Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gals We Admire: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is one of the founders of Mabel's Labels, a company that makes personalized sticky labels and clothing labels for babies, kids and grown-ups. She and her business partners were recently awarded the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (Momentum) awardFind out more about this successful mompreneur.
Name: Julie Cole
Profession: Co-Founder & Vice-President, Mabel’s Labels Inc.
Twitter handle: @juliecole, @mabelhood

Describe your typical work day, from start to finish
As a busy mom of six, a blogger and an entrepreneur, every day looks different. I split my time between working at the Mabel’s Labels HQ, and working from home. As our company spokesperson, I do attend many events, write blogs and articles, and have interviews. I seem to find myself in quite a few meetings as well. I take each day as it comes!

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
Originally I wanted to be a cashier at the grocery store, but when I realized that the cashier doesn’t actually get to keep all the money, I changed my mind. By the time I was in university, I knew I would like to become a lawyer, but once we launched Mabel’s Labels, I never looked back!

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The community! Mabel’s Labels has an incredible spirit and we connect with customers and online friends continuously. We have a very active Facebook fan page, with over 32,000 fans. We use that to engage, interact and get feedback from our community.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your profession?
Being an entrepreneur is challenging because everything you do involves risk! We brought a product to market that was virtually non-existent. As such, there was an educational piece to our product: showing people that they needed Mabel’s Labels! Fortunately, because of the nature of our cute and practical products, this came quite easily. Something else that can be a challenge is having four business partners. This has many advantages because it allows us to divide up the workload and the risk! But, it also means that you have four different opinions coming to the table and it can be feisty, but always fun! It is also always a challenge dealing with the issues a company faces when it is growing quickly and changing constantly.

Do you believe you had a "calling" for your profession?
I don’t believe I had a calling exactly - I became an entrepreneur for two reasons: a good idea combined with a desire to leave the traditional workforce. One of my business partners, however, is very entrepreneurial and was likely genetically programmed to start a business!

What are the three most important pieces of career advice you would give to other Canadian Career Gals?

If you don’t love it, don’t do it. This applies to everything – from how an ad looks, how a phrase in your brochure sounds, to the actual work you do every day.

Don’t get so busy working “in” your business that you forget that you need to work “on” the business. Someone needs to be the visionary.

If you are toying with the idea of checking out social media, jump in and start now. People are out there talking about your business and your profession. Do you want to be a part of that conversation? Yes, you do!


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