C-Suite Leadership Series: 20 Questions with Bree Jamieson-Holloway

Feb 16, 2019

Bree Jamieson-HollowayQuote from the CEO: 

“Being able to take an idea and turn it into a company is, for me, the greatest reward of being a CEO.”

Lawyer turned CEO,  Bree Jamieson-Holloway made the decision to launch her very own tech company. Today, she’s in a make-it-happen mode with her early-stage startup, Nurtured Life.

Nurtured Life is a mobile health and wellness company that offers convenient access to a marketplace of mobile services in Ottawa. From Registered Massage Therapy,  Spa Services, Personal Training, Yoga, Holistic Nutrition, Reiki and Life Coaching, “they bring wellness to you!” Born of a desire to promote the benefits of living a nurtured life, grounded in simple, intuitive, self-wellness practices, Bree and her team’s goal is to make wellness easier to access and integrate into daily lives, “on your schedule, on your own time.”

We sat down with Bree, to get to know the fierce founder and to talk life starting a tech venture.

Top 20 Questions

1. Your best/worst subject in school?

  • Best: Art and drama. I loved being creative.
  • Worst: Math. I just didn’t enjoy it.

 2. What was your first job?

When I was 15 I got my first job working at Value Village sorting through all the donations and putting them out on the floor. I quickly grew tired of the dust mites, so I decided to leave Value Village and got a job at McDonald’s!

3. Best advice you ever took?

Build a solid foundation, from that you can create anything.

4. Tip you would share with this years graduating class?

Go for it. Find your passion and go for it, just be smart about it.

5. What book are you reading?

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

Favourite quote?

“I’ve learned to gather all the crumbs of life thrown my way; one day they will form a nice thick slice of life and memories” unknown.

7. One thing that surprises you about business?

People will surprise you. You will think some people have the most genuine intentions and they will let you down. More often though, you will find support in people you didn’t even realize cared. They will come out of the woodwork right when you need their support the most.

8. What motivates you?

My daughters inspire me to be my best possible self. They motivate me every day to go out there and hustle, so I can give them the best life.

9. When was the last time you worked a 40 hour work week?

I have honestly never worked a 40 hour week. I’m not built that way, which is in large part why I see benefits in working for myself. Life is about balance. If I get my work done in 20 hours one week, and 80 hours the next week, that’s what I do. I am not someone who does “face time” or sits and twiddles my thumbs. When work is done, it’s time to live life and focus on family, friends and self-care.

10. What is the best (most recent) feedback you received from one of your employees?

We recently completed team feedback exercises and three words that came up for me multiple times were “empowering”, “motivational” and “transparent”.

11. When are you most productive?

At night, before bed. I find it difficult to switch off in the evenings after my kids go to bed. I seem to find my groove in the quiet night hours.

12. The best thing about being a CEO?

Being able to shape visions and lead strategy. I love the process of taking an idea and turning it into something incredible.

13. The most challenging thing about being a CEO?

Having my hands in all different pots to ensure everything is running smoothly.

14. What is one word that describes your leadership style? Authentic. Self-development, growth and embracing “your true self” are things I prioritize. And I encourage my team to do so as well (we have a self-development bookshelf). We all have good and bad days, strengths and weaknesses. I believe being open and honest makes me more approachable as a leader and strengthens my relationship with my team.

 15. You have ___________ in your office?

A yoga and cushion corner.

16. An experience that has influenced you the most as a leader?

I have had a number of bad bosses throughout my career and many more great bosses. Each experience with leadership, at either side of that spectrum, has made me acutely aware of who I wanted to be as a leader. I admire strength, authenticity, transparency and thoughtful, conscious direction in leadership. It is my goal to always demonstrate those qualities as a leader.

17. A CEO that inspires you?

Oprah. She is a strong female leader, takes risks, learns from failure and is committed to conscious thinking and lifelong learning.

18. If you weren’t a CEO you would be?

I am a corporate lawyer, by trade, so I would be working in law and probably, working on my next side hustle with a goal of bringing joy and wellness to the world.

19. An organization that you always make time for?

I really enjoy working with organizations that have fun and creative corporate cultures. It makes employees feel more valued and embraces a “home away from home” feel. I am also a huge champion of any startup that aims to make a social impact, Birch Bark Coffee Company being one of my favourites!

20. Favourite app? What’s App. It is my favourite way to communicate with the Nurtured Life tribe.

Q: Nurtured Life recently graduated from the IO Pre-Accelerator Program (a program currently accepting applications!) and your team won the inaugural pitch competition. Would you be willing to share one of the defining moments that you experienced during the program?

A: Winning crowd favourite and best pitch at the pitch competition was a hugely defining moment for our team. It gave us a massive boost of momentum and was a great recognition of all the hard work we had put in to-date.

Q: Where did the idea for Nurtured Life come from and what was one of the driving factors for you to become an entrepreneur and start your company?

A: I have previously worked for startups. I loved the process of taking an idea, creating something and sharing it with the world. The idea for Nurtured Life came to me in a meditation. I love telling the story because people always either laugh or look completely shocked at the thought of it, but it’s true. I was meditating and the entire bigger picture was laid out in front of me in the shape of a tree. Hence, our brand identity.

Q: When you look back in three years at your company, team and culture, what do you want your employer brand to stand out for (why do you want employees to choose you)?

A: I want people to see us as the company that created a movement; a redesign of a corporate culture model that was archaic and broken. I want people to want to join our tribe and come to work each day feeling passionate about what they do, knowing they work for a company whose corporate culture is grounded in appreciation, mutual trust, compassion and respect for each individual. Nurtured Life will be known as a company that encourages and supports its employees to achieve their career goals, and live their best and most nurtured life on their terms.

Q: Nurturing a young family and a growing company is an amazing achievement, what has inspired most about being a CEO?

A: Being a role model to my daughters inspires me every day to keep going. I love being my own boss and working with a team of great people like I have at Nurtured Life. My team also inspires me; they are a great bunch of people who are there with me grinding it out every day. Being able to take an idea and turn it into a company is, for me, the greatest reward of being a CEO.

That’s it, that’s all, for our questions with Bree.

Want to know more about Ottawa’s most caring startup? Need a little self-love in your life? Visit the Nurtured Life website to Book Service today!

At the company’s website you can also read wise words and wellness tips from people (potentially, like you) who are actively choosing to live a more nurtured life. Check out the Our Wellness Wisdom blog channel.

To learn more about how you can benefit from Invest Ottawa programming, visit our website today.

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