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Get to know Jessica & Giovanna




In this interview, deep dive into how Cachet came to be with our co-founders Jessica & Giovanna.


How did you get your start in the industry and what led you to start your entrepreneurial journey? 


Giovanna: I finished my DEC in Fashion Marketing and got an internship at a big fashion company where I ended up working my way up to eventually leading their social media and communications team for several brands. I was able to build up a great portfolio as well as work closely with prominent influencers/creators on many marketing and PR campaigns. 


I always wanted to do my own thing (fun fact, I used to be a freelance makeup artist and also have an aesthetics degree). During my experience in marketing, I quickly noticed there were definitely some things lacking within the agencies I would hire and I decided that I wanted to offer the service I never received. I wanted to be a stress-free, hands on, comprehensive agency that had a great understanding of what it's like to be the brand needing my service. 


Jessica: That was a great answer! Out of school I started working for a pharmaceutical marketing agency. They specialized in event planning, meeting planning for doctors and nurses. So seeing the dynamic of my boss, the company VP and her partner the company President (two women) gave me the drive/motivation I needed to commit to my goal of  starting my own business. For the longest, I knew I wanted to work for myself and looking around I was like I can do this. I ended up leaving that job because I wanted to grow somewhere else and the next job I got was In McGill so I applied for the public relations program which meshed really well with what I had learned in the past in college. Then it was time to take the leep! I started Jessica F. Productions and it was an event planning company. And eventually Giovanna we knew each other and I think you came to me and we had a conversation, she was telling me about her job. Eventually, a few months later we had another conversation and we decided to start Cachet and it was the beginning of a great thing.


What were some challenges you faced at the start? 

Jessica: I think one of the big challenges is finding clients for sure. And then also narrowing down the services that we wanted to offer. We definitely had a lot to offer in the industry however we quickly realized that it wasn't necessarily going to work for what we wanted to do. Those were the two most difficult things for me


Giovanna:  I think for me at that time was balancing my full time job and “cach cach” because I was always sure that we were going to go full time with Cachet but it was such a struggle of having a stable income because obviously in entrepreneurship nothing is guaranteed. So it was a struggle for me to leave that behind and also focus on this and just balancing all that out. I think that was my biggest struggle in the beginning, and once we were fully in we were good.


So far, what would you say have been your biggest win(s) or the moment that made you realize it was all worth it? 


Giovanna: I think for me the top one would be narrowing what we wanted to do specifically. At the beginning we really wanted to do it all because we had so much experience in everything that we just were like okay, we can do this all very well so let’s just launch it. But in the end, narrowing down what we specifically wanted to give out and the services we wanted to provide. I think that was a big win because we knew authentically what value we can bring to clients and once we realized that, that’s when things started to flow so much more naturally and everything started incoming. 


Jessica: For me I think it's just seeing the growth from where we started. Seeing how many projects we’ve tackled, how many different goals we’ve reached, how many obstacles that we came over. That’s a big win. And also being recognized of course by some of your peers and your colleagues and your work being recognized also by your family and friends who mostly are confused by what you do for a long time. But once they start to get the hang of it you’re like okay okay everyone is understanding what’s going on. And it’s a win. It’s a small win but it's a win. 


Who are some women that inspire you/ that you admire?

Jessica: I'm inspired by most of the women in my life but more specifically, I'm inspired by my mom. I owe a lot of who I am to my mom. She is a go-getter, she is a woman who takes action, she is a woman who doesn't take no for an answer and I get a lot of that from her. I'm definitely inspired by her coming here from Haiti and just building her life. Setting up shop in Montreal, following her career,continuing to follow her entrepreneurial passions and just growing and building. I'm definitely inspired by her, I'm inspired by most of my cousins, the way they manage their families, their work ethics, their discipline, so I'm inspired by the majority of the women in my life.


Giovanna: For me honestly, it’s my mom. I'm obsessed with her. I think Jess can attest I'm obsessed with my mom. She’s done so many things for myself, for my siblings, for everyone around her. She’s gone through so so much in her life and it's just inspiring to see how caring she is every single day and how giving she is and I hope that I can take some of that from her, the selflessness that she has and just her drive. She went back to school at 40, she got her college degree at 42, she's just done whatever she put her mind to. She’s super disciplined and I just hope that I make her proud.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business? 


Giovanna: Do it! Do it, but plan. I think that for me I'm very safe, I don't necessarily take a lot of risks. I really don't honestly, I have to measure everything out. I don't know if it's the libra in me but it's very what’s going to work, what's not going to work. I'm very strategic in my head. Everything has to come with a reason. I have a hard time taking a leap and thinking everything is going to go well. I try to, but it's super hard for me, I need tangible things. But it's been super worth it and to go back to what Jess said before about seeing the growth, it's just something that is amazing to look back on and it’s not that I didn’t think that we would get here but just to know there’s so much more to come also is really something. So do it, be prepared and don't give up even though there’s really long nights.


Jessica: For me one piece of advice I would give is to do your research on what you actually want to tackle. So business plan for sure because i think a business plan definitely helps to narrow down your ideas and give you a good direction of where you want to go. It helps you put your ideas on paper and understand a lot more what you actually want. As well as prepare you to be able to pitch and it makes it easier for you to explain your business. So definitely a business plan and then a lot of perseverance because it's difficult. There’s going to be so many “no’s” before you get a “yes” so keep that same drive and believe in yourself.


You’re at a coffee shop, what’s your go to order? 

Jessica: I’ll have a matcha latte with a chocolate cookie or a nice warm croissant, with a shot of vanilla in the matcha and sprinkle a little cinnamon on that. Depending on how strong the matcha is I might ask for a little sugar on the side too 


Giovanna: 100% a latte, oat milk, shot of vanilla if they have it. Recently, I've been able to do without (I’ve never been able to drink coffee without sugar). Lately it's alright. But vanilla please.




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