At age 18, Cher quit school to sell hand painted ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ t-shirts to drunken tourists – true story. As sales exceeded expectations, diversification was a natural next step in her selling-things-to-drunk-people proposition. She found success in several other market segments, most notably marketing hand painted lighters shoved into tiny cowboy boot keychains to drunken cowpeople. One-to-one sales had their limitations, however, and she soon began applying her street, agricultural fair and mall kiosk hustle to an advertising career.

Cher has since worked all around the globe. Starting in Toronto, then moving on to Vancouver, followed by seven years in Singapore, where she worked on international campaigns for over 172 markets and was often dispatched to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Auckland and Melbourne. Returning to her hometown of Montreal after being plagued by simultaneous bouts of dengue fever and homesickness, Cher spearheaded the integration of Montreal’s NolinBBDO, a notable local design firm and a traditional advertising agency. It was while introducing the newly formed union’s digital offering that she started messing around with the idea of co-creation. She’s kind of obsessed with it now and it’s at the core of the way she works.

Along the way, cars, beers, packaged goods, travel services, phones and lots of other stuff was sold, awards were won, juries were judged, but the hustle has never left her. Oh, and she did go back to school, because her mom said she needed a degree.