Dec 19 2017, 8:03 am


Women of Vancouver (WofV) is a monthly editorial featuring the most stylish and professional women in Vancouver. Style by Sarai recently interviewed Jen Ruddick for this exclusive in-depth photo editorial.

What do you do for work?
I am a corporate/commercial lawyer, which means I facilitate transactions for different kinds of businesses. Generally speaking, a lot of the businesses I work with are in the mining and natural resources sector.

What made you choose that path of law?
I have always been drawn to law in one way or another. Originally, I had wanted to get into police work, with an aim to become a detective in a serious crimes unit. As part of my undergraduate degree in forensic science, there were two law classes, one of which involved conducting a mock trial and doing a mini investigation as part of the preparation for the trial. Following that class, the instructor was kind enough to let me come work for her firm and by the end of that summer had me convinced that I needed to go to law school.

As for the specific kind of law, I find it extremely interesting and rewarding to be able to work with different kinds of businesses on a daily basis. It allows you to be creative when drafting different kinds of agreements and gives you a window into all of the industries that you work with. I love this part of the job especially because it keeps the work fresh and frequently lets you take a crash course in the technical and operational aspects of some pretty fascinating industries. It is also beneficial for the client for you to be familiar with their day-to-day operations and the way that their product or service works so that you always have an idea of what is going on with their business on the whole when you are dealing with specific legal issues.

What does a typical week look like for you?
During the week, I like (using the word “like” very loosely) to get up in the morning at 5:30am and go to the gym. On days when I don’t feel too energetic, I will go to the spin or group classes in the morning to get that extra push. I find that if you get into a routine of doing that every morning during the week, your body gets used to the early mornings and it is not as difficult to wake up. It also starts you off on the right track for the day, you feel much more energized and are much more likely to eat healthy so you don’t waste the early (early!) morning good that you did for yourself.

Without sounding to cliche, Vancouverites (me included) are very lucky to live in such a naturally beautiful and active place. During the summer, I like to try to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and all of the outdoor activities that Vancouver has, including the Grind, Kits beach volleyball, summer beer league softball (you run around the bases…), biking etc. As for the winter, I spent a good part of my childhood in Whistler in the Nancy Greene ski program, when the creekside gondola came out of a barn and the floor of Dusty’s was covered in peanuts. Skiing has always been a huge part of my life and in the winter Whistler Mountain back country is my ideal place to unwind on weekends.

MILANO CAFE | 36 Powell Street, Vancouver


Where do you like to go for a good cup of coffee?
The industry I work in is very fast paced and during the work week it is nice to take ten minutes during the day and grab a good cup of coffee and turn your mind off for a few minutes. That being said, one of my favourite things to do is to grab a good cup of coffee and wander an area of the city that I haven’t been to. It is a nice change of pace to get lost in the city and take some time to yourself. You also end up finding some great spots too. Two of my favourites are Cafe Cittadella and Milano. I love atmosphere at Cafe Cittadella, the house is beautiful and the front of the building has beautiful landscaping that makes you feel like you are in the courtyard of some secret garden in Europe.

What is it about Milano that you like?
When I go out, during the day or night, I tend to gravitate towards Gastown. The architecture is beautiful and there is so much history in that area. Milano has an industrial feel to it that really fits with the neighbourhood. I also really appreciate the staff there, they are very knowledgeable and are happy to make suggestions. I spent a lot of time working in the service industry and I really appreciate a good recommendation and staff that enjoy what they do.

Drink you recommend everyone to try?
When I need a good cup of coffee, I usually like something pretty strong with a slight bitter taste to it. I would recommend their pour over coffees and americanos, you can always ask the staff which roast fits what you are in the mood for. When I want something a little softer, the Hedgehog is a nice treat.

THE DIAMOND RESTAURANT | 6 Powell Street, Vancouver



When you’re out for a night in town, where do you like to go?
Like I said before, Vancouver has so many diverse areas to go to with a ton of options. I think Vancouver gets a pretty bad rap for having a rather dull nightlife but if you know where to go and you have a pretty open mind about what makes a good night, you will find that you have a ton of options. Lately, I have been favouring Gastown and Commercial Drive areas. They are a bit more eclectic and diverse and have a ton of great spots for some sangria on a patio and people watching during the day and, if you are in the mood, the option for some live music (or more sangria) at night.

However, I would be lying if didn’t say that I have ended up at the Roxy on one or two Friday nights before…

What do you like about the Diamond?
Again, another great Gastown spot. The Diamond is a different experience each time you go. You can sit in the dining area and, if you are lucky, you can get a spot next to the giant windows that overlook the square. With all of the different businesses in the square, it is fun to have a birds-eye view of everything going on outside. The restaurant also has a close, communal-style seating plan and the open atmosphere encourages you to talk to the people surrounding you. It is one of my favourite places to start a night out, as it is close to everything and you can always grab a couple of cocktails and take the night from there.

I spent most of my early working life in the restaurant industry and when I go out for dinner or drinks, I like to support local entrepreneurs who have also come from that background and see a way to do it better or differently and have actually had the courage to go for it. This is why I like and support places like Flying Pig, Calabash and the Diamond. Mark (Brand), the owner of Diamond and other great Gastown venues (Boneta, Portside and Sea Monstr, to name a few), is also very involved in the community that he lives and runs his businesses in and he recently launched A Better Life Foundation which helps provide food security, education and employment training to residents of the Downtown Eastside.  

What do you recommend everyone to try when there?
When I go to the Diamond, I prefer to sit up at the bar. The bar staff is passionate about the cocktails they mix and the quality of the ingredients and make up of what goes into each drink. When I am up at the bar, it makes the night more interesting to trust the bartender’s experience and let them dictate the type of drink you have based on what they think you would like or what new, interesting mix they have been dabbling with lately. Sometimes I let them know what type of flavour I am in the mood for but, seeing I am not too picky, I generally just let them be creative.

NAT BAILEY STADIUM | 1898 Main Street, Vancouver


What’s your connection to sport?
Growing up, I was always very active in sports, whether it was softball, volleyball, basketball, skiing, scuba diving, gymnastics etc. and for as long as I can remember I have been a pretty avid professional sports fan. I remember the ’94 Canucks Stanley Cup run and the Joe Cater, Roberto Alomar, David Wells, etc. Jays era like it was yesterday. I love the atmosphere at any live sporting event, whether it is hockey, football, baseball or cricket.

Top three sports that you watch and what teams do you support?
Obviously, being a Canadian and being from Vancouver, hockey is my number one and the Canucks are my hometown team, no question. NFL is also a very close second and I think the lock-out last year only fuelled my interest in it. I also love any excuse to get together with friends and make football themed food, so there’s that. I support the Cowboys but, since they have been scarce in the playoffs lately, I also support the Seahawks. Their fans are some of the best in the league and they have a promising, young team right now.

Finally, while I don’t really watch a lot of baseball on TV, I do love going to Seattle Mariners games and love catching a nooner or a night game at Nat Bailey Stadium in the summer.

Honourable Mention-if I was allowed a fourth, the Spurs would get the honourable mention (just for you Jason), especially in light of their *so close* run this year.

What do you think of the Canucks chances this year?
When it comes to the Canucks, I like to keep it pretty positive and just support the team. I’m pretty sure I have been saying that “I believe” for my entire life and I always will. I love that it is something that really brings the city together, especially during the playoffs. There is a different energy in the city during playoff time, everyone wears their jerseys, watches the games together and high fives random strangers on their walk home. That being said, this is totally our year…and if not, next year is.

What sporting events do you like to go to?
I really like going to any live sporting event, the atmosphere at events is intoxicating and there are always so many interesting people no matter what sport it is. I travel a lot and whenever I am away the local sports schedules are usually one of the first things I look at, whether it is a Cowboys games in Dallas or a Swannies games in Sydney, I always try to get some live sports event in on any vacation. The same goes for when I am at home.

What do you enjoy about going to Van Canadian games?
Nat Bailey is a great venue and on a nice summer day is a perfect place to grab a beer, have a hotdog and suntan…oh and watch a little baseball. Going to live sports events can be extremely expensive and I like that this is something that is affordable and fun. It is also something that can be enjoyed by anyone, even if they aren’t that into baseball. Just grab a great group of friends and there is lots to do at the game.

What does style mean to you?
When it comes to personal style, I really enjoy working with the two days of the week where I truly get to wear anything I want. I love that I get to be creative and mix and match the different finds that I have made over the years. I find that I am drawn to pieces that are classic and ageless which helps for mixing and matching outfits. You can always take a classic piece and pair it with something trendy for a fresher, modern look. Paying attention to small details, either in the clothing itself or with the accessories can really make an outfit. Finally, and most importantly, I have learned that being comfortable in what you are wearing is key. If you are confident and feel good about what you are wearing, your confidence will carry the outfit.




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Women of Vancouver is a monthly editorial featuring the most stylish and professional women in Vancouver. WofV is currently being released exclusively on Vancity Buzz.