A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support, and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.
Our community is strong and growing with record speed and maintaining a connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we’ve got a plan.
Introducing, We are #OKGNtech. A showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters, and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth, and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
Meet Shelby. Shelby Skinner is a Merchant Success Manager at Shopify. When she’s not helping enterprise-level businesses manage their company, you’ll find Shelby playing with her dog or rock climbing around the Okanagan.
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I work remotely for Shopify as their Merchant Success Manager. We work with the larger brands on a platform called Shopify Plus. Generally, we deal with enterprise-level merchants who have an annual revenue in the millions. I work with them on strategic plans to grow their business, how to best utilize the platform, how to implement a really solid tech stack, and best manage their company using Shopify.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I have a really cool book of about 50 merchants that I deal with on a regular basis. Being able to see the impact you’re making on their store is really special. I’ve been able to develop a really solid relationship with them. The goal is always to help them outgrow me.
How do you like working remotely all the time?
I love it. I started remotely in 2018, so I’ve never been in the office. We used to do a pop-up office once a month in Kelowna, but that’s come to an end with COVID. I find I’m more productive from home—you don’t have the distractions you would in the office. My team and I do a group virtual workout routine once a day which is a really awesome way to stay connected with the team.
How did you get into this kind of work?
I started interning at a marketing company called Exhale. I mainly focused on helping a company that was trying to become an app for Shopify, so my job was to basically learn everything I could. In that research, I thought Shopify was such a cool company. So when Exhale disbanded, I ended up seeing a job opening for Shopify and applied for the role I currently have but got turned down. I ended up starting in support for a few months and then moved into something similar for Shopify Plus merchants. From there, I applied for my current job again and got it!
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
If you’re starting in an entry-level position, come in with a plan and know that you’re not going to be in support forever. There is a lot of room for growth but you need to push for it. You need to go in with a goal, find out what steps you need to take, and make sure you learn whatever you need to know in order to get there.
How were you first introduced to the OKGNtech community?
Most of my friends were starting to work in the tech space so I kind of just kept with it and went to different tech events. Even though Shopify isn’t based in Kelowna, and I’m almost entirely remote, I feel like I’m a part of the OKGNtech community. A lot of my merchants are using software that was developed in the Okanagan. If the opportunity is there, I will always recommend local because I know them and I know they’d be a good fit.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t panic. It’s okay to be nervous but you can’t panic. As soon as you do, your brain becomes useless and things go sideways. When I started at Shopify, it was so scary giving advice to multi-million dollar companies. But when you panic, you can’t talk and you can’t think. Doing some breathing exercises really helps me calm down in those moments.
When you’re not at work and when you’re not online – where are you?
I’m a big rock climber. I spend a lot of my time outdoors climbing. I started about 3 years ago climbing indoors, but one of my friends invited me to go outdoors and I immediately got obsessed. There are 100s and 100s of climbs in the Okanagan that are only 20 minutes away. The Okanagan is just awesome for outdoor sports.