Tara Milburn

President, Ethical Swag

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Tara Milburn, the founder of Ethical Swag, has worked with brands in professional sports and tech start-ups. She learned early that a key differentiator for success is the link between purpose, brand, and marketing execution.

What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?

I am proud that I decided to take the risk by diving head first into entrepreneurship after 50. I believe we need a new model for business, one that considers our impact on people and planet, so I made the decision to give up the regular pay check. It was time to rely on my background and experience to map out a different future. We need to inspire, not depress, people into action and I wanted to build a different type of business.

What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?

We have so much to offer in Atlantic Canada! Major cities are getting bigger and more expensive, making it hard for the next generation coming into the workforce to survive and thrive there. My vision for Atlantic Canada is that we make investments into infrastructure and policy that appeals to Millennials and GenZ. Our work, how and where we do it, has changed with technology. Let's create an environment that encourages not only companies, but individuals to set up here.

What’s your favourite or most read book or podcast? Now or at each of your greatest stages of growth?

I have too many to list! I read many business books and while I don't have one that I completely buy into, I love integrating ideas and experiences into my own vision. I will say Blink by Malcolm Gladwell still stays with me even after reading it over 10 years ago. E-Myth is another book that I found myself considering when I was setting up the business.

What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?

Things always take longer and are more expensive that you expect. 

Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?

My father was an entrepreneur who went bankrupt when he was 52. He woke up the next day and went right back to work. He showed me that taking risks is a necessary part of success in business - just keep going. 

What would you have done differently?

I don't really know! I think I am too busy looking forward right now. 

What are the principles you live by?

I believe we all have a responsibility for ourselves and others. My principles are: Give more that you get, be nice and press on. Success comes through persistence and determination.


Entrepreneur, Change Agent, Mother, Daughter, Partner, Friend