Shannon Lewis is a 33-year-old dynamo in the marketing world. Having worked for M&C Saatchi in Australia and AMV BBDO in the UK, this Branksome Hall alum and Dalhousie University grad now oversees the marketing for Toronto's Elmood Spa and ElmSpa. She also counts dance, skiing, tennis, and golf as favourite pastimes – talk about well-rounded. Find out more about this forward-thinking and dedicated woman in today's YPDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Fast Paced, Creative, Insight Driven and Inspiring.
As head of marketing, media and sales, my job is quite eclectic. I focus my energy on our brand’s strategy and image development through media planning, events and PR. I think it’s important to be well informed on our competition and market trends so I look both locally and internationally at products, opinions on beauty and health, and for insightful brand campaigns. I also invest a lot of time in my team. I am lucky to work with a dynamic group of people who teach me to be a better leader every day. The perks: Between meetings I can sometimes squeeze in a facial or massage to truly test the spa experience.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Health and wellness is a passion. I believe in keeping active and maintaining balance in life – mind, body and soul – so it was a natural fit with my personal philosophy and marketing background. The role at Elmwood Spa is highly entrepreneurial and lets me use the skills and creativity I developed working at M&C Saatchi in Sydney and AMV BBDO in London, working with amazing brands like the BBC.
Do you plan on starting your own company in the same industry one day?
I am in the midst of starting a foundation to mentor and inspire young girls to follow through on their passions in life and choose the right career path for them. Our advisory board of professional women will work in film, the arts, banking, medicine and the marketing industry and will provide young women with valuable exposure and mentorship. It's an amazing opportunity to share your own experience with the next generation and let girls know about career options that they may have not been exposed to. The foundation is aimed to launch in the fall of next year, so stay tuned.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is being creative and solving problems on a day-to-day basis. You never know what is going to come at you, from launching a new service or social media campaign to speaking with a guest on their in-spa experience. Another highlight is the variety of people I work with from creative directors and photographers to in-spa experts.
The most challenging part of my position is ensuring that we are on plan and that the team stays focused and motivated. The nature of the business is similar to any retail company: We are driven by short-term results but must stay true to a strong brand foundation. Therefore, it's important to be able to look at the big picture and listen to our regular guests about the quality of our offering while continuing to develop new services that get people excited about Elmwood and coming in the door.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Continuing to have boundless energy and be passionate about my career in marketing and the adventures life brings along the way. And to continue to cultivate the relationships in my life that I hold most dear.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me to is an overall feeling of true happiness rather than achieving a specific goal.
I aim to continue to have a fulfilling career in the city and enjoy weekends up north with family and friends in Muskoka. It’s all about balance!
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Winning a Cannes Lion for a children's charity campaign that I led in London, UK. It not only won accolades in the creative community, but shifted perceptions, contemporized the brand and ultimately affected public policy.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Stay true to yourself. I worry that many young professionals get bogged down with their workload and lose sight of who they are. It’s important to maintain interests and have different experiences outside of work to maintain a strong sense of self. I encourage my team to get involved – whether through charity work, the arts, staying physically active, or becoming specialists on top of trends in the city. It only brings more to the table when building insightful brand campaigns and executing brilliant work.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Volunteering is an important and rewarding part of my life. I am Co-Chair of Branksome Hall Alumnae and I volunteer for children’s charities. I am also passionate about the arts, and I'm an active member of AGO NEXT.
What is Notable to you?
Class, style, creativity, intelligence, and impact.