Work It Wednesday - Juleigh Giberson
If you've been following this series, you'll understand that the life of an entrepreneur doesn't necessarily abide by the traditional work week. Throw a 9-to-5 into the mix and most of us would feel in over our heads. That's why no matter where you are in your career, you'll want to take a page out of Juleigh Giberson's book; she makes the many demands of her work (and more work!) look easy. Luckily, we got the chance to speak with Juleigh and get the lowdown on her journey.
1. First off, tell us about yourself! Who is Juleigh Giberson?
That’s a big question! There a lot of ways to take it.
I guess I could start with indecisive. This type of question gives me the same stress as being given an empty plate at a buffet or asked to pick my favorite Taylor Swift song. Where do you even start? There are so many options!
Who I am is hard to pin down when I feel like the answer is constantly changing and taking a new form - like Meryl Streep, or my hair in a wind storm. Of course, the core of who I am stays the same. I will always be from Alberta. My year of birth will always be 1990. I am always passionate, determined, hardworking and hungry. But the other big contributors to who I am, my goals and ambitions, my moods and opinions, my choice of character for Mario Cart, are much more dynamic. The best I can do is answer who I think I am in this exact moment.
Right now, I work in market research and I own my own floral business, Makin’ Me Daisy. Outside of work and flowers, I continue to partner with the Ryerson University to explore the implications of Virtual Reality on the travel and tourism industry. When I take a break from the previously mentioned, I am usually working out and running with Tribe Fitness or zipping around the GTA on my motorcycle.
Today, I am happy and excited (to be apart of this blog of course!), I am confident the word is Laurel, and my Mario Cart character would be Yoshi. Tomorrow…who knows!
2. What inspired you to get into the flower industry?
I wish I had an interesting story of how I got into the flower business! It all began quite simply with a Help Wanted ad. About a decade ago, after high school, many of my friends took a year off before post-secondary, got part time jobs and travelled. Unlike my friends who worked at Moxie’s or Joey’s, I worked part time in a flower shop after completing a floral design certificate. At 18 years old, my job as a florist made me really cool among all my friends'… moms.
As I got older and went to Toronto for university, I continued to work part time as a floral designer, always at someone’s else’s shop. A few years ago, I decided to branch out and develop my own business – Makin’ Me Daisy.
Though I somewhat fell into it, I am completely in love with floral design.
For starters, you get to work with an already beautiful product (I say the same thing to my hairdresser). As a florist, I get to utilize my creativity and style to design arrangements that help bring together peoples’ special moments.
3. What’s the most rewarding part of running your own business - what keeps you doing it even with your busy schedule?
Apart from my passion for flowers, the primary thing that makes Makin’ Me Daisy so easy to continue are the clients I work with. I work predominantly with non-profits, and I’ve had the privilege to work on all types of events. Whether its celebrating a large donor, or adding some spunk to a fundraising gala, I always enjoy the opportunity to create something new that a wide audience gets to (hopefully!) enjoy. It can be a lot of work, but the completing the whole process, from concept to execution is really rewarding. Showing up with containers full of flowers (that I do not transport via motorcycle), and seeing the excitement from clients when they see them makes it all worth it.
4. You also recently held a role with the Ted Rogers School of Management’s Travel & Tourism Research Institute - tell us more about your work with them. How do you feel like that role lends itself to this stage of your life?
Prior to my current job, I spent the last two years working with Ryerson’s Hospitality and Tourism Research Institute, while simultaneously finishing my degree. My primary role in the institute was to study the implications of virtual reality (VR) technology on travel and tourism. Though I’ve researched in depth varying applications of both VR and AR (augmented reality) across a variety of fields, the majority of my time was spent honing in on VR as a marketing medium within tourism. Because of the intangibility of tourism as a product, and the immersive nature of VR, utilizing the technology to promote destinations has become a rather hot topic.
My work in VR has taken me around the world (not virtually!) with our collaborative research presented at conferences in Hong Kong, Slovenia and Quebec City.
When I talk about VR and tourism people always ask me if I think the technology will one day replace actual travel. My answer? No way! At least I hope not. Though I think VR can be a great way to get a taste of places that are financially or physically inaccessible, I don’t think we as humans will ever give up the experience of actually going somewhere for a technological substitute. The only exception are baby showers.
5. What the biggest lesson you’ve learned about growing your career in 2018?
I’ve only recently made the switch from academic to market research. The biggest lesson I’ve learned career-wise is probably to have patience (and that you cannot take home office supplies for your personal crafting needs). Switching fields or companies involves a learning curve that I’ve had to be understanding of. It seems like in Toronto we all move so quickly. I find myself easily frustrated or agitated when I can’t get something right away. Ten years ago I would patiently wait every week for the newest episode of Lost. What happened?
I try and remind myself to be mindful of the process, and to keep an eye on the long run – rather than only look through the lens of ‘right now’.
6. Who is someone you admire and why?
I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many people that are killin’ it in their respective fields, particularly women. My sister is currently Director of Expanded Mining for Finning Canada. She’s always been a huge inspiration to me! I have friends who are marketing directors, doctors and fellow business owners. My friend Heather Gardner, who just opened up a new yoga and spin studio – Tribe Fitness - on Queens Quay and Spadina, is someone I admire. The list goes on and on!
It should be noted that I also admire people who can do things that I can’t do. Which technically means I admire those who can use a semicolon.
7. What’s next for you?
If for some reason I’m not selected to be the next Bachelorette, I suppose I do have some other things to look forward to. I have a new Virtual Reality study that is currently in the revision process, which we hope to present at an academic conference in Nova Scotia this fall. This study will also be featured in the upcoming 2018 Ted Rogers School of Management Research Report. I have a couple of events coming up with Makin’ Me Daisy which I’m really excited about and I’ll continue to work full time in market research. I’ll also be on the prowl since my Prince Harry plan has fallen through (let me know if you know anyone).
8. How do you #workit everyday? I work it by staying positive, surrounding myself with great people, and learning from my mistakes (except those related to Mini Eggs).
We want to thank Juleigh for her time with us. We hope you all found a little nugget of inspiration to keep you laser-focused on your own goals!
Photos provided by Juleigh Giberson