NutraWomen Wednesday: Brenda Demers, CEO, SmartyPants
Brenda Demers has spent over 20 years leading businesses across the Beauty, Personal Care, Food, and VMS categories globally. More recently, she led SmartyPants' integration into Unilever's Health & Wellbeing collective. Today Demers is the CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins.
Demers said she got her taste of marketing natural products as a kid. Growing up, her father was president and CEO of a small OTC company in Canada.
“I remember fondly growing up and going into the drug stores and grocery shops and facing up all the products for my dad's company. So, yeah, I really kind of followed in his footsteps and it's fun because he and I can talk business and we understand the different situations we find ourselves in.
Today, Demers has children of her own, and she says being a parent has actually helped her to better prioritize, use her time more efficiently and draw boundaries.
“Funny enough, I actually think I became better at work after I had kids. I think early on in my career, I just kind of threw myself into work and into my career and that was kind of what was most important. But when I had my children, I very clearly put them as a priority and I set my own boundaries to say I will be there with all their school events. I will be there to watch them grow and be part of their life. So that actually created more space and balance with my work," she said.
“A lot of people say to me that they can't believe I can juggle all these things, but to be honest, nobody will put your boundaries for you. So my kids and my family are absolutely number one and then of course I have career ambitions and I take my job very seriously, and I know what I need to deliver on, when I need to deliver and at what quality I want to show up at. So things just kind of naturally fall into place and it does help you prioritize when you don't have as many hours as you used to–it really forces that ruthless prioritization.”