I was in a salon many years ago, and there was an older woman who had come in for the first time — her friend had bought her a gift voucher. She had a facial, which brought her to tears as she later shared with me that no-one had given her a hug for over 20 years since her husband had passed away. The nurturing from the therapist she had received in just one hour was more than she had received since that time. I am really passionate about the impact that our services can have on people’s lives and the deep relationships we create with customers and the community.
Inside Retail: Who are some of your favourite retailers around the world and why?
Pippa Hallas: Lululemon does high-quality products that last, a seamless customer experience (I love the idea of writing the customers name on the dressing room door!), and the staff are very passionate, knowledgeable and educated about yoga, fitness and the active lifestyle. It was the first brand that I can remember that stood for community and integrated this into its stores and manifesto.
Net-a-Porter does pure-play so well in the luxury space. Its product curation, online shopping experience and the way the package arrives at your door — it feels like you receive a gift every time, even though you buy it for yourself. It got the unboxing experience right from the beginning.
IR: You’ve met some incredible people through writing your book, Bold Moves. Who are some of the most interesting women that you came across and why?
PH: There are so many amazing Australian women who have done amazing things, but one of my favourites is Layne Beachley. A former professional surfer who holds seven world titles, Layne is a trailblazer who has fought hard to drive change in a male-dominated sport. Layne has an incredible honesty and vulnerability about her that enables her to own her truth and story, which is achieved through reflection, insights and truths. Layne is an inspiration to leaders in any field who are looking to break through and get out of their own way. I often come back to Layne’s simple advice when I get stuck:
1. Know what you want;
2. Get the right people around you
3. Take daily action.
IR: If you could swap jobs with anyone for one day, who would it be and why?
PH: If I come back in another life, I would like to be a famous musician or singer. Music transports you, and it has become more important in my life since Covid-19. With the inability to physically travel and be inspired by different places and cultures, music has this magic. Imagine playing to a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people and having the ability to positively impact the way they feel.
IR: How would you describe yourself as a leader?
PH: I’m passionate about people, brands, creating great products and innovations. I lead by example, set high standards and would never expect anything of anyone that I wouldn’t from myself. We have a very open, creative, learning culture that I spend a lot of time nurturing and protecting. Because people spend so much of their lives at work, they need to progress, learn, grow and enjoy it. I am an optimist and kind, but I don’t suffer laziness, and I value hard work. I expect good things from myself and from others, too. I believe in people and love watching them grow and learn.
IR: What does success look like to you as an entrepreneur?
PH: Success is delivering on your vision, working with a great team of people and innovating or creating a product or service that makes a positive impact on people and the planet. Creating an environment where people can be themselves, learn and grow while maintaining a sustainable business model.
IR: How would you describe the beauty category right now and what most excites you about it?
PH: Ella Baché is a skincare brand, and our ethos is skin health. While Covid-19 continues to be really challenging for so many retailers, customers are so focused on skin health, trusted brands and expert advice which plays right into our strengths.
The areas that are creating so much excitement and an accelerated pace of change are the ingredients we use in our products, which are active and potent but also clean and sustainable, as well as technology that is enabling us to communicate and educate our people in so many amazing new ways. We have a scientific approach to our skincare innovation, and we are loving so many Australian ingredients that are creating such great results on the skin.
IR: What are three things that a successful modern retailer needs these days?
- Know your customer
- Create an omnichannel experience.
- Personalisation: delivering a product, service or experience that the customer loves
IR: Tell us more about Ella Baché’s relationship with the Cherish Foundation.
PH: My mum very sadly passed away from uterine cancer three years ago, and she suffered through her diagnosis and treatment. I never wanted anyone to experience what mum did, even though 30 per cent of women in Australia do, so I reached out to Cherish, a woman’s gynaecological cancer charity focused on better diagnosis and researching new and better ways to treat these cancers. Ella Baché supports Cherish where we can through a number of activities each year, and trekking the Larapinta Trail was the most recent.