Have you ever had a time when you kept bumping into and meeting the same person at networking events, and thought maybe we are meant to get to know each other?
That’s what happened to Susan Sommers and Anne Wootten. And once they connected, they realized that there were some real synergies in terms of who they wanted to work with and what they wanted to do.
And three years ago, WOOTTEN & SOMMERS was born. Each brings different skill sets to the partnership, but they are ones that dovetail well with each other. Susan, for example, had a PR agency for over 20 years, working with big clients like Queens University and the Blue Jays and brought her strong writing and pitching skills to the business.
Anne, on the other hand, came from the entertainment industry, starting off in ballet school in Winnipeg, and rising up through the ranks to be the choreographer for several major theatre productions and movies. Curious at who she’d worked with, she rattled off several famous people like Bette Midler, Marlon Brando and Patrick Dempsey. Her strength is teaching the speaking skills, and how well the person presents overall – from how they stand to how they look.
Today they work together to help entrepreneurs and business people learn to present effectively, and they look at it from different lens. Susan is looking at the writing and the words chosen, while Anne is looking at the person’s presence, as if looking through a camera to capture the essence of the person.
With the ever-changing world of social media and PR, Susan knew that it was time for a change. So she looked at what she enjoyed most about doing PR, and realized it was writing the copy and helping people promote themselves effectively.
When Anne decided to pursue a course on etiquette in Washington it literally broadened her horizons. From that experience, she learned more about cultural differences in networking and how to make someone feel at ease.
Both Anne and Susan remarked that many people don’t actually know how to network and wherever possible they make sure they have befriended the new, shy person who has come to a meeting for the first time. “We try to be the hostess at the party, so everyone feels welcome and at ease.”
Each brings her own personality to the partnership too. With her entertainment background, life, for Anne is in a crowd. Whereas for Susan, she enjoys some solitude time to think and write.
And it works well. Both have had partnerships in the past, and the key, they feel is mutual respect and shared goals. For example, they are developing a boot camp for women speakers, something we may well get them to do at Company of Women.