Sarah McCredie has never been one to stick to the status quo. 

Often spotted around town sporting a kitschy coat and looking effortlessly cool with a coffee or craft beer in hand and her goofy golden retriever in tow, you can tell Sarah has found herself at home in this community. 

You may know her as the owner of a restored 1930s cottage in Clarksburg or as the charismatic gal who will drop anything to have an insightful conversation about business and life — especially at the Foundry, and almost exclusively on Thursdays. 

But what you may not know is that Sarah has spent over a decade of her life lounging on bean bag chairs with “brogrammers,” bonding over hackathons, beer Fridays and foosball matches. 

Just kidding. 

But she has spent her entire career in tech, hustling her way through the notoriously male-dominated industry to the top of a number of successful SaaS companies across North America. 

She is currently the director of product marketing at Recurly, a subscription and billing platform, where she sells and positions the software to high-caliber companies.  

Although if you ask her, she’ll probably just tell you she “works on the computer.” 

“I don’t talk about my job a lot,” said Sarah. “I’ve spent my whole career selling these digital products on the internet, it’s so allusive.”

At the same time, she said she can’t imagine her life without tech. 

Born and raised in London, ON, Sarah moved to Waterloo with her family the summer before Grade 8. A pivotal year in any teenager's life, it seemed like the end of the world as she knew it. 

Sarah is one of four children and radiates middle-child energy. As a kid, she said she was troublemaking, opinionated, and extremely strong-minded. She got good grades, but never had to try. She felt like she was really hitting her stride in London, but as it turned out, the move turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to her at the time.

Sarah’s mom was a “badass,” and her family transferred to the Silicon Valley of Canada after she accepted a role as a senior executive at a large publicly-traded tech company. There was never any doubt in Sarah’s mind that she could do the same. 

“I’ve never looked at a career or a job and thought: ‘oh shit, I’m never going to get there because I’m a female,” she said. “Subconsciously, I think it impacted me more than I thought.”

Empowered, she got her first job in tech when she was 17 years old. She went to Dalhousie University to study commerce, working contract jobs for startups in Waterloo all the while, and quickly realized she hated learning business from a textbook.

“I was always this carefree hippie, fuck the status quo,” she said. 

She dropped out, moved home, and got back into tech, working on odd jobs and special projects, slowly taking on more and more. When she was 20 years old, she successfully pitched an idea at a number of pitch competitions and founded a startup of her own. Called MyArcha, it was a personal archive where people could capture their life experiences in a secure, private platform. While all her friends were studying for their finals in university, she was managing relationships with investors, and other startup partners who were twice her age more often than not. 

At the same time, Sarah’s personal life was a “bit of a mess,” so after a family trip to Vancouver she decided to dissolve the company and move out west. Sleeping on her aunt and uncle’s couch, with no job and no connections, she started attending networking events and “schmoozed” her way into the Vancouver tech scene. She became employee number 10 at a new B2B software firm, starting in customer support, and by the time she left 3.5 years later, the company had grown to 300 staff and she had become the manager of business development. She then followed her heart to the real Silicon Valley, where she got a job as the director of partnerships at an email marketing software company. She was 25 years old. 

Her time in San Francisco was intense, but Sarah said it was the best schooling she ever got. 

“It was a crazy, chaotic time,” she said. “I am so glad I experienced it, but it was very unhealthy.”

Eventually, she started to feel the pull to move back home. 

“I really believe in momentum,” said Sarah. “Anytime I decide I am going to do something, I do it right away.”

So she took a job at Shopify to help develop the global field marketing strategy for Shopify Plus and relocated to Toronto. In the two years that followed, Sarah found herself on a plane every week, travelling the world. From the outside it looked glamorous, but it was extremely draining, and Sarah burned herself out. “I was very much a shell of myself,” she said. 

She hit a very low point in her life, and realized something needed to change. “Working at Shopify gave me a lot of validation,” she said. “You buy into that narrative and you think it means something, but it doesn’t. 

She took six months off, went to therapy, took up yoga, and gained a deep appreciation for Buddhism. When the time came to re-enter the working world, she had so much more clarity. This time, when she got hit up by an old colleague to apply for the position at Recurly, she went into the interview with a completely different energy. 

“I care about a work-life balance, I don’t believe in ever losing yourself,” she said. 

Shortly after, she purchased an old cottage in Clarksburg and spent the next two months restoring it with her brother and father. A lover of all things antique, she started an Instagram account to document the process, and through that, began connecting with like minded individuals in South Georgian Bay — who would soon become some of her closest friends. She joined the Collingwood Foundry and was pleasantly surprised by what a positive work environment it was and quickly fell in love with its entrepreneurial vibe.

“It makes me excited seeing other people accomplish things, I am drawn to that,” she said. “I have had some of the most interesting and deep, mind blowing conversations.”

By day, she still spends her time “working on her computer,” but she said it no longer defines her. “My self worth and value are no longer tied to the way I make money,” she said. “Living here has given me that sense of purpose.”

Better yet, she said she now looks at her experience in tech as an opportunity. 

“Someone told me to treat your job as your angel investment into your future business,” she said. “I loved that concept, it makes it so much more palatable for me.”

Sarah has big plans for this community and her role in it, and is constantly scheming up ideas for different businesses she can bring to the area — some maybe even sooner than you think. 

Until then, you’ll likely find her chatting outside Bread + Butter or sipping a bottle of Still Fields beer on the beach with her dog.