Meet #LeadingLady Ruth Goudie: Vice President, Self-Starter, And Beauty Lover

As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canadas brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, after our last Supper Club at Soho Housewe decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies. Here’s hoping that we’ll see you at our next Supper Club. Keep your eyes peeled on our events page for more details.

Photo: Ruth Goudie

Ruth Goudie – Vice President, Self-Starter, and Beauty Lover

City: Toronto

Industries: Public relations, marketing, and social media


SC: What led you to pursue your career? 

RG: To be honest, it all stemmed from a love of beauty. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with makeup and hair but didn’t realize there were so many business roles within the industry until much later. In my twenties, I went to makeup school to become an artist but quickly realized that it wasn’t a fit for my Type A, process-loving brain.

SC: What has your career path looked like?

RG: A winding road full of curves, stops, and starts. I had studied operations and supply chain logistics which led to an exciting tenure at Faces Cosmetics. There I helped develop shades and formulations in the lab. Then I moved to CARGO cosmetics where I helped launch some of the brand’s most ground-breaking beauty products, including PlantLove, the first-ever 100 per cent biodegradable lipstick made of corn-based resin. That’s when my foray into marketing happened. Designing the products and packaging meant that we considered every element of marketing. How it would be photographed for editorial? How it would look on a shelf? And of course, how we would promote it internationally?

Afterward, I moved onto Cake Beauty in a similar role. My team revamped all of the packaging and reformulated the product line to become ‘free-from’ and natural. A few years later at the cusp of the influencer age, I moved to a full-time marketing management role at Benefit Cosmetics where I helped launch their social media platforms and develop what became an award-winning digital marketing and events strategy. I had found my passion: building integrated, omni-channel campaigns that made a big impact. Benefit Cosmetics is where I really learned about brand strategy and process-oriented skills that prepared me to lead a team on the agency side. I love being able to combine my love of storytelling with my passion for crafting meaningful campaigns and key messages at 1Milk2Sugars.

SC: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career to date? 

RG: Adapt and stay relevant. The world is changing and consumer expectations are evolving. Marketers need to stay one step ahead. I’ve gone back to school many times over the years to improve my knowledge and expertise in the areas of digital marketing, advertising, and communications. I read a lot and do a ton of research on consumer behaviour, industry insights, and cultural trends to make sure that my perspective and approach is always relevant. If you become out of touch in this business, you’re done.

SC: How would you describe your role at 1Milk2Sugars? 

RG: It’s a dream job. It’s challenging and every day is different, but what I love more than anything is building and mentoring an amazing team. As the vice president of 1Milk2Sugars, I work alongside the company’s president and founder to implement processes and create a culture that’s inclusive and forward-thinking. I get to work with some incredible brands and talent. I also work on new business pitches and focus a lot on client servicing and retention. I have oversight and input on all campaigns and basically touch every part of the business. My days are busy.

SC: What obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are today? 

RG: I can’t really pinpoint a specific obstacle… I just had to figure it out on the fly. I didn’t take the easy route, so I became resilient and just learned to pick myself up when things went south. I married pretty young, (20 years ago now!), and thankfully my husband supported whatever new job, school course, or side hustle I got into. Its been a ride!

SC: What’s one thing you would’ve done differently? 

RG: I don’t have a university degree. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I was already doing it. My experience has evolved with every new role and I feel blessed to have had so many great opportunities. I think I’ve had to work harder (which is a pressure I put on myself) to prove that I’m capable. I just love learning and wish that I had pursued a more traditional education path early on.

SC: What’s your biggest strength? 

RG: My ability to think ‘big picture’. I can see two steps ahead and predict outcomes that benefit our clients’ needs. I’ve honed an ability to create robust plans that’re always well-integrated and results driven. I don’t just see a piece of a campaign. I see all the pieces at once.

SC: What’s your biggest challenge/weakness?

RG: It’s sort of the same thing. Overthinking and the need to always be strategic and process-oriented can sometimes hold me back from taking risks or seeing fine details. I really need to see a clear path and direction in order to deliver, so I’m not great with vague ideas or unknown circumstances. I like to make decisions and need all the facts to do so. I’m working on this and trying to ease up a little.

SC: How would your friends describe you?

RG: Probably as a workaholic. They know I’m really passionate about what I do and even outside the office I tend to gravitate towards people with similar interests in beauty, business, marketing, and social trends. I think they would also say that I’m loyal, dependable, and fun. I like to have a good time and have a wildly inappropriate sense of humour. I’m not easily offended and try not to take life too seriously. I think my friends would say I keep it real.

SC: How would your staff/colleagues describe you?

RG: I think they would describe me as a strong leader. I’m collaborative and always jump to tackle my share of the work. I’m direct and honest with feedback and support everything with facts. I don’t like confrontation and prefer to address things as they come up and move on quickly. I never hold a grudge. I love to have a laugh, I’m approachable, and I try to make everyone around me feel supported.

SC: What sets 1Milk2Sugars apart in the public relations and marketing industries? 

RG: I think it’s our ability to constantly evolve. We’re never satisfied with the status quo and we’re always looking to expand and improve our service offerings. We want to hire the most interesting, passionate, and diverse staff possible, and we’re all about different perspectives. We want everyone on the team to have a voice. This comes from the top down. Our president is warm and welcoming and empowers everyone to be their best self. Priya fosters the #SugarFam mentality and pushes us to do our best work. However, she encourages us to have a great time while we’re at it too.

SC: If you have one goal for 1Milk2Sugars, what is it?

RG: Continuous growth. Not just in sales, but in every aspect. Growth in the services we offer, growth in staff to support our clients, personal growth and development for myself and our team, growth of ideas that push boundaries and move people… growth!

SC: What are some 1Milk2Sugars milestones you’re particularly proud of? 

RG: Doubling the size of the business and staff count over the past two years, being named the agency’s first-ever vice president, and signing Tessa Virtue as the spokesperson for Nivea right before the 2018 Olympics, which has been tremendously rewarding for the brand and all of us that get to work with her.

SC: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

RG: Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to stick to one plan. It doesn’t have to be a straight path because winding roads are a lot more fun. Be open to everything that comes your way. Work hard and when you’re not having fun, change course.

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