Sometimes it takes being removed from your comfort zone, and placed in a foreign environment, to help you connect with new (and wonderful) people. This is how I remember first meeting Catriona Smart of Coco & Cowe in person.
We were on a press trip, in a different city, and found ourselves at an awkward, carnival-themed dinner (yes, I’m serious.) Even though we had not yet spoken to each other in person, and we were sitting miles apart, we both knew a reason to escape was needed and connected through Twitter to plan meeting for a drink in town. Although the circumstances were a little bit odd, it was a fun way to get to know each other, and provided us the time to sit down and chat, which is pretty rare when we’re both dealing with packed schedules back at home in Toronto.
I was so happy to discover that Catriona would be a fellow ambassador for the adidas #HereToCreate program in Canada, and I wasn’t at all surprised that they chose her. This woman is beautiful, strong, smart and crazy inspiring. Seriously I do NOT understand how she juggles everything she does, especially while still looking incredibly glamorous while doing it! Naturally, I couldn’t wait to catch up with her for a hot minute to ask a few questions about her life.
Keep reading to find out more about the amazing Catriona Smart:
Name: Catriona Smart
Occupation: Writer, Editor, Digital Strategist, General Promoter of a Damn Good Time
GC: When did you start Coco & Cowe and why did you start it?
CS: I started Coco & Cowe 8 years ago because I started writing for another blog, fell in love with the process of sharing and connecting online so I decided to create a blog of my own.
GC: Where does the Coco & Cowe name come from?
CS: My knick name is Coco and because I have contributors I wanted it to be Coco and Company or Co. for short. Unfortunately that was taken so I did Co. phonetically and spelled it Cowe.
GC: Your brand has expanded far beyond your website in recent years, can you talk a bit about how and why you’ve expanded?
CS: I started blogging before there was such a word as Influencer so I had to do more to keep my business a float. I threw parties and hosted seminars and because of all of my experience I was afforded amazing opportunities to throw bigger events for awesome companies and musical artists. I first expanded because of necessity and now have a multifaceted business as a result. Keeps me on my toes!
GC: What advice would you give to entrepreneurial young women who are interested in starting their own blogs/websites, or businesses?
CS: Be consistent. Even when you think no one is watching or that no one cares. Consistency is key not only to building a business but also to training your mind to always give your best.
GC: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face while building your businesses, or shall we say empire?
CS: Lol! Hardly an empire and the challenges are too many to count let alone recount. When owning a business challenges are an everyday occurrence, it’s how your respond in the face of them that will let you persevere.
GC: What have been some of the most rewarding and memorable moments of your career so far?
CS: For sure putting together Drake’s record listening party for Views. We had less than a week to pull it off with little directive from management but were able to make it snow in the club while Drake performed a surprise performance with a special appearance from Justin Bieber.
GC: As one of the #HereToCreate ambassadors, what was your initial to the program that adidas has created for women in Toronto?
CS: I was pumped. I love that adidas was not only interested in providing a positive (free) space for women to get together and workout but that they were interested in supporting women celebrating other women.
GC: What is one thing you’ve learned during the program (and classes) so far?
CS: That Julian is a crazy, kick ass instructor…. And that we are all craving real, human interaction.
GC: With such a loaded schedule, how do you find time, and make time, for physical health? Do you have any tips you can share?
CS: I schedule it in and make it part of my daily routine. I try to do it first thing so there’s nothing that gets in the way.
GC: What are some of the other tools, apps and services that you rely on to help managing a busy schedule easier?
CS: Honestly, it takes me too long to figure out most apps so I’m a basic Google Calendar and memory kinda girl. I rely heavily on scheduling things far in advance and try my best to stick to it.
Thank you Catriona!!