2022 Star Women in Grocery winner Ariane Friesen (Q&A)
Associate Marketing Director, Ecommerce & Digital Marketing
The Clorox Company of Canada
How did you get into the CPG business?
I started as a part-time sales representative for companies such as P&G, Labatt and Sony BMG. My first corporate job was for Reckitt in the U.K.; I left Canada three weeks after graduation and started working in the media division. There, my passion for CPG/FMCG only grew as I realized just how fast-paced this industry truly is.
What are some of your career highlights, so far?
My career highlights include moving around the world for roles that excite me, from my beginnings in the U.K. and then Hong Kong, and now having returned to Canada to build our e-commerce and digital marketing team. I always say I’ve seen the future of e-commerce in Asia and there are exciting things to come for Canada.
A specific highlight is the successful launch of Burt’s Bees via cross-border e-commerce into China. It was a significant challenge, but the consumer reward in adoption and reviews was well worth it. It’s an incredible brand and I’m so honoured that I had a part in launching it into a new market.
What do you like best about your current role?
The freedom to succeed (or fail) without limit. I’m in a business with an endless appetite for testing and learning, which I believe is the secret to success. The ability to curate brand experiences combining multi-type innovation, technology and consumer trends is in constant evolution, which fuels my passion for what I do. In equal or greater part, another favourite thing is my team. I work with passionate, curious, adaptable and driven teammates. The energy in the team is infectious.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Speed over perfection. Perfectionism can be a huge barrier for some of us as it can slow us down or even limit great work from going out at all. Nothing will ever be perfect, but it can be great; learning and optimizing as you go is the only way to move forward.
What is your proudest moment?
I won the Clorox Leader of the Year award when I was 37 weeks pregnant with twins. (Funny story: they walked the award over to me so I wouldn’t have to climb the stage to receive it.)
What do you like to do outside of work?
Everything, as long as it brings joy. The pandemic took away a lot of activities that bring us joy and it resolved me to only spend time on things that bring me joy. Whether it be live music, picnics with my boys, or visiting a new brewery.
Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.