We are Spiritleaf: Meet Christine!
We believe in connecting people in a world which is deeply divided. We believe that everyone matters equally, regardless of status, age, ethnicity or creed.
Diversity in the workplace has both internal and external benefits such as greater career satisfaction and better community acceptance. A diverse workforce can provide a fresh perspective, allowing for better creativity and innovation. Employing a wide range of diverse individuals gives companies an opportunity to outperform their competitors, elevating their overall brand. Our employees stem from a wide range of professional backgrounds; each bringing their own unique skills and talents to the table, working together to continue our incredible momentum of growth! Learn about the individuals behind the Spiritleaf brand, in this ongoing series.
Bringing experience and passion into her role at Spiritleaf! This marketing professional has previous experience working in a regulated industry, executes national campaigns and excels at problem solving. Continue reading below for more about this award-winning individual.
- Tell the audience your first name and a bit about your background. Like where you are currently located and what past profession or schooling you have taken etc.
Well, hello there, my name is Christine, and I am currently the National Manager, Marketing & Strategy for Spiritleaf working at the Spiritleaf Support Centre in Calgary. I have a Bachelor of Management degree with a major in Marketing from the University of Lethbridge and nearing 10 years of marketing experience with tier 1 global companies. After a few university summer internships, I knew I wanted to be in the sales/marketing realm. I began my career and spent 6 years in the competitive beverage-alcohol industry with Molson-Coors in sales and then promoted to Western Canada’s Sponsorship & Event Manager which allowed me the experience to travel all over North America activating some of the best brand experiences through sport, music, and events. I jumped back into sales as a Business Development Manager with Agropur Cooperative, focusing on organic grocers and convenience store segment for 2 years. You would not believe the complexity of the grocery industry! When I had the itch to get back into marketing and activations, I joined the team at the experiential marketing agency, Woolf + Wallace who excel at brand experiences, and works with powerhouse clients such as AGLC, Shell Canada & Brookfield Residential to name a few. This is where I met Darren Bondar and he invited me to lead Spiritleaf’s marketing. I could not resist the chance to be part of building something from the ground up was too tempting not to jump within with both feet. What an experience it has been!
- What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?
The Cannabis industry is an inspiring place to be part of as it is cutting edge, uncharted, and fully open to everyone to grow and learn in their career journey.
- What position do you currently have with Spiritleaf and what do you like best about working for the company?
As I mentioned earlier, I lead the marketing team at Spiritleaf and the best part of working for the company is the full open runway you have when it comes to ideas, activation, and strategy. Everyone and every idea is welcome. There is not a ‘book’ for cannabis marketing or a lot of ‘well we tried that a few years back and it didn’t’ work’, it’s a ‘let’s try it!’.
- What question do you get asked the most when people learn about your career?
The question I received the most would be how my experience was being one of the only females in the room or meeting table particularly with beverage-alcohol. It has come with its challenges, but times are changing because of change-makers. Sometimes you must grab that chair and put yourself in it versus waiting for an invitation.
- What has been your greatest accomplishment so far, since working in the cannabis industry?
The greatest accomplishment so far working in the cannabis industry is creating tools, plans, and systems for our franchisees and team members to be able to ‘wow’ guests without distraction. It is a passion of mine to elevate the cannabis retail experience and I do not often look at other retail cannabis marketing for inspiration, I look at Sephora, Glossier, Nike, Peloton – companies that focus on the brand experience and think outside the box to deliver an exceptional experience whether in-store or digitally.
- Working in a regulated industry can be challenging. Give an example of how you overcame a particular restriction and give some advice to newcomers to the industry
A regulated industry can be challenging and downright frustrating at times but what it does do, is let creativity and non-traditional forms of communication, marketing, brand experiences lead. Billboards, radio ads, can be tools, but they are not effective anymore and consumers are looking for more authentic connections to the brands they choose to have in their inner circle. Brands have now become part of us, they showcase our values, identity, and vibe. Cannabis marketing is anything but traditional at this point, the key is driving connection.
- Was there a certain ‘transferable skill’ that helped you to be successful in the industry? If so, tell us more about it.
A great transferable skill that I have used throughout my career is the ability to sell. I highly recommend everyone to have at least one sales job in their career, as these skills will help you drive results in all areas of your life. ABC – Always Be Closing ?
- Do you have a story to tell about a fav cannabis brand or strain?
My favorite brands would be Top Leaf. I love the dark, moody vibes and focus on the cultivation along with Ace Valley’s pop of fun/trendy, and how they know their customer and stick to developing products/offerings just for them without distraction.
- Which professional marketer do you admire most (past or present), someone who you consider a mentor or has influenced your career?
I have always been drawn to admire female entrepreneurs who developed a brand or product passionately knowing many people would benefit from it and stuck to their guns to go through the wringer, fought for investment, and ultimately brought it to life. A special admiration goes out to female billionaires such as Sara Blakely with Spanx, and Whitney Wolfe with Bumble. We need more self-made female billionaires. I also am thrilled to have Manjit Minhas on our board, what a powerhouse!
- If you had to choose only 3 adjectives to describe yourself, which would you choose?
Gritty – Kind – Powerful
*Due to government regulations, we are unable to show images of our staff and encourage you to check out their personal links for more. Connect with Christine here, on LinkedIn.