What it takes to establish a global business is grit, smarts and armfuls of passion, and these three women have it in spades.
Emma Issacs, Global CEO and Founder of Business Chicks and Lizzy Abegg of fashion label Spell & the Gypsy Collective and Samantha Wills of her jewellery line of the same name, shared their insider knowledge at our recent Movers and Breakers conference. We’ve partnered with Toyota to bring you their collective wisdom. Sit back and absorb what these three powerhouses have to say about taking your brand to the world.
On the power of social media:
“We use social media in a very vulnerable way,” says Samantha Wills on of the importance of finding your own identity outside of the business. “Our consumer today does not want to be sold to. She wants to be part of the conversation.”
Lizzy Abegg added, “We’ve never spent a cent on traditional marketing, it’s been all social media.” Lizzy’s brand, Spell & the Gypsy collective have always known the importance of being where your audience is, by embracing new social media platforms, the pay off has been worth it. The brand now has a combined social following of over one million fans on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
It’s not easy being in charge, but according to our founder Emma Isaacs, speaking up is a non-negotiable. “For me, leadership is about being brave enough to say what needs to be said.”
“Have the courage to stand up and speak up – if not for you, then for all the women behind you.”
“Sometimes you’ve got to do something and take a bullet for all the other women that are behind you,” Emma added.
For Lizzy, she looked towards her first boss for inspiration on how to lead her team, “Watching her run the business, she did it very much from the heart. It was a rollercoaster, but she was very authentic and that’s how I am in the office. The girls I work with see how real I am; they see all the highs and lows. Leadership for me is being authentic in every thing that I do.”
On hiring the right talent:
Samantha Wills says the recruitment process for her business is more about seeking out people who are already walking their career path and finding those who can align with your brand’s values.
“The recruitment process is a lot more robust now than when we started. As we grew, and the business started to grow, we were able to seek out the right people who were the right fit,” says Samantha.
For Lizzy and the Spell Collective, they cut out CVs entirely from their interview process. “We interview off values, we drill into their value set,” says Lizzy. “In the interview, we talk to them about how they apply those values in their personal life. And who they are socially so we can bring people with great culture into our business, which has a great culture. One apple rots the whole bunch!”
“You need to find people who literally get up in the morning and bounce into the office,” adds Lizzy.
A sentiment that Emma agrees wholeheartedly, “It takes a lot of energy to manage someone who doesn’t believe what you do.” On growing the Business Chicks team, Emma said, “You’ve got to lose your ego.”
“It’s about hiring experts and people who are much better at things than you. And who are really passionate about what you do, and get what it is you’re trying to achieve and that share your vision. And who can live and breathe your brand.”