2012 ended much in the way that 2011 and 2010 did for me: dinner at a swanky downtown restaurant with my wonderful boyfriend, and meeting up with our friends at multiple parties afterwards, ringing in the new year with champagne, kisses and laughter. However, even though our New Year’s Eve stayed much the same, 2012 was a year filled with change (and lots of fun). Here’s a recap of my 2012 + a look at what’s coming in the year ahead. There will be audience participation, so read carefully!
2012 was a big year for me in terms of my career – I can finally say I’ve found my niche and truly enjoy every second of what I do. After a year at my first full-time job outside of school, I was unceremoniously let go without cause in May. Sent off with nothing but good words but nevertheless a bad feeling in my mouth, I took a little bit of time for myself before making myself available to new opportunities. Things came full circle one morning when I received a call from a mentor from my HumberPR days. He needed a community manager – the same role he’d approached me for in an internship capacity in December 2010. Was I interested?
I took the leap and I couldn’t be happier. I now work at BBDO Proximity, on the Proximity Canada side in the strategy department doing full-time community management with a side of digital strategy. I work with the smartest people who challenge me on a daily basis and have an amazing boss. My clients range from big-name CPG brands to smaller start-ups and the experience I’ve gained in the last 8 months is unprecedented. Did I mention we have a lot of fun? My coworkers are awesome. /end gush
On the side, I also do some freelance consulting and smaller-scale digital projects. I’m hoping to pick a few more up this year (as if I don’t have enough on my plate) – I love a good challenge.
Blog & Social
This little blog has tripled its readership from last year! While that makes the metrics girl inside me very happy, I also can’t say enough good things about the brands and individuals I’ve gotten to work with this year. From attending the Grey Cup c/o Nissan Canada to sharing my weekly must-haves in The Lust List, I’m proud of the work I put into StephanieFusco.com and I’m so amazed by the opportunities I’ve been afforded.
A few highlights:
- In February, I presented to York University and Seneca College students about how to create your online personal brand
- I had a terrible time at Oprah’s Lifeclass in Toronto that resulted in getting a call from Oprah (OK, Oprah’s people. Still cool. Social media FTW.)
- Attending NXNE on behalf of Ben & Jerry’s and learning to scoop ice cream on an ice cream truck & going on a double date to Medieval Times Toronto
- Working with Skinnygirl, Blo Blow Dry Bar, Chobani, Benefit Cosmetics, Oktoberfest, Continuum & Showcase, TELUS, Mark’s (AND MEETING BRAD GORESKI!), KORRES and The Firkin Group of Pubs (to name just a few).
- I raised a little hell when I broke the news about the Fake Follower Check (based on a tip from one of my best digital buddies, Stella Lee), resulting in a storm of tweets, blog posts and vlogs from the Toronto social media community. Then I implored PR pros to be better at their jobs and called out shady bloggers who refuse to disclose their affiliations and when they’re compensated.
- I was featured in FLARE Magazine at the Joe Fresh/Revenge bash with one of my girlfriends from high school, Chelsea Braida…right next to the Mimrans!
- Quotables: check me out in the Toronto Standard, Metro Toronto/Talent Egg, CBC News, Humber Etc., Food Bloggers of Canada, Style Blog, Lessons Learned with Jaime Stein, Digital Dialectic, Tech Fetch, Zach Bussey
In the coming year, I’ll be keeping up with The Lust List and attending & covering as many events as I can possibly fit into my schedule. I’ll also be launching a how to/experiences series about my resolutions for the year and am looking for brands to partner with me to make it all possible. Stay tuned for more details!
This is the part where I thank all of you who make my life so fun. I’m honestly so lucky to have such an amazing partner and support systems. From my group-therapy-esque family of community manager friends who keep me sane – literally all day long on Facebook, GChat + text – to my girlfriends, former housemates and various family members, I’m lucky to have the best people in my life.
I also fared pretty well on last year’s resolutions
- Do what I love. Check!
- Breathe. Half-check – more of this needs to happen in 2013, but I’m happy to say only good stress remains.
- Wear more high heels. Check!
- Save for Chanel. I did it! Special thanks to fellow PR gals Lisa Leveille and Claire LaRocca for helping me to take the plunge – even in the face of the worst customer service ever at the Bloor St. Chanel boutique.
- Have those dates that always get put off. Halfway there…
- Blog more. Check!
- Live colourfully. OK, Kate Spade coming to town has really helped with this but I like to think I’ve become more joyful in the last year and have truly embraced bright lipstick.
- Stay sharp. I plan to enroll in some continuing education classes to stay on top of my game. I’ve already got my eye on one, so we’ll see where that takes me!
- Soak it in. I work with and know some ridiculously smart people + have so many opportunities to learn from them. In 2013, I want to soak it all in and learn as much as possible.
- Eat clean. Starting in January, I’ll be committing to a Paleo diet as part of my efforts to shed about 30 pounds. I do well with restrictions, and hope to add in grains and some dairy as time goes on.
- Do a cleanse. I’ve heard so much about cleanses and think they’d complement my weight loss efforts, so I’d love to give one a go!
- Find my groove. I have yet to find an exercise routine that works for me, so 2013 will be devoted to finding something I love and can stick with. I’m hoping to try a bunch of different classes and methods + share them here.
- Be social. There are so many people, online and offline, that I mean to see but never get to. In 2013, I’d like to meet up with one person for coffee/lunch/dinner/insert activity here each week for mutual brain-picking and friendship-building. If you’d like to do this, shoot me an email and we’ll set it up!
- Create a budget. Call me crazy, but I’ve never had a budget. I’m not spend-crazy or anything – I’ve always just abided by the principle that I won’t spend what I don’t have and will always put money aside for the future. In 2013, I’m making a concerted effort to track my spending and live on a stricter budget.
- Build my wardrobe. In 2012, I started to buy more expensive pieces less frequently in an effort to build up a wardrobe of quality, versatile pieces. In 2013, I’ll continue this and bring you along on the journey to help you do the same!
If you’re still with me after all that, you’re a superstar. Thanks for sticking around and letting me have a bit of a brain dump. Thank you for reading for the last few years. It’s been quite a ride and I can’t wait to see where 2013 will bring me. Big massive thank-yous to all of the PR pros I’ve gotten to work with, especially the ladies at High Road Communications, Rock-it Promotions, LexPR, EGPR, Praxis and NKPR. You make this so fun. xoxo
Congrats on all of your personal and professional growth this year! I'm hoping to get to know you better in 2013 - see you in class ;)
@JamieLeighTO Thanks, Jamie! I still haven't signed up - starting 2013 as a slacker, apparently! Definitely looking forward to some hangouts with you in 2013.
Good luck on your 2013 resolutions!!! I thought about trying paleo too, but I'm not sure I can follow through.. :(
@KarrieKwong Thanks, love! I'm transitioning into it this week (while being realistic about the fact that I'm probably going to Libretto on a double date Friday); we can do it together!
Yay, what a great recap of 2012! I'm really glad we got to meet and hang out for a bit this year. I'd like to take you up on grabbing that coffee/tea one day :) Have an amazing 2013 can't wait to see what you accomplish :)
@TOBeautyReviews Thanks, Elaine! You can most definitely be on my list of people for coffee/tea - I feel like we're always so rushed when we get to hang out. Let's do it :) Happy 2013 to you, too xo
What a great post! I will be starting my own clean eating diet and I look forward to hearing about your adventures in finding a (fun) way to get fit - I'm still trying to find one!
@katstanford Thanks! You'll have to keep me posted on how yours goes.
I've tried a bunch of things in the past, including pole fitness, boot camp, hip hop dance + moksha yoga so we'll see where the year takes me :)
Great post! I think education is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself, and I hope you find that to be true. A wardrobe series would be a great feature on your blog! Something I am committed to doing this year myself, so would be great to follow along.
@sarah_devries13 Thanks, Sarah! I love learning, so hopping back on the formal education horse will be great.
I'm a little obsessed with curating the perfect versatile wardrobe, so hopefully everyone can learn from it!
It was so fun reading this post! I love following along like a fly on your wall. I'm curious as to what your wardrobe wishlist is including this year! I'm definitely going to get my hands on a pair of nude Louboutins and a gorgeous Chanel.. perhaps you'll come with me to the boutique! :)
@Beautezine Thanks, Jess! I have to comb through my wardrobe and figure out what I need, but I'll definitely be doing a few posts on my must-haves to build the perfect wardrobe.
I think I want to add a few versatile day-to-night dresses and pumps, as well as some dressier tops. I've been coveting the Prada Saffiano tote as well as another Hermes scarf, so one of those may make an appearance in my closet this year. So excited for you to get your Loubs and Chanel (finally!!!). I best be invited.