In today's interview, we shine the spotlight on Cherry Johnston, GTA Community Manager for Lolë. When she's not busy creating amazing events and studio partnerships for Lolë, she's an avid yogi, yoga teacher, and fitness enthusiast! Read Cherry's tips on balancing career and fitness, and her important reminder not to be too hard on yourself.
Name: Cherry Johnston
Tell us about your job in 100 words or less: I am the GTA Community Manager for Lolë, a Montreal-based athletic and leisure brand. I oversee all Toronto stores to help them come up with fun and beneficial ways to get out into their community, promote health and wellness, and expand our brand’s awareness. I also am in change of promotions for major events such as the Lolë White Tour in Toronto. I travel to our stores and spend time with the various teams, talking community, wellness, and to strategize how to expand the awareness around our incredible brand, and free community events! I have been called the "Community Goddess” of the brand, and am the go- to -girl for any questions, related to Lolë's community interaction in Toronto.
Career accomplishment you are most proud of? This year, to create more awareness about our incredible event – The Lolë White Tour, I created partnerships with three amazing studios (889 Studio, Downward Dog Yoga Centre, and Yoga). I created close to 40 Lolë meet-ups at these studios, and this helped us grow our Lolë White Tour by 75% in 2016! For this wonderfully exciting Lole White Tour, I was even asked to perform on stage as a yoga teacher, on one of the 4 stages, in front of 3000 people!. I am proud of creating successful community activity in all our 6 Toronto area Lolë stores and of getting to see them host amazing events that help the brand grow, and more importantly promote health in each of our stores' unique communities! I also created a day for store managers, where they can spend one full day a week out in their communities, getting active, and expanding their community network! I am very proud to have brought this into Lolë, starting by personally piloting its success myself, and eventually, being able to expand it to all go the GTA store managers!
Best piece of career advice you’ve received? Nothing worth having comes easy, and that success is doing what you love!
What advice would you give to other young professional women? The most important thing you can do in any business, is to always treat everyone with respect no matter their position, create a challenging environment for your team, and reward good people with loyalty and compensation. Also - never apologize for expecting greatness! Lastly, value and respect people who teach you how to be stronger, and never be closed to learning to be better and better! We all excel in different areas, and can always learn something from each other.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I feel in 5 years I will be likely still working in a multi-store manager role with Lolë (maybe in a different part of in the business). By this time, I hope to launch my own business/studio! Stay tuned!
How do you like to stay active? Luckily for me, being a yoga teacher comes in handy here! Any time I need to rejuvenate or tune up my body, I just hit my mat at home! I know what parts of my body need the most attention so I change up what my routine looks like day to day. Some days its a fast paced flow, other days its just some great restorative yoga! I ensure more than anything that I eat healthy, take time to myself to meditate or just be mindful every day. I also strive to fit my favourite de-stressing activities into my life and enjoy group classes, like yoga, pilates, and barre classes in when I can. But I don't beat myself up if I can't make classes as much as I would like. This is part of maintaining that balanced lifestyle. I also surround myself with friends who are into wellness, and we tend to like to do healthy activities together, like take a class, or just share health tips we can use in our daily lives. Active healthy lives are all about community, friends, and family! The most important reason for staying active to me, is to help my state of mind. If you are not physically fit, you can't expect to be the person you want to be!
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of? Getting certified with my Yoga Teachers Training in 2010! This experience was so incredible, and helped me create a life full of rewarding experiences ever since, teaching and practicing! It has helped me really find myself, and also has helped me to move through life with much more grace, having a solid yoga practice of my own. Also traveling to Germany last year to refresh my YTT, with Sadie Nardini (finishing with a workshop with Patrick Beach).
What tools and resources do you use to help you stay on track with your fitness goals (apps, journals, books, websites, gadgets etc.)? I love to journal and work on self reflection rather than setting strict fitness goals.
Favourite spot for healthy eats: Home! I love to cook (though I have little time to do so), but I always say that my fuel of life is my homemade granola, with fruit, Greek yogurt, and maybe a little maple syrup! I also LOVE The Good Press in Yorkville! They have the best healthy snacks, and the staff are always great too!
Favourite spot for tasty treats: I have to say I love the selection at Pusateries in Yorkville. They have every pastry and baked good you can imagine! I usually leave with two sweet treats, I must admit.
Last book you read: Yogabody: Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Asana by Judith Lasater.
Favourite quote: "If you want something done, give it to a busy person!"
Do you prefer routine or spontaneity? What does a typical day look like for you? While i sometimes wish I could have a life of routine, it's just not who I am! I am a very go- with- the- flow kind of person. There's no such thing as a typical day – my days are usually as dynamic as I am. During my last work day, I hopped on a GO train to Oakville to train our new store Manager. I take advantage of every moment, using the train ride to catch up on email and do a phone interview for a potential hire in Santa Barbara, California. Some days I get to spend time with my amazing team at my beautiful store in Yorkville! I can be found there likely doing visual merchandising, chatting with customers, and getting them as excited as I am about the hottest styles in the store. This is my second home!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced pursuing both career and health and fitness goals? I can be very hard on myself, and tend to set my expectations extremely high, in both career and fitness. This has been a challenge for me, to overcome being my own worst enemy, - it still gets out of hand when I stop paying attention. This is why I really try to celebrate successes, and remind myself that patience is a skill that I still need to cultivate.
Do you believe work-life balance truly exists? Yes – if you love what you do, and are not too hard on yourself when you “work” too much. It is also important to always look forward to your next vacation, or plan activities with friends on at least one day off a week. It’s all too easy to get caught up in how productive we can be, but friendships and family need to remain a high priority always! They are the constant in our lives. Life is a balancing act, but it can be done!
Why do you think committing to health and fitness is important for young professional women? A healthy body makes you feel great and creates a productive and peaceful mind - health and fitness are the most important things one can have, for professional and personal life!