Valerie Blackstock is a dynamic, results-driven and creative marketing expert with over a decade of progressive experience in traditional & digital advertising.
I have boundless imagination and twisted humour. Born in a small city located in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains in southwest Russia, I have always known that I am unique. My homeland was notorious for delicious food, gracious hospitality, and unapologetic sexism. As a child, I caught on quickly to that last outdated convention and derived a plan of action. To assert equality, I would get all the girls to wear unicorn horns. My parents knew that local species taxonomy limited my opportunities, so they set their sights Westward to a land of better possibilities.
We immigrated to Canada in the winter of 1995. I was 15 years old and clueless. A tsunami of a culture shock swept right over me, leaving me lost and disoriented. To survive, I joined an elite swimming club called High School. Here, I was the new FOB on the block who did not speak a word of English. The training was brutal, to say the least, but I managed to graduate high school and moved on to college. I was an A-student during my first year, but by my second year, my poor choices caught up with me and my inner world collapsed. I was exhausted, and I did what Britney Spears would do years later – original trendsetter here – I shaved my head. Back then, it was still cool to label and ostracize people for breakdowns, so the consequences were abundant.
Still, I knew I would persevere, so once I overcame my setbacks, I took an evening marketing course at a university. I liked the discipline and decided to pursue it. It was difficult, but I worked hard and graduated with an undergraduate degree in marketing. This felt like a great accomplishment given my introduction back in high school. Bolstered by this newfound confidence, I decided to continue my studies and earned a master’s degree. My education propelled me to work with various companies from start-ups to multinationals and after a decade of marketing for others, I started my own marketing consulting practice. I also accepted an offer to teach a marketing course at the very university where I took my first evening course, coming full circle.
Recently, I published my first children’s book called ‘Cherry Tree’. It celebrates a simple truth that our unique differences make this world genuinely beautiful and encourages everyone to be kind.
Connect with Valerie:
My book on Amazon