At Staff Shop, we have a true understanding of the value of personal storytelling. One who knows this all too well is Founder & CEO Jennifer Menard, whose humble beginnings ultimately defined her purpose and provided the resilience and grit she needed to succeed.
Jennifer’s childhood was marred by divorce, alcoholism and traumatic experiences. She left home at the age of 18 and moved to Toronto when she was 20—landing a job with Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment in 2006. Shortly after starting with MLSE, Jennifer found her path through a mentor named Geoff Bagg, who employed her and then subsequently encouraged her to buy the business that she created within The Bagg Group. How did they connect? By exchanging life stories and goals when they met.
“Sharing my story and creating a trusted network of people who had my best interest at heart is what made the difference for me.” says Jennifer, who now operates Staff Shop with her trusted business partner and COO, Alison Hernandez.
Alison had a more idyllic home life, but struggled with several health issues growing up that caused her physical pain as well as the psychological pain of looking different. Although Alison’s childhood challenges provided her with courage and self-confidence, she unfortunately found herself in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship as she approached her college years. Luckily, Alison was able to dig into that childhood grit, and with the help of those who never gave up on her-she found her way out. She realized that with the right people and faith, life didn’t have to be solely focused on survival, it could also be about success.
It was through sharing their stories that Jennifer and Alison realized they shared common values and goals which led to them uniting as business partners – also known as the “Walt & Roy Disney” of Staff Shop.
“No one makes it alone. A lot of what we can do going forward is about first coming together, creating win/win solutions, and never giving up.” says Jennifer & Alison.
As a purpose driven organization, it’s very important that we keep moving the needle in people’s lives daily. We know that we wouldn’t have survived the trials of our past without the people who listened to our stories, who authentically connected with us, who genuinely supported us and who never stopped believing in us. We have experienced the healing that comes from storytelling, being a good person and investing in value based relationships. We now actively seek to give back to others—as employers, colleagues, family and friends.
We believe in supporting each other through the failure in our stories, and as human beings who miss the mark daily. Forgiving failure and learning from it, is at the centre of our growth, as we stay focused on celebrating our triumphs over adversity.
At Staff Shop, we want everyone to succeed, feel supported and be comfortable sharing their stories in order to reach their full potential. Success starts with your story and storytelling not only heals, it can transform your life.
★What’s your story? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!★
Check out Tony Chapman’s Chatter that Matter episodes featuring Jennifer & Alison to learn more and stay tuned for our upcoming blog on: HOW IMPORTANT YOUR WHY & VALUES ARE TO BUSINESS & PARTNERSHIPS.