Jerilyn Toney, Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Restorative Formulations
In launching our monthly feature stories, I thought, ‘what better way to kick it off than with my Mom?!’.
This month, my Mom is telling her story.
Growing up, she was passionate about becoming a professional dancer. That was her dream. She attended The Boston Conservatory seeking a professional dance degree.
During her first year in school she was hit with the unthinkable truth - she could no longer seek a professional career in dancing. She was injured. It wasn’t an option to proceed as a professional dancer.
So she traveled back home to Vermont where she started a family with my Father and in 1993 gave birth to me and my twin sister.
For years she worked as an Office Manager within multiple companies. In 2011 she and my father divorced and she was laid off of at a company that eliminated her position.
Through trials and tribulations, she chose to push forward and keep trying. She started applying for jobs she (quite honestly) wasn’t qualified for. And I don’t say that in a negative manner. I say that because I am so incredibly proud of her for simply trying. Some people will look at job applications and think “I don’t have the qualifications for that job, I can’t apply.” And they won’t. What she did was courageous and that has led her to success today.
Through her bravery, she landed a job working for a company in Montpelier, VT. This job has given her the opportunity to travel the country each year for trade shows they attend and host. She now heads up Marketing and Sales for the company and is the leader for all Sales Managers in the company.
She has learned a lot through tough times and continues to learn through the good times. Today, she is living her best life with someone she loves and I couldn’t be happier for her. I hope she continues to strive for success personally and professionally. She has the ability to move mountains with the strength, confidence, and bravery she possesses.
Enjoy her story below.
Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be when you grew up?
I grew up in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. When I was growing up I took many dance classes: jazz, ballet, modern, lyrical and tap. My dream was to become a professional dancer and perform among audiences all over the world. Then eventually, I wanted to open up a dance studio and share my joy for dance with children and young adults.
What brought you to where you are today?
My dance career ended in college while I was attending The Boston Conservatory. This led me back to St. Johnsbury, VT where I held multiple jobs. My last position, as an Office Manager, was eliminated. I decided it was time to start a new career and so I started to apply for marketing positions. I didn’t limit myself to Vermont. I kept my options open.
What do you do professionally?
I currently work as the Sales & Marketing Development Officer for an herb and supplement company located in Montpelier, VT. I brainstorm new marketing strategies then design, create and implement them. I hire student reps at medical colleges across the United States and Canada to represent our company. I work with our sales team to help reach their sales goals and I attend tradeshows throughout the US and Canada and meet with potential customers and introduce them to our company.
How would you describe Marketing in business?
After working in sales and marketing for over 7 years now, I’ve realized that they go together. You can't have one without the other. Sales depends on great Marketing pieces to attract your potential customers.
What is the importance of Marketing in business?
If you don't market your business, it becomes difficult to raise awareness about your company. You have to get out there, by phone, email and snail mail. Face-to-face is so important these days. With the rise in social media, it is difficult to keep your brand alive. Our customers like connecting with us at conferences and experiencing human-like interactions rather than connecting via social media.
What does a day in the Marketing office look like?
Currently, I am thinking about goals for 2020. Looking at our budget, what tradeshows we should attend, who our audience should be, what new marketing ideas I can create, and marketing strategies that are working and not working. It’s important to constantly reevaluate your marketing efforts. The industry is ever-changing. If a company wants to stay above water, they must stay with the current trends in the industry. That is my job.
What do you spend the majority of your days in the office doing?
From a birds eye view: creating reports, checking sales, calling our top customers, and brainstorming and presenting new marketing strategies with our Director of Business Development.
What does branding mean to you?
The basic necessities of a brand are the company name, logo and slogan. They are all crucial to the brand. These should be memorial to the customer. From there, branding can go into advertising and the design of products/services offered. Our products have consistent labeling. This ensures people know which company the products belong to. When doctors see our products, they can tell if it is a Restorative product or other competing companies products. Design and consistency of design is key.
Can you explain to our audience the importance of branding?
Branding is critical because of the impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how people see your company, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness. If branding is done incorrectly, it can be detrimental to business. Consistency is key.
What do you enjoy most about being a Marketing Manager?
There is a lot that comes with being a Marketing Manager. The duties I enjoy most are brainstorming new ideas, changing up our strategies, and designing new looks for our products, marketing material, and online platforms. It’s all fun!
What advice would you give to anyone looking to enter the Marketing industry?
Always remember, not everything works and that’s ok. Learn from it and try the next idea. There will be people in the company that question marketing - that it is costing too much, that a specific idea isn't going to work, or the need of a marketing department... you will have to have thick skin. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Stick to your gut and just try. Don’t be afraid to break the mold and try new things. That’s the most fun you’ll have in marketing. Dive into your creative side and have fun!
We all can learn something from one another. It's important to know that we are all ever-changing and growing. One thing we can learn from Jerilyn's journey is that you are enough. Don't limit yourself.