Tell us about your company and role.
I am a Sr. Partnerships Manager on the App Ecosystem Team at Shopify. My role is to help make Shopify’s product better for all merchants and ensure Shopify and the ecosystem meets 100% of their diverse technology needs across sizes, industries, and geographies.
I manage all app partnerships under the storefronts and headless categories and work closely with our largest strategic partners, like Yotpo, to collaborate and innovate on building great product for merchants that continue to evolve based on their needs. The goal behind every partnership is to 10X merchant success on Shopify and help every developer on our platform make commerce better for everyone. To put this into practice is by deeply understanding merchant needs in each category, identifying Shopify’s existing and future product gaps, and driving build versus partner roadmaps across product lines to offer a complete product offering for all merchants, everywhere.
How would you describe yourself?
Professionally, I’m a passionate, strategic and results-driven professional with experience in partnerships, eCommerce, business development, marketing, and merchandising. I’m grateful I’ve had a fulfilling career journey so far as a former entrepreneur, experienced team leader, and individual contributor with many years of working in fast-paced, challenging environments.
Personally, I’m from Dutch and Indonesian descent but born and raised in Canada. My mom was a single parent who was the first of seven in her family to immigrate to Canada from Holland to start a new life. I grew up with very humble beginnings as we worked our way through the challenges of making ends meet. These hardships ultimately taught me the principles of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and earning your way and that without any sort of struggle, there is no progress.
Fast forward to today, I live in downtown Toronto with my partner and 5-year-old son. At home, my favorite role is being Mama to my son Ethan and the things I enjoy most are quality time with loved ones, eating great food, reading a book, photography, or exploring the world and any type of sports and recreation — skiing, hiking, yoga, skating, can I include shopping?
What qualities do you think a good leader needs to have?
Transparent and open communicator
Can make good decisions quickly
Attention to detail
Sense of humor
What has been your biggest professional success so far?
I’d say my biggest professional success so far is learning how to balance life in and outside of work and knowing how to set stronger boundaries. As someone who has always been very career-oriented and driven, I used to put all of my time and energy into being successful and advancing my career. Although this helped me get to where I am today from a professional standpoint, there was a lot of intense stress, anxiety, and depression that developed over time and was putting my health at risk. At one point I started to lose my hair and developed a bald spot because of it.
My body’s physical reaction to work-related stress and the birth of my first born son really put things into perspective for me. I realized how precious life is, how quickly time goes by, and how important it is to be more present in everything else. I think women should feel comfortable more often talking openly about these situations and try not to feel guilty, insecure, or incapable when we have these moments. The opportunity to be vulnerable, share experiences and lift each other up can be an empowering learning experience that only makes us stronger.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing eCommerce brands?
The current economic landscape and impacts of rising costs from inflation are making it challenging for many businesses to thrive and eroding their bottom line. The cost of goods is much higher and supply chains have been disrupted, adding more operational and financial stress onto businesses. Remote work, cut-backs, and layoffs have become a common trend. Consumers facing increased borrowing costs due to central banks raising rates may begin to slow down discretionary spending.
Leading online retailers and DTC manufacturers are responding to these headwinds by doubling down on digital transformation initiatives and making investments to optimize site conversion opportunities and reduce operating expenses. To support them, technology vendors and partners are investing in new ways to help entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes adapt and offer them solutions that will drive their costs down or increase efficiencies to help them stay open. Shopify believes it will be even more critical for retailers to invest in composable technology stacks that offer more simplified and flexible ways to create truly omnichannel experiences.
What's your favorite loyalty program or subscription offering from an eCommerce brand?
My favorite subscriptions program from an eCommerce brand is Evive! We’re big smoothie drinkers and having a recurring order is so convenient for a busy household. The ready prep capsules are nutrient dense, have zero added sugar, 100% plant-based, high fiber, and are easy to make. Like they say, “Just pop ’em, cover ’em and shake ’em.” We go through servings quickly but always have enough on hand until the next order arrives!
What causes are you most passionate about?
The environment, diversity and inclusion, and animal cruelty.
What do you geek out over?
I’m a major foodie and love to eat out or make elaborate meals. I find any experience themed around food is very therapeutic and sparks pure joy. Usually, I’m on the uptake for any hot new resto’s on the scene and use my free time to check them off the hit list every month. I have a particular aesthetic when it comes to fashion and decor which I channel my creativity through. I also recently became an F1 fanatic after watching Drive to Survive. I’ve been a spectator at two races so far (Montreal and Austin) and plan to keep it up as an annual tradition with friends. It would be a dream to do the Singapore or Euro Circuit. The technology, politics and international scope of the sport is exhilarating!