Welcome to my new interview series featuring some of the brightest and most hard-working women I know. My goal for this series is to collect stories from women in all levels of their career. The hope is that their journey and their advice will trigger something in you, and help you take the jump you need to achieve your personal level of success. Whether they are freelancers, founders of their own business, corporate employees, or students, this #LadiesWhoHustle series will showcase their unique talents and help you unveil yours.
I have known Andrea Brown since high school, and have been extremely proud of all she's been able to accomplish since. So there was no doubt in my mind that I had to interview her for my #LadiesWhoHustle series - as she's a hard-working, goal-oriented woman who doesn't take no for an answer.
Andrea is a 27 year old Canadian, that was raised mostly by her mother. Though they were far from being well off, ever since she was a a young girl she wanted to help people and "change the world". She had this innocence and simplistic view of the world that only kids seem to have, and she always had dreams bigger than herself and was often told that they were silly and they needed to fit in a box to be successful.
In elementary school, she was involved in numerous school functions and helped with organizing events. She loved, and still loves, being around people and getting to know their stories. She's very intrigued by how different yet similar we all are.
Growing up, though her mom cooked a lot, they still had all the convenient junk food at home. During high school, Andrea was eating McDonald's every day after school. If you told her she'd be into health and fitness now, she would have probably laughed.
She decided to do the program through CSNN on a whim when she met a grad who had completed it and completely turned her life around. During this time in her life, she was at a job she hated that made her dread going into work every day. Looking back, those were some of the darkest days but they propelled her to where she is today and to follow her passions.
So, read along and see how Andrea turned her passions into her career - and get motivated to push yourself out of the comfort zone.
I'm a Paralegal by day and also a Food Blogger and newly certified Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
Why do you do what you do?
I've always had a passion for cooking ever since I was about 4 years old. I would be in the kitchen with my mom and just be watching her make food from scratch, using the freshest ingredients. I never really considered a career in the health or food industry. To me, it was always just a hobby that I enjoyed doing. It was only after I started having health issues that caused me to see how my own diet changed my life, that I felt inspired to help others in this way. I love sharing that eating healthy doesn't have to be hard or expensive and that the smallest shift could do wonders on your health!
What was your dream job at 10 years old?
Oh boy... so many things, but I did want to be a police officer for the longest time and help catch the bad guys!
If you could have anyone's job, who's job would you choose and why?
Hmm... I would choose someone who has the national authority in buying food for various grocery stores. An easy way to get healthier food to the table and leave the "crap" out is by just not buying it. I use this rule in my home with a few products, and really if I want it, I'll go out and buy a small package and enjoy it but I don't need it to be easy and accessible. There are so many processed foods that I wouldn't even purchase for human consumption.
What is one thing people outside of your industry get wrong about your job?
That Nutritionists don't eat sweets or donuts, or that we judge you when you're eating anything other than a salad!! So far from the truth.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to be making a difference in people's lives daily in whichever way that ends up being!
What has been your biggest career struggle so far?
TIME! I love my sleep and know how important it is, so really trying to find the time to do it all has been a challenge.
What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life!
What about the worst piece of advice you've received?
Just deal with it... NAH!
What are you the most proud of?
My determination to go after what I want.
Who motivates you the most?
Everyone who has ever doubted me. We all have the ability to achieve greatness if it really matters to us, so when people shoot down your dreams and aspirations, instead of getting hurt, use that as FUEL.
Do you have any advice for those looking for a career in your field?
Connections are everything. Be genuine, be yourself, be considerate. People will remember that a lot longer than how impressive your shoes were.
When do you feel the most confident?
When I'm dripping in sweat after I've finished a kick-ass fitness class like hot barre. It just reminds me that I can get through hard times even when I wanted to give up and thought my body would give out.
How do you relax?
Do I relax? JK! I love listening to podcasts, journaling, binge watching shows like This is Us, and just turning off my brain for a while.
Currently coveting: A sunny getaway with 0 plans.
Favourite way to sweat: Hot barre.
Favourite book: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
Morning bird or night owl? Morning person.
Favourite '90s jam? Anything by Backstreet Boys - they'll never break my heart ;).
Favourite city: Florence, Italy
Spirit animal: A bird - their freedom is something I'm always in awe of.
Get in touch with Andrea:
Know anyone that would be great to feature in the #LadiesWhoHustle series? Connect with me on Instagram to nominate them - or yourself!