Suzy Rounce is the co-founder and creative director of Switchback Creative. This wife-hubby team has created a business built around being brand storytellers.
Suzy has an intense passion for design, marketing and strives to collaborate with clients developing communications that create a following for her clients.
She earned her Bachelor of Design Degree from the Alberta College of Art and Design, graduating as the class Valedictorian. She plays an important role in helping businesses build respect and trust by providing thoughtful and clear stories around their brand.
What is your favourite hobby? Mountain Biking with my hubby, easy answer.
If you could be any animal what would it be and why? Squirrel. I’m a little twitchy and all over the place and I sort of hide food and nuts in pockets everywhere.
What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already? Budgeting and financial smarts. More in-depth understanding of balance sheets and personal budgeting would be huge.
What was your first job? I worked as a parks and rec leader in Calgary for years when I was a teenager.
Do you have a favourite quote? “The difference between school and life: In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teach you a lesson.”
What did you do growing up that got you into trouble? Talking too much, always about talking too much and interrupting. Very bad habit…
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? So many things. Hard to pick one. Funny thing is though if I really want to learn something I should just shut up about it and get started learning.
One word to describe your business? Encouraging.
Do you think women feel intimidated in business? Not really. I think business is terrifying for everyone; man, woman and child. And exciting too. I don’t think it’s any different for women or men.
How do you achieve work-life balance, does it exist? Work-life balance doesn’t seem to really exist as it’s a play between what is the most important thing at that moment in your life and to not fight that fact that things shift from one area to the other. The key is to not drop something completely. Then you are in trouble. Just keep swimming!
What is one thing that annoys you the most? Rudeness, no one needs to be rude or unkind.
If you could time travel back to day one of your startup, what would you tell yourself? Pace yourself girl, you are in for a wild ride!
When budgeting and building your business, what is one thing you spend or spent money on that you believe is “worth the money”? Good equipment, good clothes. Clothes give you the confidence to get out there and tackle anything and the equipment means you can actually do what you need to be successful. As for what not to spend money on… keep the rest of your money in the business and stay frugal. Live below your means!
What habits help make you successful? I try really hard to get up as early as I can. Alarm is set for 5:30AM as I find I get the most done early in the morning. I try to always do what I say I will. Sometimes to a fault as it makes me crazy if I don’t have everything lined up but it’s always a learning process.
What was your ‘A-HA’ moment when you realized this was what you were meant to do? First year of school at Alberta College of Art and Design and I was in a visual communications elective. The teacher was logical, harsh and while the work was creative the structure was solid. I loved that I could do creative work for others that had problems and challenges to solve. That was when it clicked. I could create with a purpose. Never looked back after that, everything has just evolved from there.
Do you feel working with a business partner is a good idea or bad? That being said whether you have one or not. How does it work for or against you? This question is easy. I can’t imagine ever starting a business without my business partner, husband and best friend. This is an intense endeavor that seems to take endless time and the very best part of it all, besides helping bring out the best in others, is the fact that we get to work side by side and take on the challenges together.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the women of the world who are thinking of entering into business for themselves? You need to believe in yourself more than you ever imagine, have amazing determination and that you need the best support team to help you get there. It is great working for yourself but it is a lot of work and doesn’t come without sacrifice. Lift others up as you go and never compromise on your values. Lastly, I guess that when opportunity presents itself, no matter how scary, you have to take the chance and run with it.
And a shoe question, of course. What is your favourite pair of shoes, and why? I love my ECCO shoes, I have heels, booties, runners and full boots. They last FOREVER, and are sexy, practical and well made. Stylish, classic and worth the money. It’s so not worth working hard and running from one thing to the next if your feet hurt.