Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Christine Faulhaber! Christine started her eponymous communications firm Faulhaber Communications 17 years ago and today has a team of 30 people in two offices (one in Toronto, one in Vancouver). Christine is a leader in her field and her firm represents some of my favourite clients, across the categories of beauty, design, fashion, the arts, and more. When I had the opportunity to sit down with Christine at her Toronto office, my expectations of encountering a strong, confident woman (and mom) were met — we had a great chat and I walked away feeling motivated and inspired. I’m thrilled to introduce you to Christine!
Starting her own company wasn’t intentional for Christine and instead it happened quite organically. Having earned a commerce degree with a marketing/comms background at Ryerson University, Christine spent the early part of her career in retail and working in sales, and credits her time working for retail giant Dylex, and fashion designer Joeffer Caoc with really ‘earning her chops’ and understanding the mentality of selling. She thought outside the box, beyond the retail-wholesale model, and pondered, for example, how much more clothing she could sell if she could get it featured in a magazine, or if she could get a celebrity to wear the clothes (a practice that wasn’t commonplace at that time). Around this time Christine experienced what she calls her quarter-life crisis and traveled Europe by herself for a month at 26, then had an epiphany that she should start her own business. Christine doesn’t consider herself a publicist, she sees herself as an entrepreneur who saw an opportunity, and she took it. It became clear to her that she could help brands in a more meaningful way, and the business she started with two retailers as clients quickly snowballed through word-of-mouth as each successive client spread the word, to become the globally recognized firm that it is today.
Christine has learned a lot from running her own business — her role has evolved from doer to manager to leader to champion — and she has a ton of great advice to share. For anyone who wants to get started in marketing & communications, Christine says first and foremost, you need to have a thick skin, because this business isn’t for everyone. So, assuming you have said thick skin and you’ve entered the industry…what else? Christine advises to be a hand raiser, don’t say “that’s not my job” — because not only does it show initiative, but it also helps you to learn what it is you really want to do, what you’re not great at, and what you don’t love doing. Another great takeaway: “don’t let them see you sweat” — if you’re feeling nervous, no one else needs to know it. Christine is someone who trusts her gut and that’s helped her get to where she is today. And my favourite takeaway was when she said, “I do believe that the world is like a winding road and it offers you the next bend in the road when you can handle it” — I couldn’t agree with this statement more, it’s a good reminder to take the opportunities that come your way because that’s likely when you’re ready for them.
Want more? Here’s what #WeWantToKnow about Christine:
I can’t start my morning without…black coffee from Balzac’s (I deleted dairy last year as part of my new health regime).
I have a weakness for… hot sauce. I have at least a dozen at all times in my fridge. I collect them when I travel. A fav is from an Oyster bar in Charleston.
Most people don’t know that I…used to sing at resorts in Muskoka when I was a teenager. I went to Earl Haig and attended their Claude Watson Performing Arts.
Currently reading…Michael Farmer’s Madison Avenue Manslaughter, a book about the changes in the agency world and how to provide better service to customers.
I want…more joy and inner peace. In my life and for my loved ones. Try the Headspace app! We use it at our all team meetings once a month.
Thank you, Christine, for participating in #WeWantToKnow!