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Shelley True | TRUEdotDESIGN | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

T: 613.800.TDOT (8368)


"I didn't get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it."
Estée Lauder

Shelley, you've been in the strategic marketing and design business for several years. What's been your focus?
My main focus has been growing the success of my company — TRUEdotDESIGN — a strategic marketing and brand development firm that works predominantly in the architectural, real estate, development and home-building industries.

Those are a lot of male dominated industries. What's your biggest asset in working within those spaces?
I like to think I'm tenacious and hard-working. I know what I want to achieve and I do all in my power to make it happen. I am grateful for the incredible talent I get to work with daily. They inspire me to be strong, but also offer a soft place to fall. They are more than my team, they are my family.

You've experienced a lot of growth in the past few years. Was that your biggest challenge and biggest win?
Absolutely. My acquisition of Avenue took me from a company of 3 employees to 8 employees and then to 15 within two years. This was an enormous and exciting professional leap for me. The success of this business rests largely on my shoulders. It's not without its stresses, but it fuels me to work even harder.

You're also a single mother who has always been present for your daughter. What do you admire in her?
She is a beautiful soul and humble with her accomplishments. She found her passion in dance at a young age and it drives her success. At just 13, she is poised, determined and resilient — all qualities that will serve her well as an adult. I'm incredibly proud of her.

As a strong and dynamic woman, what advice would you offer to the next generation of women looking to succeed?
Don't ever think you can't do it. You absolutely can. Set goals, do what it takes to achieve them, pat yourself on the back. More than anything, support your fellow women. Encourage their efforts. Praise their wins.

Photographer: Lindsey Gibeau