Pilon School of Business
Year of graduation: 2006
The Whole Package: Olivia Pietersen helps companies make a great first impression right out of the box.
Olivia Pietersen knows how to make things look their best. As business manager for newly launched online retailer The Packaging Company, an online packaging retailer based around a website allowing customers to make purchases without interacting with a wholesale representative, saving time for small-run projects. Pietersen says that’s a disruptive idea in an industry often catering only to larger clients, and the company was recently recognized with the award for Most Disruptive Startup at the 2017 Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards, which recognize innovation and industry leadership.
Pietersen’s path to innovation started out with her time at Sheridan in the Business Administration and Marketing program. A Brampton local, she was drawn to the College by its strong reputation in business and her love of marketing. There, she found mentors in professors Joseph Amodeo and John MacRae, who honed her skills. “Joe Amodeo was truly an inspiration — he taught me to challenge myself and ask the tough questions to find flaws,” she said. “And I’m still in touch with John MacRae, whose coaching taught me to be more confident and patient.” MacRae led Pietersen’s team in the Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition (OCMC), where she earned a bronze placing for individual performance, and contributed to her team’s competition-winning gold placement.
After graduating in 2006, Pietersen continued her studies, earning an honours bachelor degree of business administration at the University of Guelph-Humber. Having previously obtained a cosmetic marketing certificate at Humber and worked part-time at Hudson’s Bay Company as a sales associate and beauty adviser, Pietersen took on a role as buying assistant in prestige cosmetics after graduation, helping to launch brands such as Kiehl’s into the Canadian marketplace. “The majority of that role was networking and presenting in front of people, which my Sheridan experience helped me with immensely,” she says.
Ready to embark on further challenges, Pietersen joined Crownhill Packaging as sales and marketing coordinator in 2015, and launched The Packaging Company in 2016. Now, the company is expanding into the United States, and has grown from packaging 500 to over 8,000 products. Pietersen hopes for future growth and expansion into areas such as prestige packing and custom tape. “This is really always what I wanted to do,” she says. “It’s exciting to be able to build a business from the ground up.”