Entrepreneur Spotlight: Courtney Brooke, Founder, Alacrity
George Brown College is proud to be participating in and celebrating Women Entrepreneurship Week! startGBC is hosting a dedicated event on Friday 20 October 2023, where we will highlight GBC alumni entrepreneurs including Courtney, a truly inspirational woman entrepreneur.
About Courtney Brooke
Courtney is a true serial entrepreneur having entered her entrepreneurial journey thanks to the encouragement of a fellow classmate, who was so impressed with her work style that she asked Courtney to become a cofounder. They went on to create an amazing brand.
With life’s twists and turns, Courtney moved on and created another business, in tech repair, and thanks to this amazing journey and the knowledge she gained while building multiple successful businesses, she launched her latest company.
Alacrity utilises Courtney’s skill of negotiating and sourcing quality products at impressive pricing for clients as well as offering bolt-on services to her users, like brand development, marketing, and packaging.
Fashion Business Industry, George Brown College
Digital Marketing Post Grad, George Brown College
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
My journey began when a love for all things fashion brought me to George Brown College's Fashion program to master my craft. Soon after graduating, I co-developed a successful activewear line and later expanded into a prosperous venture in the tech world.
Through these experiences, I developed a deep understanding of brand development and the importance of sourcing quality products that reflect each company’s core values. Today, with Alacrity Sourcing, I am dedicated to sharing my expertise with businesses in how to build a strong brand as I believe the right product and quality can make all the difference.
Why did you create your business?
I created Alacrity because there were so many people who would share with me their dreams of one day starting their own business but not knowing where to begin. Many of these people would ask me "How do you do it? It seems so hard, I could never...etc"
Many who had tried, felt overwhelmed with the process and didn't know how or where to begin with developing their product successfully. I knew if they were passionate enough and could put in the time and effort, with a little guidance and direction, they could in fact do it too! Now, I am on a mission to help empower others to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
What successes have you enjoyed so far with building your company?
For years, I worked from the moment my eyes opened until the moment they closed. Before I had my daughter, that was okay because my first business was essentially my 'first kid.' I worked day and night because I loved what I was doing and therefore it didn't always feel like work. One success was the fact that I was able to do what I loved as my job and after opening 6 successful retail stores, I felt a real sense of accomplishment that my hard work had paid off.
With my second business, I was able to bring my daughter to our stores and she was able to see and feel what hard work and entrepreneurship looked like firsthand. At first, I had "Mom guilt" and felt bad that she would have to come every day after school, but then I would see her making her own products and signs and interacting with customers. Now I look back on that knowing it was an influential part of who she is today.
Today, I feel the most successful when clients I’m working with receive their quality products, feel pride and watch their visions come to life!
What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
My biggest advice is to network, research, and get out there among others with the same passions as yours. Another big piece of advice is that "You get in, what you put out." that is if you don't put in the effort, the time, and the dedication to your business, it is far more difficult to have success. It takes a lot of self-discipline and a special entrepreneurial spirit to not give up.
It is more than just "wanting your own business" or the urge to say, "I'm self-employed."
Those things sound wonderful, but to actually live and breathe your brand through the good and bad is what is required.
Lastly, always think about your core customers when making any decisions.
Any organisations or learning resources you would recommend?
After being "out of the loop" for quite some time, startGBC was a great place for me to be introduced to all the current organizations and incubators currently available to entrepreneurs. startGBC is constantly connecting students and alumni with the resources and events necessary to meet other entrepreneurs!
They have great relationships with many resources in Toronto. I try my best to attend all events that I am made aware of big or small in order to network and meet new people.
They are constantly connecting students with the resources and events necessary to meet other entrepreneurs!
Any books or podcasts you would recommend?
Masters of scale - Reid Hoffman
The Tim Ferriss Show
How I built this - Guy Raz
The Power of now - Eckhart Tolle
The Untethered soul - Michael Alan Singer
Anything else you would like to share?
It is never too late to start something completely new. Life is too short to hesitate.
Website and Socials
LinkedIn: Courtney Brooke