Poised and passionate, Ellen Parker
(Calgary, Canada) Meet Ellen Parker, owner and director of PARKER PR, mother to two young boys under six, wife of a fly-fishing geologist, and daughter of very cool parents in a Rockabilly band.
PARKER PR manages between 15 and 20 clients at any given time including Beakerhead, Master's Gallery, the Calgary Folk Festival, Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre, Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), Hayden Block Smoke and Whiskey, and the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone. Her agency also consults to a private school, New Amsterdam School, in New York City and has clients in Toronto and Vancouver.
In addition to her client services firm, Ellen is the Communications Director for the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ), a Volunteer Ambassador of the Calgary Folk Festival’s Secret Sound Society, a member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Club Wolfgang, a Volunteer Leader of ATB’s Emerging Leaders Network, and volunteer at her son’s school. Ellen and the PARKER PR team are also regular volunteers at the soup kitchen at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre.
How do you do it all?
“With thoughtful preparation, formal education, and consistent long-term experience, I believe anything is possible. Everything great comes from hard work.”
What gives you purpose and resolve most days?
“Working with inspiring clients and my amazing PARKER PR team. We work with a variety of arts organizations, charity organizations, small businesses, and communities. I am passionate about working with people who are dedicated to contributing to the cultural landscape of Calgary and the community. The volunteer work I do with arts and charity organizations is an ongoing reminder to be grateful. My family - my two boys Oliver (6) and Henry (4) and my husband Erik keep me in the present, I try not to take life too seriously, don't sweat the small stuff, and always follow my heart.”
What's the fashion dress at your workplace, in your industry?
“I tell my team to dress business or they are welcome to express their creativity and fashion love through tasteful attire. Our days are so diverse that we have an outdoor Global TV spot in the morning, visit to a seniors' home in the afternoon, then attend a red carpet Calgary Film Festival event in the same evening. Personally, I am drawn to styles that are tasteful and elegant with a creative, fun and fashion forward angle, usually in black."
"To feel polished, I always have my nails and hair done and encourage everyone to have a great stylist. I love Brianna (Hallet) at SwizzleSticks Salon Spa.”
Heels or flats?
“I love both! Right now, my favourite are block heels. For more formal events I wear Louboutins, my favourite are my patent leather pumps. I also love my John Fluevog Estella’s in light blue. Stuart Weitzman shoes are always amazing.”
To shop links (clockwise from top left)
Stuart Weitzman - The Mary Pump
John Fluevog - Estella Pump in Light Blue
Christian Louboutin - Pigalle Follies 100 Patent-leather Pumps
Stuart Weitzman - Legend
Miu Miu - Pump
Gucci - Mid-heel Loafer
What's your favourite look for an important meeting?
“Elegant, sharp, tasteful with great jewelry, hand bag and often a black blazer. Just in case I always have one of my Smythe blazers in their office. Looking outwards, I love Amal Clooney, Chalize Theron & Cate Blanchett’s styles. Their style for me is enhanced by their beautiful personalities, compassion and contribution to the world."
To shop looks (Clockwise from top left)
Balmain - Leather blazer
Topshop - 'Molly' Blazer
Veronica Beard - Rue Dickey Blazer
Veronica Beard - Steele Cutaway Button Cuff Jacket
River Island - Black gold tone button military jacket
Theory - Gabe Single Button Blazer
Where do you like to shop?
"I always prioritize supporting local businesses and people I care about, especially boutiques. I support Anneke Forbes, Lauren Bagliore, Bamboo Ballroom, Kate Hewko, Alora Boutique & Kismet as well as Holt Renfrew, Alice and Olivia, Housing Works and Meg Shops."
"A couple months ago I purchased a gorgeous Burberry Moto Jacket in NYC because I could not get it in Canada. My favourite recent purchase that joined my wardrobe is a new vintage -inspired Chanel handbag that I had the pleasure of finding with the help of my beloved stylist Liz (Boss Babe Style). In the daytime, I wear it cross body with a suit and it also works perfectly in the evening for an event."
To shop links (clockwise from to left)
David Yurman - Chatelaine Pave Bezel Pendant Necklace
David Yurman - Chatelaine Pave Bezel Ring
David Yurman - 42mm Pure Form Four-Row Bracelet
Tom Binns - Au fait Earrings
Tom Binns - Au fait Bracelet
David Yurman - Chatelaine Bypass Bracelet with Lemon Citrine & Diamonds
Workplace tips for other women in the industry
“Dress in something that makes you feel beautiful on the inside and allows you to be the best version of yourself. I do believe it's helpful to dress for the job you want. It takes as much time to dress in yoga pants as it does to put on something nice. Also dress for yourself. Don’t wear something ONLY because of its label, it’s trendy or because its "What you should" wear - wear something that is authentic to your personal style.”
Thank you Ellen for your contribution to Calgary. You are an inspiration to so many people and we wish you continued success.