6 Questions with Catriona Smart

I worked with my friend Catriona for years and let me tell you that she is a force to be reckoned with. Catriona is a multitalented entrepreneur who was one of the first people in Toronto to launch a successful lifestyle blog Coco & Cowe. Her blog has now evolved into not only a blog but also, an events company that organises a whole bunch of dope events like the Views album launch for Drake. Additionally, this beauty is half of Halo Public Relations, a firm that counts the Four Seasons Hotel chain as one of their clients. These are just a snippet of her professional accolades, the list goes on and on. She’s also a mum to a beautiful daughter, a cool chick, and an amazing friend who brings a halo of positivity and love to everyone around her.

Meet my friend Catriona, as good a human as God created.

What do you do, and what are some of the current projects you’re working on?

I am the founder of Coco & Cowe, a lifestyle blog and events company. I am also the co-founder and Chief Creative at Halo PR Group. Currently I am working on the Social Media strategies for three hotels that we represent. I’m also creating a concept and design for three large scale events; two of which will happen this year, and one in Q1 of next. We are also re-branding Coco & Cowe and creating a speaker series that will roll out this year. These are my main focuses at the moment but when running two businesses, there are always 1 million and 1 things going on! + Motherhood, of course!

You’ve been an entrepreneur for many years. What advice would you give yourself when you first started your entrepreneurship journey?

I would advise myself to believe a little bit more deeply in the things that I was creating. That my voice and ideas were good enough to be heard and that, though the encouragement and acceptance of others is great, to have such a deep dependance on their opinions is wasteful and can be torturous to your soul.

I would tell myself to try and not take everything so personally and to move through failure more grateful for the experiences and lessons.

The social media sphere is so curated. People present a highlight reel of their lives. How do you stay authentic to yourself and to your audience?

I stay true to my audience by being true to myself. I post what I want to post and say what I want to say when it feels real and true to me. I may ‘overshare’ from time to time or not share at all, but I’ve found the more I get away from what’s real, the less I want to be a part of the Social Media sphere. I try to marry the reality of having to post nice pictures with the truth of what’s going on in my head. Sometimes it’s a happy thought, sometimes it’s not, but that’s the reality of life and that’s how I try to keep it as real as I can.

In your opinion, has digitisation helped you connect/disconnect? According to you, has technology changed the world for the better or for the worse?

I believe in progress and change so I believe in technology. I think we’re in the middle of a revolution; the way we exist in the world today is changing at the speed of light and though some things are awful, an equal amount (if not more) is amazing. For example, the way we interact has changed, people don’t talk to each other face to face as much anymore, a new sense of loneliness has bubbled up, but people are now more connected than ever. From that, conferences, ‘meetups’ and rallies are seeing huge success. The dissemination of information is so fast and widespread that people are able to connect on issues that they otherwise would never hear about, let alone care about.

Also, without technology and the way we now share information in a far more open way, people like Nina Tandon wouldn’t be able to start a company and get funding to create such things as bones. Bones! That’s right, through technology Tandon’s company has created a way to use our own cells to regrow our bones and is now working on how to grow cartilage in the same way. The leaps and bounds we are making in technology goes way beyond Snapchat filters and Instagram Stories. Adopting new technology and finding ways to make it work for us as a society has endless possibilities but there’s definitely work to be done adjusting to it all. Learning to have a healthy relationship with it is key, and something I work on daily.

What are your three fave apps that you can’t live without, and why?

The iPhone Podcast App, Waze and iTunes.

Podcast App because I love to learn and listen. They also help me get through traffic and show up to work in a peaceful state. I listen to so many that I start most sentences with: “I was listening to this podcast…”

Waze, because, traffic.

iTunes because music is life and a huge source of inspiration for me.

Finish this phrase… What do you know for sure?

That I don’t know what I don’t know – there’s always something new to learn and forever room to grow.

 

Can’t get enough of Catriona? Neither can I, you can read her blog here and follow along her adventure here on the ‘gram.

Bisous,

Winy

Photo Credits for Catriona Smart: Samantha Clarke Photography 

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