We spoke with Laura Fraser, our Director of Development + Good Energy at Borden Communications. Laura began working with us years ago as an intern, and after a stint in corporate advertising, has returned to work with us as Megan prepares to take some time away to be a new mom. Laura shares how we do things differently around here, how she finds balance in life + while working in Lisa’s basement, and the biggest distraction in our office.
You started working with us as a summer intern. What was the real reason you first reached out to us while you were in university?
I spent a lot of my final year in business school worried that I would never be able to reconcile my personal values with the fact that I find marketing really, really cool (but don’t worry, I still had friends). I had heard about B Corps – businesses that were certified for making positive social and environmental impact – and I wanted in on that! I saw that Borden Communications was a founding Canadian B Corp while scouring their website for ethical marketing companies, and the rest is history!
What on earth made you want to come back here and become part of our team? : )
Would you believe me if I said it wasn’t the free organic vegetables? Borden Communications has become part of the fabric of the eco-conscious community – I’m always meeting people who know our work. Seeing people proudly wearing an organic t-shirt that Borden Communications designed for a client is just awesome. I was recently in Montreal and saw one of our clients’ desserts on the shelf in the health food store, that was cool too. And my mom still uses the organic BaaLLs I got her years ago when drying laundry – and if you’ve met my mom, you’ll know how that she doesn’t often change her routine. I don’t just get to be part of a team doing meaningful work, I get to actively create, stay connected and see (and feel) the results.
How is working with the Borden Team different than working in corporate advertising?
Besides the fact that we have a kale farm in front of our office now, I’d say the biggest difference are our priorities. Borden Communications is serious about our work with clients, and we’re also serious about living and promoting greener, healthier, happier lives.
The Borden office is also very agile. I love that we are in a constant state of finding the most efficient, cost-effective, logical ways to do things.
As the Director of Development + Good Energy, do you find it challenging to live up to your title every day?
Helping Borden Communications develop areas of our business and projects for our clients is challenging because it’s always different. I went from having a very specialized role in advertising to having the flexibility of prioritizing a variety of tasks, many that I take from conception to implementation. I’ve never managed suppliers and freelancers before, which is full of life lessons in itself! Some of the things we do here are quite the undertaking and I’m constantly being exposed to new aspects of business – it’s a challenge, and I love it. Not only do I get to help develop projects for our clients and for ourselves, but every day I’m developing my own skills.
As for the Good Energy part of my role, I think that comes naturally to anyone who is doing work they align with ethically. I’m happy, so Good Energy comes easily to me. I definitely want to share that feeling with the people I work with!
Many people dread their commute to and from work. How would you describe yours?
I really value my subway ride to work. While everyone else commutes into the downtown area, I commute out of downtown, which makes for a peaceful, quiet ride. It’s my favourite time to catch up on podcasts. (It’s this positivity + Laura’s constant state of learning and quest for a healthy state of being that helped her to automatically earn the title of Director of Good Energy!).
Does your yoga practice influence your work in the office?
I’m a happier, more authentic version of myself when I practice yoga, which definitely affects how I show up at work. (We feel it, and our clients will too as they connect with Laura).
Spill it, how distracting is it to work beside a pregnant women?
I’m not letting the team blame this one on pregnancy: Lisa and Megan, you are as obsessed with sharing Instagram food porn, as I am. Our office is plagued by a penchant for good, clean, delicious-looking food. Why do you think Lisa wrote two articles on how Social Media makes you hungry? (It’s true ->Part 1, Part 2). Not to mention, after spending a few years working with “normal” people, I love that I now work with two women who very much care that I found a vegan, organic, non-GMO hot dog over the weekend. (Great about the hot dog. Is it also gluten-free, and most importantly, did you bring me one, and what did you have for dessert? – Megan, the pregnant one.)
How worried are you to take over Megan’s work while she is away on leave?
I am so grateful that I’ve been working alongside Megan for 6 months already, and since I’ve already been doing most of the work with her, I feel completely prepared. I will miss her company, but so excited for her to become a mother. Also, since she cares about her work so much, she might not be physically here, but will still be in touch – she cares too much! (If need be, we will be offering free in-office babysitting and lunch to have Megan at her desk 🙂 )
Favourite project you’ve worked on so far?
As a vegan, I definitely have a sweet spot for Doug McNish. Working with him on his collection of colouring books was really special because it’s the first time I’ve helped bring a book to life.
Favourite Borden project?
The Borden Big List is such a great resource that I refer my friends to it all the time. I think that many people who are trying to live more conscious lives find it difficult to learn about brands that don’t have massive advertising budgets. Fortunately, there are so many companies doing good these days which makes for a very big Big List.
Favourite work perk?
Unlimited organic kale to take home.
For more information about Borden Communications, read about what we do + how we do it. To connect with Laura directly, just call our office – if she isn’t doing a yoga pose to stay calm, she will likely be answering the phone.