. In between now and then, I look forward to lots of personal and professional adventures. Up next: expanding the Joe Fresh brand in more countries worldwide.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Network and maintain those relationships. It’s a small world so treat people with respect and authenticity and keep your options open. Explore mentor and mentee opportunities – both deliver a fresh perspective and are very fulfilling. Above all else, work hard and you will be rewarded.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
This May, my family and I are ‘Riding For Jack’ in support of youth mental health. It’s an important cause and I like that it is linked to an activity that gets people out and active. Coincidentally, this is a cause that Joe Fresh also supports!
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Patience. It’s not always a virtue of mine and it’s something I think many young professionals struggle with. If you are committed and work hard, good things will follow.
What does the word notable mean to you?
To develop, produce and achieve – all guided by a desire to make your mark.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
My husband and I are constantly sourcing the best steak frites in the city. We have a few favourites, the current one being local to us: The Emerson. Aioli on the side is a must. That said, my favourite place of all is BBQ’ing on a summer night on our back deck with friends. We recently put on an addition and we get so much sun in the evenings; it’s an amazing little oasis in the city.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Realtor.ca. We have a company with a very small real estate portfolio and we’re always seeking new opportunities. Toronto is an interesting market. The decision-making in real estate fascinates me; it’s so irrational. The economics of it can be a challenge as a result.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Instagram is my outlet of choice and I love that you can follow a wide array of people, businesses and brands, so it’s hard to acknowledge just one. I do try to keep my follow list tight and unfollow every now and then.
If I have to choose just one, German digital influencer ‘Majawyh’ is #1. She has a more artistic and less branded approach. Her presence feels more real, not to mention her style is incredible!
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I travelled a lot growing up as an alpine ski racer, mostly in Europe and the US, so exploring South America, Africa and Asia are more of a priority now. Since my husband and I both work in the design world, we’re attracted to places that are rich in history, arts and culture.
We recently went to Morocco, which is a truly magical place. Some of my favourite memories include riding a camel to camp overnight in the Sahara desert and waking to watch the sunrise over the dunes. Touring the Majorelle Garden that Yves Saint Laurent donated to Marrakech was also exceptional. Complete with a quaint café in the centre, you may plan to visit for a few hours and end up spending a full day. It is inspiring to be in places that are so unique from what we know.
There are so many places on our travel list. At the moment we’re thinking Uruguay’s next, but it may change. We seek adventure versus relaxation!
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
I think I’m too busy to get FOMO! Seriously. If it were to come from anything, it would be the desire to travel more. Instagram doesn’t help!
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Having a glass of wine and watching one of Netflix’s ever-increasing original programming. I find this and working out allow me to reset after a long day.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I’m not a big spender but I probably spend too much on clothes. We’ve been lucky to have travelled to many great destinations, which is something I never feel guilty about. My husband and I also have a tendency to splurge on furniture here and there.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Outside of some tangible personal and professional goals, my idea of success is evolving. I’m always striving to be better, so in that sense success is living in the moment and feeling great about where I am while also seeking the next big challenge.