A Q&A with Julie Cole
Julie Cole is a power house entrepreneur as viewed by both the blogging world and the real world alike, and yes, those two can be very different. I love meeting up with Julie at conferences, and fortunately since she is a beloved keynote speaker – we get to catch up several times a year. The Sisters Hood has compiled a Q&A for Julie that will not incorporate religion, politics or sex – even if I am rather envious of that cute Justin dude they have up there in Canada.
Edited to add: we will however, definitely talk about her six amazing kids – all planned 😉
Your career started out in Law … and then you gave it up and went a completely different route. Give us a little insight to life before the launch of the Mabel’s Labels.
There were basically two contributing factors that lead to the launch of Mabel’s Labels. First of all, my partners and I wanted to bring this product to market. We noticed a gap and thought we should fill it! The second reason was because the eldest of my then three children (who was three years old) received an autism diagnosis. I need the flexibility to run a therapy program for him, and felt the traditional workforce would no longer suit my needs or the needs of my family
You began Mabel’s Labels in a basement, then expanded to a bigger basement – tell us some fun stories from back in the day.
Those were some crazy times. We’d be in the basement making labels until 2:00 am, then get up with kids at 6 am and then do it all again. Those were days of extreme sleep deprivation! The conditions in the basement were not ideal. I remember we’d keep the basement door open to the back alley so that we could get some fresh air, and stray cats would wander into our work space. Those were not glamourous days!
Having worked the blogging circuit for years, what do you think has changed?
When I began blogging 12 years ago, most people didn’t know what blogging was! We were a small community of moms who understood the value of connecting. So much has evolved – mostly the numbers! The space is much more crowded and with the introduction of social media since those early days, Influencers can now have a greater reach.
What advice would you give #thesistershood when it comes to self promotion, and sharing their stories online to be a virtual shoulder?
Women are not always the best at self promotion. It can be difficult to put yourself out there. I say give yourself some goals – whether it’s to attend a certain number of events a month, to send out a certain number of pitches a week, etc. You better get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
In a world that needs so much, what are you most passionate about?
I think we can feel so divided with all that needs to be done! I’m most passionate about raising my humans to be confident, respectful contributors. Shaping the next generation is a big responsibility for all of us parents!
You are also a much valued voice for autism, tell us about how you choose to advocate.
I think it chose me. When my son was diagnosed, it opened my eyes to problems with funding and support for families. I realized how much potential our kids have, and how we were not giving them the tools or strategies to reach their top potential. Story telling is so important – by sharing my stories, experiences and lessons, I hope to reach other parents and inspire them!
You travel extensively as a speaker, what do you most enjoy talking about when up at a podium?
I love sharing what I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial journey. I think I bring the “real” story of ups and downs to an audience. With humour, I share practical advice. I also very much enjoy speaking about how I balance business, babies and blogging. I have a lot of funny stories and tips to share!
And where have been some of your favorite spots to speak at?
I always love speaking at events that are focused on women – whether it be women in business, women influencers, or mothers. I get my greatest joy sharing with other women.
Who holds down the fort while you travel – who is your village?
It certainly takes many village members. Of course, Daddy-o is an excellent parent and very present, but he has a busy job as well. We have Nanny Hazel who has been with us for many years, as well as my mom, sisters, friends and neighbours. I couldn’t do what I do without my village!
So for fun, if you had a theme song that played every single time you walked into a room – what would it be?
“Everyday I’m Hussling”
Coffee/tea or wine/beer?
I never drink coffee, but love my cuppa tea! Beer over wine for this mama!
Sleep or sex?
Six kids – you guess. LOL!
And then because everyone in #thesistershood has to share this – what is your favorite quote? And why.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it” – Maya Angelou