Alison Carr
Credit: Lindsay Siu

Alison Carr, 27

Buyer and supplier relationship manager

Life Story: There’s a hint of embarrassment in Alison Carr’s voice as she talks about Nada’s humble beginnings. Carr, born in Victoria to a hospital administration manager mother and a biomedical technician father, was in her last month of studying geography at UBC when she got wind of a market research survey circulated by the company’s founder and CEO, Brianne Miller, for an organic grocery store where customers bring in their own containers. “I messaged her on Facebook, like any very professional university student would do, before I even had LinkedIn,” Carr remembers with a nervous laugh.

That was about two years ago. Since then, she and Miller have taken Nada to farmers markets, pop-up shops and community festivals around Vancouver. The company will open a permanent location at Broadway and Fraser Street in June.

The Bottom Line: At Nada’s 2,400-square-foot flagship store, the four full-time employees will build on the 10,000 containers they have already saved from the landfill.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Practise self-care. With entrepreneurs, often it’s hard to prioritize that. We have to remind ourselves of that because it’s so easy to work insane workweeks and just thrive on the momentum. But at the same time, it’s very easy to burn out, and we’ve experienced that a few times.

What kind of music do you listen to?
I grew up with a music-obsessed father and live with a music-obsessed boyfriend, so the spectrum is everything from J.J. Cale to Townes Van Zandt to Nas to Funkadelic.

Your favourite author is
Rebecca Solnit.

A little-known fact about you is
I was a runway model in my past life, when I was just out of high school.