Andrée Emond Biography
Over the course of my life, opportunities for creativity and collaboration appeared every ten years or so. By the time I was 16, I was spinning records at a specialty music store and filling in for the DJ’s who wanted a night off. By 19, I found my sweet spot in nightclub lighting, working along side many passionate and gifted DJ’s. This went on for ten years and I was fortunate to wear the hat of lighting designer at Heaven, Stages, Chaps, The Diamond, The Copa and Paparazzi. It was a time when music went from 8 to 48 tracks and we danced all night long. Thank you Greg Howlett (RIP).
I entered College and studied psychology, human behaviour and the environment, to understand more about mental health, human services and counselling. I was responding to a passion to help others and contribute to the ongoing ethical concerns surrounding what our Government calls care. Later, I would take a seat on the board of PSR (Psycho-social Rehabilitation) to voice my concerns and make efforts to reduce stigma.
During that time, I took over Shank International, selling various visual merchandising products to large retailers. This included store design, custom fabrics, mannequins, stand off hardware, wall decor and jewellery props. The display industry was full of unique and talented creative people and is connected to the theatre industry in New York. Sadly, the market crashed and Canadian customers could no longer land US goods.
I moved into picture framing and employee recognition at Custom Art Concepts. This opened the door to working with a variety of media; photo editing, sublimation, acrylics and custom art framing to name a few. I enjoyed working with clients from every industry and background. The owner was one of the kindest, creative souls I’ve ever known. Together, we produced a catalogue of B/W prints and went on to retail them at The Bay, under Gluckstein Design. As Mike Parker (RIP) always said everyone has something interesting they are waiting to frame. He was right.
Following that, I opened Tasting Catering, a gourmet catering firm that specialized in wine marketing. The chef came to work in the LCBO cooking program and we had ongoing opportunities to sell our line of specialty products at sampling events. As a result, we were invited to cater intimate gatherings and weddings. We also sold a fine selection of products at Pusateri’s and Fresh from the Farm.
Returning to college, I studied web development and came to spend over a decade at Blender Media, a boutique web firm in Vancouver. They were a start up focused on investor relations, in the mining and biotech industries. Although, I had signed on to become a lead developer, it became clear, little energy was being directed to manage the clients, once the websites had launched. I saw an opportunity for much more. Since customer service was critically important in my last role, I morphed into a hybrid role that included web developer, team lead, compliance and project manager for over 200 clients. The company developed a solid reputation for its impeccable service. I also taught web development at Seneca College, for a decade, at the same time.
After four careers, I concluded creativity and collaboration are innate. I prefer a quieter world now. Common Tether is a term I coined to mean the thread that cords us all together, our common bond.