Notable.ca has partnered with Grey Goose, the World’s Best Tasting Vodka, to celebrate an exclusive series of Grey Goose Notables: young professionals and entrepreneurs who are influential taste-makers. For the next 10 weeks, we will feature two unique Notables who have made it – young professionals who have reached success beyond their years. We’ll show you how these Notables enjoy what they’ve earned – how they entertain friends, where they travel, what drives them from the office to the golf course – and how they celebrate life and all it has to offer. So, raise a glass as we toast to the Grey Goose Notables…
Kim Kaplan is an amazing young professional woman. In her current role, Kim leads the team at Offeron, a Vancouver-based “group buy” site operating in a market where the public is still apprehensive to tread. But prior to Offeron, Kim was one of the brilliant minds at Plenty of Fish, one of the world’s most popular and well-known online dating websites.
Kim went to Queen’s University, and while there studied Geography and Acting – she spent her first year overseas in England. After obtaining her Masters in business from the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia, she began work at the Sydney arm of Publicis, and subsequently moved back to Canada and transferred to the Toronto offices.
But eventually Kim realized she was looking for more, and headed back to Vancouver, doing consulting work in marketing and strategy before joining the team at Plenty of Fish – she was sought out by the company. Kim was taxed with growing the Plenty of Fish brand and finding innovative offline marketing avenues, while also finding ways of monetizing Plenty of Fish’s over-30 million users; no small feat for someone self-professed to have had no online or tech experience.
One of the best parts in working for Plenty of Fish was that Kim was able to work in an environment that “isn’t bogged down in layers of bureaucracy.” This gave her the freedom to learn how to react to the market and create some amazing campaigns and initiatives. After two and a half years there, Kim started working on Offeron, which is a newer competitor to the group buying world and backed by Plenty of Fish Founder Markus Frind. Now, her sights are set on growing Offeron to become one of the boldest and best entries in the world of social couponing.
But there’s more to Kim than a great business acumen and forward-thinking approach to marketing. She is a lover of life, and finds the balance in being a hard-working young professional and social butterfly. With an infectious laugh, it’s easy to tell Kim has found a place in life where she’s able to enjoy all it has to offer, like her sailing team’s voyages that see her out on the water regularly. If Kim has one piece of advice for other young professionals, it’s to “do something you love. If you love what you do – your career, life – you’re going to be successful.”
What is your general life philosophy/What advice would you want to share with others?
Love what you do. Offeron is my baby. I openly embrace the 100-hour work weeks and have learned to ignore the stress-related eye twitch. It’s all about building and belonging to something you believe in. Having said that, balance is important – work hard and play hard. I go out of my way to have fun and spend time with friends…it’s what keeps me sane.
What is it about you that you feel attracts others to you?
I have a ton of energy and am always ready go! I’ll say “yes” to almost anything…at least once. More importantly, I am always thinking of others. Some people view it as a fault, but I think taking a genuine interest in those around you, whether it’s helping connect them with the right person or offering advice, is an important part of giving back.
Why were the early stages of your career (which can be some of the toughest years of any successful business person’s life) worth what you are now able to enjoy?
I waitressed and bartended for a while, which taught me to focus on the customer and befriend various types of people. It’s invaluable learning to approach situations from different perspectives. From a personal viewpoint, it also reminds me how my drive has gotten me this far and inspires me to think how much further I can go.
How do you enjoy life? What are some of your life indulgences?
A good glass of wine and dark chocolate, preferably shared with friends. Laughing and lamenting with them is truly the best thing and my greatest indulgence is taking as much time out of my day as I need to revel in it and them.
What do you do to keep active, healthy, and vibrant?
Living in Vancouver it’s easy to get outdoors and be active. I sail and that puts me on the water with my racing team at least once a week. For those rainy days (and there are lots of them in this city) I go to Studeo55, an awesome private gym – the Saturday morning detox class has kicked my weekend into gear more than a few times.
What is more important when entertaining: the space, or the people in the space, and why?
People, hands down. The space you’re in takes on the laughter and conversation of those in your company. While space can drive conversation, conversation rarely influences the space you’re in.
Do you cook? If yes, what is your best dish? If no, what is your favourite dish to be cooked for you?
I love cooking, but haven’t had the time recently. I like to think I make a killer Banana Bread and actually think it was the last thing I cooked. Admittedly, Whole Foods has acted as my refrigerator these past few months leading up to launch.