Pippa Hallas is the CEO of Australian skincare company, Ella Baché, and the author of BOLD Moves, which told the story of her family building Ella Baché.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am the CEO of skincare company Ella Baché, whose purpose is skin health and empowering individuals to feel confident in their own skin.
We do this by learning what our client’s skin needs through an individual prescription of skincare and skin solutions across 120 salons, David Jones, ecommerce and Adore Beauty.
We also run a leading education centre and also innovate and manufacture many products here in Australia. My responsibility is to both the strategic and operational performance of the company. I lead a great team of people and I’m involved in every different part of the organisation, so no two days are ever the same.
Ella Baché is a generational family business through my family and Ella Baché was my great aunt. Today, I am now the third generation CEO. I have grown up in the business, like many families do, but I was influenced by a few highly creative people who worked in advertising when I was growing up, and I just thought they had the best jobs in the world.
After I left school, I completed a Business Marketing Degree and then went off and worked for some of the big agencies in both Sydney and London. I am really thankful for the experience it gave me, the people I met along the way and work opportunities I had across the retail and not for profit sector at such a young age. I worked really hard, but had a lot of fun along the way.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I am a morning person, so I try to start my work day at about 7ish when everything is still quiet and still. This is my maker time when I can be most productive before meetings start.
No day is typically the same, but I am a big believer in having a really structured diary and week, so I can maximise my time and not let my emails dictate my day – I work really hard on maintaining this practice.
I spend my days with my team on future projects, new products and treatments as well as visiting our salon partners and therapists – mainly via Zoom over the last 18 months. 2020 was certainly a very different year but with all its challenges it made us work differently so I still try to work from home two days per week.
I have two young boys so my evenings are typically filled with homework, reading books, swimming in the ocean together or exploring the beach. The events are slowly starting up again, but haven’t returned to the craziness of pre-2020.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My role allows for flexible work and we are really committed to making this work in the future. I have been grateful to have the time and space to think and work in a quiet space on projects, writing and planning at home.
I have been doing this for many years, at least one day a week however I know the time spent together with your team in real life is equally important, as it is where the social, collaborative, and creativity occurs.
Back-to-back zoom meetings in 2020 were exhausting and I missed the conversations with people I work with outside the transaction of the meeting – I missed the flow. But I am excited about the future of work and the opportunities for re-invention the last 18 months have given us.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I have always believed that you have to be passionate about your work as it is a big part of your life and lifestyle. I have never been one to clock on and off, so the notion of work between certain hours of the day and then life is not one I buy into.
I approach it as a lifestyle and build times into my weekly, or yearly rhythm to allow for balance. For me this means time to exercise, time for my kids, time in nature and the ocean to balance out the work.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Before the pandemic hit, I found myself responding to people who asked me, how do you do it all? That is two young kids and leading a business. My response was always, I can do it all, just not in the same place.
It allowed physical distance, and for me to be able to compartmentalise my life. All of a sudden the pandemic meant all roles had to be done under the one roof and it was hard. It made me realise that I needed a proper office at home where I could shut the door and hide myself away. We are now undergoing renovations!
Obviously, travel was a big part of my life too, as we haven’t been on planes or overseas, it’s allowed me to have to connect with business stakeholders online and also personally spend a lot more time up on the north coast for holidays which I love.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I have just finished reading the book The Happiest Man On Earth by Eddie Jaku. I loved it because he is such an optimist and has so many valuable lessons in really owning your life. I believe mindset is everything.
My favourite podcast is by a friend of my Julie Masters, called Inside influence. The interviews of the podcast are from the leading authorities in their space. I always finish feeling so inspired and that I have learnt so much.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I can’t live without UberEats, as it allows me to access some amazing, healthy, yummy food during my busiest of work days, which keeps me healthy and energised. I can’t live without my yoga mat. I love yoga and have been doing it since I was 15 years old, I also use it to do two boot camp sessions a week.
I also can’t live without my Ella Baché skin, sun and tanning products. I can’t go to sleep at night without cleansing my face and moisturising my skin, I don’t go out in the sun without 50+ sun care, and love the tanning products as they give me a healthy glow!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Richard Branson is the ultimate. I am so inspired by what he has created and he does it from an island in the British Virgin islands. Richard has always been such an innovative, big picture and lifestyle out of the box thinker.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
It might sound obvious but knowing what you want is often the hardest thing, and setting a clear vision of your work/ life balance or lifestyle will enable you to structure your daily actions around it. Planning is also critical and I love the saying by Benjamin Franklin “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
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