Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Courtney Chilton, who created Speechlust to offer motivation through the combination of unique jewelry and inspirational words. We caught up with her to find out about the biggest milestone in her career so far and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I create meaningful jewelry using unique words with beautiful definitions to motivate and inspire others called Speechlust.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I discovered the powerful word “eudaimonia” (to live well and do well) in university and it has played a large role in my life from then on. When travelling Southeast Asia I came across a jewelry market and decided to get the word engraved on a piece so that I could always carry it with me as a reminder. When I realized the significance the piece held for me, I knew others would find great meaning in the combination of powerful words and jewelry.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Seeing Speechlust on Elle Canada‘s website was surreal for me. I’ve been into fashion my whole life, so having an item I created from scratch recognized by a magazine I grew up reading was truly incredible. I’m probably going to regret admitting this, but there were a few tears.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Interestingly, I am a very detailed planner on a one to two-year basis, yet I never think five to 10 years out. So much can change that I don’t see great value in planning that far into the future. Plus, I’m so overwhelmed with what’s on my plate for the next 24 months that I would be too stressed to think that far down the road!
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Just keep going! In your early 20s you question everything; whether you picked the right career path, whether you should move to a new city, whether you should go back to school for another degree, whether you’re crazy for being an entrepreneur, etc. It was once I stopped questioning and focusing on doing that everything turned. I started loving work – strangely, even the not-so-good days – and, more importantly, making better decisions.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Giving back to the community is a big part of what Speechlust is all about. Right now we are working on several partnerships where proceeds from each sale will go to designated charities. We are expecting to make announcements over the next three months.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Before I started Speechlust my organizational skills rated 2/10 (though my family says that is a very generous mark). Amazingly, I think my organizational skills now are my biggest asset. Being an entrepreneur forced my hand; I had to put systems in place and develop a great attention to detail or failure was certain. My friends are shaking their heads at the transformation. That said, my bedroom is still a complete mess.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
When I hear the word notable, I think of “worthy of attention.” But that’s a tough answer to give in an article about yourself!
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
There is an Indonesian restaurant called Bhima’s in Waterloo that might have the best food I’ve ever tasted. I can only go there a couple of times a year because I can’t control myself!
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
I’m a big Vimeo addict. The talent of the cinematographers on that site blows me away. The most played song on my phone right now is “Ultralight Beam” from Kanye’s new album (I haven’t turned my back on him quite yet).
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I love everything that interior designer Kelly Wearstler curates on her feeds. She is such a power woman with an amazing eye for all things fashion and design-related.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I love Colombia. The history is dark but fascinating. It is the kindness and gratitude of everyone there that really puts things into perspective for me. The next country I hope to visit is Iceland. I’ve only heard amazing things!
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Everything! I am the poster child for FOMO. In fact, I’m worried I missed something while I typed this.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
A&W is clearly the best company ever created. It is my guilty pleasure and it should be yours.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Eating out, for sure. That is a quiet money-sucker. Travelling, books and concerts would all be tied for first place among things I wish I spent more on. I’ve never looked back and regretted purchases in those areas.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
For me, success is putting myself in a position to create and help others. It really is that simple, and Speechlust, even with all the challenges of starting a new business, has done that for me. I have no complaints right now!