Our new Biz Talk series will feature inspiration and advice from business owners, entrepreneurs and creators from our #SmashTessFam!
First up is the lovely Clio de la Llave, founder of Booje Media, a Vancouver-based digital agency, and co-founder of brands like Spade and Sparrows and Dew Edit. Let’s dive in and learn a little more about Clio and how she manages to do all the amazing things she does!
As a successful entrepreneur, founder and brand builder, what advice would you give to people who are interested in starting their own business?
I would recommend a few things:
Find something that you’re passionate about.
Evaluate the market and existing competition to see how saturated the industry is and decide if it can be disrupted.
Set one-, three- and five-year business goals to get a good understanding of the direction and path you want to go in. I would also suggest getting an accountant as soon as you can!
You've got a lot on the go—from Dew Edit, to Spade & Sparrows and Podcast Nation, just to name a few! How do you choose what to invest your time and energy into without burning out?
Understanding that I have a lot on my plate, I have prioritized finding the right people and teams for each business. I am very grateful to have such incredible support from all my teams who help execute my vision. It is so important to recognize what needs to be prioritized—this is something I have to remind myself of all the time!
Who do you look to for business mentorship and inspiration?
I have naturally surrounded myself with likeminded people and I feel very fortunate that a lot of my friends have entrepreneurial spirits as well. I love talking about their businesses, successes and failures and feel like I learn a lot from hearing about their different experiences and perspectives.
How have you and your business partner, Kaitlyn Bristowe managed to stay so close while running thriving businesses? What do you think is key for a healthy and successful business relationship?
One of the biggest keys to our great working relationship is trust. We both respect and care about each other as people and have each other’s best interest at heart. Over the years, we have learnt what is important to one another and we respect and value what each of us brings to the table. Everyone has different communication styles and it’s important to recognize what works for each of you. Clear and consistent communication is key!
Your entrepreneurial career started at your boutique agency, Booje Media. Booje helps brands grow by building their online presence. What tips do you have for new businesses or entrepreneurs looking to reach new audiences and up their digital game?
I encourage people to understand the digital landscape and the ways in which it can help you to achieve your business goals. The digital space can be intimidating and overwhelming, but for most businesses, taking the time to learn how you can utilize the endless amount of resources online will be very beneficial to your bottom line. There’s no magical recipe when it comes to digital success, but you have to be willing to test things out and see what works for you. The nice thing about the digital space is that it’s easily measurable.
Your to-do list must be a million-miles-long! Do you have any productivity hacks or prioritization practices that help you juggle it all?
I am not naturally a process-driven person, but I’ve made it a priority in the last couple of years to implement processes to automate as much as possible. As I mentioned, online resources and platforms are endless, and I am implementing some great tools with the goal to work smarter not harder.
Another great investment was getting an assistant! I sometimes wonder what I did without her. She keeps me on track and most importantly is a second set of eyes to make sure nothing falls through the cracks since there is so much going on. The biggest difference I have noticed is that having her support allows me to better manage my time and work on the most important things.
What is the most challenging part of what you do? And the most rewarding and fun??
Interestingly enough, my answer is the same for both. The most challenging part is managing people. Navigating different personalities with different goals and ambitions can be challenging. But, by far the most rewarding part is getting to work with so many amazing and energetic people. I love building strong teams that thrive in a collaborative and creative environment because I believe that correlates with growth and a strong culture.
When things get hectic, how do you set boundaries and find time to unwind?
Nothing relaxes me more than a facial and spa music! I live a fast-paced life, but I try to prioritize my well-being and recognize when I’m stressed and need to shut off. I take a full weekend day to not work at all, and that truly refuels me for the work week!
What is your favourite part of the brand building process? The logistics? The creative vision? The pitching?
I’m a “big picture” thinker and I love doing things a bit differently, so I would say the creative vision!! I’ve learned over the years that my time is best spent working with new ideas, challenges and finding opportunities that have potential. Now, I’m lucky enough to be at the point that I can leave a lot of the details and logistics to my teams— they’re better at that than I am!
Who are some of your favourite business owners and entrepreneurs to follow online?
@afreeborn from Smash + Tess of course! ;)
As I started Booje Media, I watched so many videos from @angelaahrendts, who was the CEO of Burberry at the time. She understood the power of the digital space earlier than most and had a great way of conveying her beliefs as to why she was such an advocate for implementing changes within her organization.
I’m also fascinated by what @gwenythpaltrow has done with @goop. She was ahead of her time and was able to see her vision through and create an incredible brand that stays true to its values.
You’re an inspiration Clio. Thanks for chatting with us! To see more from Clio, follow along: @cliodelallave.