Day in the Life

Bri­anne West

Idealog - - CONTENTS -

BRI­ANNE WEST IS THE FOUNDER AND CEO OF ETHIQUE, A CHRISTCHURCH-BASED PLAS­TIC-FREE AND SUS­TAIN­ABLE BEAUTY COM­PANY THAT PRO­DUCES HAND­CRAFTED SOLID SHAM­POOS, CON­DI­TION­ERS, FACE AND BODY AND SOLID BEAUTY BARS WITH ZERO-WASTE PACK­AG­ING, RID­DING THE BEAUTY IN­DUS­TRY OF PLAS­TIC BOT­TLES ONE PROD­UCT AT A TIME. The com­pany has di­verted 500,000 plas­tic bot­tles from land­fill to date, and re­cently signed an $8 mil­lion deal to stock its prod­ucts in more than 420 Price­line stores through­out Aus­tralia. Here's how West gets through the day, or­gan­ises her time and han­dles the mad­ness of busi­ness.

What time do you wake up?

De­pend­ing on how well I slept, usu­ally be­tween 6.30 and 7.30am.

What’s the ideal way to start your day?

When I’m in New Zealand and not trav­el­ling for work, I try to get to the gym three to four times a week in the morn­ing

for a per­sonal train­ing ses­sion, which does set me up for a good day. Oth­er­wise, it’s sim­ply get­ting to work and see­ing my smil­ing team.

Do you have any morn­ing rit­u­als?

I’m def­i­nitely not a morn­ing per­son, but the es­sen­tial cup of tea helps.

How soon do you be­gin do­ing work-re­lated things, such as check­ing phone or emails?

Like most peo­ple these days, as soon as I open my eyes. I check through my emails and our cus­tomer ser­vice desk for any­thing that needs an ur­gent an­swer.

What’s your me­dia con­sump­tion or in­ter­ac­tion like from the morn­ing on­wards – do you lis­ten to pod­casts, ra­dio, watch videos, read books and mag­a­zines, or visit new sites?

I read a lot, usu­ally one to two books a week in the evenings or when I’m on the plane. I graze var­i­ous news sites through­out the day and of course, spend a bit of time on Face­book.

What kind of work do you do?

I’m the CEO of Ethique, a plas­tic-free and sus­tain­able beauty com­pany, rid­ding the world of plas­tic bot­tles!

What’s unique about your line of work?

I founded Ethique back in 2012 when I be­gan fig­ur­ing out how to make sham­poo and con­di­tioner in a solid bar form, negat­ing the need for plas­tic bot­tles. Since then Ethique has grown, and I now split my time do­ing things that you would find any CEO do­ing, as well as de­vel­op­ing new prod­ucts so we can con­tinue dis­rupt­ing the world’s beauty in­dus­try.

What re­spon­si­bil­ity does that in­volve in a typ­i­cal day? What takes up most of your time?

Be­ing a small com­pany, I wear many hats. I am re­spon­si­ble for prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and qual­ity, mar­ket­ing and brand over­sight, and along­side my amaz­ing chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, in­ter­na­tional mar­ket de­vel­op­ment. This amongst the many other things that come up with the day-to­day run­ning of a busi­ness as well.

Who do you see and talk to?

Although my days are never the same, I typ­i­cally will see my won­der­ful team, sup­pli­ers, share­hold­ers, cus­tomers, dis­trib­u­tors, mar­ket­ing and PR part­ners, and stock­ists.

Where do your best ideas come from?

My best ideas usu­ally come when I have had a cou­ple of days that have been less hec­tic. I find I have the headspace to be more cre­ative.

What are the most im­por­tant tools or pro­grammes you use for your work?

For me the most im­por­tant tools I need are Ever­note, Mi­crosoft Plan­ner, so­cial me­dia for mon­i­tor­ing cus­tomer feed­back, and my phone.

How do you jug­gle all your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties?

I am bet­ter at jug­gling some days than oth­ers. There are days when I feel like I don’t achieve very much at all, but thank­fully I have sur­rounded my­self with much clev­erer and more or­gan­ised peo­ple who bring me along with them.

What kind of breaks do you take through­out the day?

When I’m not at my com­puter or ex­per­i­ment­ing in the lab, I will of­ten hang out with the team in the shop or spend time in the staff room with other team mem­bers.

What’s the most en­joy­able part of your day?

I en­joy get­ting cre­ative in the lab, or if trav­el­ling, ar­riv­ing in a new place. Team meet­ings or spend­ing time with PR/ mar­ket­ing teams and stock­ists are great too.

What about the least en­joy­able?

Any­thing to do with banks or lawyers.

Do you pro­cras­ti­nate? Is it good or bad?

Yes, and usu­ally bad. I have a fab­u­lous PA though, who en­sures I get things done.

Do you mea­sure your ac­com­plish­ments or pro­duc­tiv­ity? If so, how?

Now that there is a whole team be­hind Ethique, I’m kept on my toes. Ethique con­tin­ues to grow, which for me, is great ev­i­dence that we are con­tin­u­ing to push for change and dis­rup­tion in the beauty world. The ul­ti­mate for me is for beauty bars to be the norm in­stead of plas­tic bot­tles.

Is there any­thing you think is unique about your day?

I’m of­ten work­ing in a dif­fer­ent coun­try from one week to the next. No day is the same for me – I am ex­tremely lucky to have a life that I love.

What’s your in­ter­ac­tion with friends and fam­ily through­out the day? Can you be both a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur and a good mother/part­ner/friend?

Of course, you can. There are plenty of ex­am­ples of out there. I think that you just have to ac­cept some days are bet­ter and eas­ier than oth­ers. I am not great at keep­ing in con­tact with friends con­stantly, but I know when we do catch up ev­ery few weeks or so, it’s just like no time has passed. I am very close to my par­ents – my Mum works with me and my Dad pops into the of­fice a cou­ple of times a week to see what’s go­ing on.

Do you get stressed? If so, how do you man­age it? Do you prac­tice any mind­ful­ness or med­i­ta­tion?

I don’t get stressed very of­ten ac­tu­ally. I tried med­i­ta­tion once and found it frus­trat­ing. I pre­fer horse rid­ing to de­stress, but I don’t tend to get too stressed re­gard­less.

What do you do once you get home? Can you switch off?

I don’t re­ally like to switch off. I am al­ways avail­able on my phone and by email and I am very happy to be so.

What time do you go to sleep?

Ide­ally around 10pm.

Hum­ming­bird keeps the world – and great in­di­vid­u­als like Bri­anne – hum­ming.


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