Stellar Saturday: Holiday Edition

Every Friday, the Twitter nerds like to do a little thing called “Follow Friday.” You can recommend other people to follow — and yah, for the most part it’s lame. Why? Because people like to go “#FF: Friend A, Friend B, Friend C, Friend D, Friend E, Friend F, Friend Get the Hell out of my FEED.” Everyone has their own way of doing things, but I’ll only follow your suggestion if you tell me 1) who to follow and (most importantly) 2) why I should follow them.

So anyways, 2011 was a year of absolute disorganization and chaos. I found myself always missing Follow Friday. Sometimes I would get a #FF or two, sometimes I wouldn’t… sometimes I would thank people, sometimes I wouldn’t… it was all very stressful. For the most part I avoided it all together. Instead, on Saturday… I would tweet #StellarSaturday to the masses. My recommendations would come — always heartfelt, just not timely.

As we near the end of the year… there are so many people to thank. I’ve chosen 20 people that I had the opportunity to meet in real life this year. Some of them I met online and took the relationship offline and others the opposite. I can vouch for every single person on this list. They are incredible souls that the world is lucky to have.

Amanda & Ashley – Quite the duo in my opinion. By day, Amanda is Amanda Hamilton Interior Design — and by night, she’s having dance parties in hibiscus flower pyjama pants, hot yoga-ing or not sleeping. Amanda and Ashley are best friends — and they work together! Ashley has some funky title that I can’t remember, but the jist is she designs her day away at the AHID firm. Follow Amanda if you want to have some serious laughter in 2012 — also for crazy rampages and capital letters. Follow Ashley for tweets about life, design and to keep tabs on her gorgeous hair.

Arpen – When I moved to Vancouver, Jill {another one on the list} had recommended that I meet Arpen. She said that we would get along perfectly and be instant friends. Who doesn’t need cool friends? Anyways, Arpen and I went for coffee early this fall and my gosh, she is divine. She’s entrepreneurial, has mad style and is quite the energizer bunny. We talked like, love and the future. Since then we have laughed till the wee hours, discussed joint business ventures and filled our bellies with wine. Arpen doesn’t tweet too often, but follow her if you want to keep tabs on Popchips {she’s the Marketing lady for Western Canada} — and you can also peer pressure her to tweet more.

Cadi – The lovely Cadi Jordan. Cadi and I had been following each other for quite some time prior to my move to the coast. She consults in the spa industry and is the mom to 2 angelic little children. We went for lunch on the Glowbal patio in late summer and conversation came naturally. She is an ideas person — but unlike many {me, included}, she can turn ideas into action! Over the last few months, Cadi and I have connected on so many levels. I’m grateful we had the chance to meet and excited for what we will create together in 2012. Follow Cadi for everything to do with the spa world, health/wellness and the latest in the world of social media.

Chelsey – The first time I met Chelsey was when she arrived at my condo to spend the night! Chelsey and I had been following each other on Twitter and Instagram for quite some time. She reached out to me in early December asking if I had a hotel suggestion for an overnight stay in Vancouver. I told her she could stay with me! Took a risk, but I had good vibes. Chelsey is a journalism/communications student at Royal Roads in Victoria, a fashionista and a charming young woman. Follow her for the latest on the RRU campus, travel, community and everything fashion.

Dan – I have no idea when I met Dan, but I think it was 2011. We had been following each other on Twitter and I practically fell in love with him. The next thing you know we’re having pizza at Una, then tea at Higher Ground and dining with the Perogy Boyz. By day he manages Higher Ground in Kensington. By night he is a food blogger, food journalistic, food geek, food die hard — and is the bright mind behind Start from Scratch. Follow Dan for pure entertainment {he often tweets to himself from his multiple accounts}, delicious recipes and for making the best London Fog in town.

Derek – So this one time… in August… I received a BLOG COMMENT… from a STRANGER. Whoa, eh. I read skimmed the comment, thought it was well thought out — and immediately thought, I must know this man. I emailed Derek telling him that I appreciated the comment and that we should go for coffee. He blew me off for ages, until one day in November I get a random text from him saying that he’s spotted a girl that looks like me. That leads me to learn that we live in the same building and he’s totally a stalker. {… kidding, kind of.} His positives :) are: Founder & COO at Foodtree, connector at Startup Drinks Vancouver and he also holds up a decent conversation. Follow Derek for random tweets about food, music and the community — oh yes, and for being a loyal Summify fan.

Erin – Well well well… this Mrs. Erin Kelly is the leading lady behind Team Kelly. She sells you a mortgage, gives you a mortgage, lends you a mortgage, hell I don’t know. I didn’t go to her for a mortgage. On the side, Erin has a knack for cards and she has a company with her sisters called Card Sisters (clever, eh?). During my final weeks in Calgary, I made a point to turn Erin and my online relationship into IRL. She started off our date at Starbucks by buying me drugs {… Tylenol, obviously} and water! How sweet is that! Anyways she’s an absolute riot. Follow her if you want to be part of the cool crowd — and also for everything to do with mortgages?, real estate?, neurotic behaviour, family and love love love.

Harry – Harry used to have a Twitter bio that was too cool for school. He seemed like a hot shot, so although we regularly chit-chatted, I refused to follow him. One day I was at Club Monaco buying pleather pants and Harry made a hot shot comment. Well, that was the beginning of our relationship. Not too long after, I went with Desiree Dupuis to see a band play in Kits — and Harry was there. I was obviously prepared and had my pleather in full force. Harry has a good soul. It oozes out of him. He’s a family man — with a wife and 2 gorgeous children. He owns Digital Smart Homes — the best way to make your home digital and smart — again, catchy. In 2012, Harry is going to teach me how to be more organized with email. Follow Harry for the usual day-to-day, plus tidbits of everything surf, snow and family.

Jen – Jen is the Founder of and the Executive Director of the CKNW Orphans’ Fund. She is a connector and knows practically everyone in this city. More importantly she has a great heart. She’s a mom, wife and a friend to so many. I met Jen {briefly} at the Art of Marketing this summer in Vancouver. Then shortly after I moved here, she took me under her wing. She kept me in the loop on what events to attend and ensured I had a social life! Jen is a game changer in regards to the community. She’s associated with fantastic initiatives and always has a great new idea. Follow Jen for everything related to Vancouver, constant support and also a refreshing perspective on life — also get in touch with her if you are hosting an event in this city!

Jeph – For whatever reason a pile of people from Saskatchewan have ended up in my Twitter feed. Jeph is one of them. He was in town for Grey Cup weekend, so I told him we needed to meet. After all, we were pretty tight on Twitter… gotta put an in real life face to a name. Jeph and I went to Glowbal’s Coast for dinner {btw, he was scared to eat fish} and had 5 hours of brilliant conversation. Pretty sure we both won ‘best dressed’ that night too. He’s smart and sharp — 2 great qualities! He also inspires me to be better {sap} and has quite the head on his shoulders. Follow Jeph for fresh marketing content and to see what he gets up to in 2012 — amazing things, I’m sure of it!

Jill – Earlier this year, Judy Brooks sent me an email saying that Jill was going to be in Calgary for a conference and that I must meet up with her. We had a double Jill date at Taste {miss you Brendan, Shawn and Bill} and I fell in love with her spirit. Jill is the CEO of Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, leading lady behind momcafe Network and the mom to 2 brilliant young girls. She is a connector, entrepreneur and fantastic human being. I feel absolutely blessed to have met Jill this year, she is a bright light. Follow Jill to stay in touch with the local community and learn about fellow entrepreneurs.

Katie – One evening I was at a Stella & Dot party and this tall looker caught my eye. She was wearing a statement necklace and had a glass of wine in her hand — my kind of lady! Katie spends her days producing TED events and giving back to the community. She’s always in the know with the latest change the world initiative and previously was the Co-Chair at YES Vancouver. Time with Katie always leaves you full of love, light and learning. She has lots to teach, so book her for coffee and soak it all up. Follow Katie if you would like to learn new words and be corrected on your grammar — or is it grammer. ;)

Marley – Marley and I have buckets of history… here’s the story (part A and part B) of how we met online back in 2010. This year I had the privilege of meeting her in person. Then shortly after (cause it’s a small world and all), she started working with the fab crew at The Art of Productions in Toronto. Marley is on a mission to change the world and my gosh, you should be along for the ride! She is a regular blogger and is always meeting the latest celeb… yes, she has a whole album of celebs on Facebook. Follow Marley for to learn about the life of a 20-something, gain support in your fitness goals and be randomly inspired.

Michelle – I met Michelle through the Amanda & Ashley duo… I think. Michelle is one of those crazy Asians that just seep into her life. {Except that one time when she unfollowed me on Instagram…} She plays the guitar, wears plaid well and has a great sense of humour. She’ll bust out a move anywhere and Asians all over the world want to be just like her. I met Michelle in Calgary, but it’s important to note, that she’s the 1st person from Calgary to visit me in Vancouver! Follow Michelle for the latest on music, design {yes, she’s a Designer too!} and life in Calgary.

Rob – Rob and I met at JJ Bean on Davie! We are very like-minded when it comes to HR and decided to meet in person. He’s the Founder of Gowerk — performance management done differently {and an excellent tool for small businesses}. He challenges the norm when it comes to HR, understands business problems and solutions and always pays for lunch… ha ha. Follow Rob to keep tabs on Gowerk’s new products, sarcasm and most importantly, to watch him pick fights with all those awful HR people that exist in this big bad world.

Sandra – Opposite to the story of Chelsey, I first met Sandra at the Chinatown skytrain station. She waited for me at the escalators — what were we doing? We had never met in real life, but Sandra offered for me to stay at her place for a week in June! She gave me a heart duvet, Cachaca and bucket loads of laughs. Sandra is a Fashion Consultant, Writer and red-haired dynamo. Follow her to experience storytelling in the streets of Vancouver, random adventures and fashion inspiration.

Shannon – This fall, I invited myself to an event with Women of Whistler (tag-a-long with the wonderful Jill Earthy). Long before I officially met Shannon, I knew who she was… She’s one of those bright people who absolutely light up a room. I had my eye on her throughout the evening, thinking… I… must… know… her. Shannon works for a media company — but MORE IMPORTANTLY, she’s behind a brilliant concept called Pretirement Living (and Diana too!). Shannon is absolutely captivating. Check out the Pretirement blog (… hell, join the movement!) and follow Shannon to learn more about life as a Pretiree.

Tara – In February, Tara and I were both invited to Toronto to star {ha ha} in a Dove Canada promotional campaign. To watch the video, click here. She’s the CEO of Buyosphere {if you’re a fashionista or buyaholic, you must check it out!} and an inspirational woman entrepreneur. I’ll have to admit, she intimidated me at first… but my gosh, she is so down to earth and just oozes with transparency. It has been fascinating to watch Tara grow this year. She writes books, speaks all over the place, blogs on aging and lives life authentically. Follow Tara to learn about the good {and bad} that comes with being entrepreneurial. She is 100% on my must watch list for the years to come; such an amazing woman.

Stephanie – By day, Stephanie is an intern at Hootsuite — and by eve, she is taking over the world of graphic design, supporting SIFE Simon Fraser and trying to come up with a better Twitter handle. I officially met Stephanie in 2010, but she was on my life of people to get to know better when I moved to Vancouver. I love her honesty, quirkiness and dedication for continual improvement. She has no idea how much she is influencing her peers — and it’s honestly refreshing. Follow Stephanie to learn about the life of a 20-something goal-setting, food eating, mover and shaker, graphic designer.

Well there you have it — some of my favourite people of the year.

I’m friends with some, business colleagues with others and acquaintances with a few. You can be guaranteed that I stand behind each and every one of them. I privileged to have met everyone on this list and look forward to all those I will meet in the coming years.

Happy #StellarSaturday and NYE.

Jillian xo


  1. Harry January 1, 2012

    Thanks Jillian! I love Stellar Saturday, and glad to have you have you as a friend IRL! Looking forward to knowing you better this year and years to come as well.

  2. Desiree January 6, 2012

    wow – you go girl!! That was so heartfelt and amazing just like you. What a kind way to showcase your friends and some of the most fabulous people you know :). You rock woman!!

  3. Rob January 9, 2012

    Thank you Jillian for the kind mention. You are awesome and I am grateful our paths crossed. I look forward to more Jillian this year.

  4. Derek January 10, 2012

    In truly honored. Not many stalkers are considered in such esteemed company. ;)

  5. Derek January 10, 2012

    “I’m” truly honored.

  6. […] Jillian Walker put me in her list of favourite people of 2011. I’ve never imagined that I would be in anyone’s favourite list, but I made it to hers! […]

  7. […] Jillian Walker put me in her list of favourite people of 2011. I’ve never imagined that I would be in anyone’s favourite list, but I made it to hers! […]

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