Natalie is a fifth year student completing a combined degree with the Ivey HBA program and Western’s Media, Information and Technoculture program. She is also working towards certificates in both sustainability and entrepreneurship. She is the recent recipient of the Ivey Don Lang Scholarship in Entrepreneurship, the Ivey Steven Suske New Venture Creation Award and the Export Development Canada International Business Scholarship for Environmental Sustainability.
Along with four HBA cofounders, Natalie created the menstrual product company, Marlow. Marlow sells lubricated tampons on a subscription basis through the e-commerce channel, https://www.wearemarlow.com, and will begin to sell other goods in the sexual health space in the coming years.
Her career interests include CPG, food, operations, sustainability and tech. She also loves to cook, exercise, hike, read and watch films.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
To me, environmental sustainability means not harming the nature that has been given so freely to us. We are lucky to be one of the last generations to experience the earth with an abundance of resources, but our greed when extracting them is causing harm to future generations.
Social sustainability means giving others equitable support when they need it. Through listening to others, questioning our own values and changing our actions according to what we learn, we can find ways to lift others up and give equal opportunities to all.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
I am in business for the purpose of sustainability. It is so easy to be pessimistic about the future as a young adult entering the workforce, being faced with the terror of environmental devastation and political turmoil. I hear people complain about these things every day, which is why I, personally, need to push my hardest to fix them. The MIT program at Western has taught me to be critical of the system in which all business value is created, and Ivey has taught me how to change it if I don’t agree with it. So I’m working to braid that together in my career.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
I am currently working with Professor Jury Gualandris from Ivey and Professor Jennifer Goodman from Audencia Business School in Nantes, France to write a teaching case about alternative food packaging, policy framework incentives and total cost ownership in the Canadian QSR industry. The project is part of the Circular Economy Priority at the Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value.
At Marlow, we aim to integrate sustainability into every decision. In fact, most of our founders have participated in the sustainability certificate at Ivey. We prioritize sustainability in packaging, sourcing, transportation, messaging and lab testing, and will continue to do so in the future. Our company is founded by five women who are all Canadian immigrants, BIPOC and/or LGBTQ2+ members.
In the past, I have worked at Hubba.com, which is a B2B marketplace for CPG goods. Hubba prioritizes the sale of sustainable food and packaging, and is a valuable member of the Upside Foundation.
I have also worked at Original Kids Theatre Company (OKTC) which is a not-for-profit organization in the Pillar Nonprofit Network in London. It focuses on youth development, and my roles have included administrative work, theatre direction, script writing, teaching vocal classes, and acting as a counsellor. We fundraise to bring children into the program each year.