SHINE’ing the Spotlight – Interview with SHINE Business Women

Where did your passion for supporting and empowering women stem from?

My desire to nurture, inspire and empower women comes from my mum. During times of communism in Poland in 70ties every citizen had a job guarantee and everyone was paid the same no matter their experience or commitment. So when my mum decided to go to university instead of work and earn money everyone laughed.

Fast forward to the 90ties, when I was 13, my dad passed away and it was my mum who had to support me and my brother. Communism was a thing of the past and luckily, or not luckily, my mum was well educated working in a senior position in a large company most likely managing those who laughed before.

From her example, I learned that an education is the most valuable possession no one can ever take away from you. And also how important it is to achieve independence because no man or government is a reliable financial plan.

My mum was my inspiration for starting Leaders in Heels. I want to provide a forum where women can be inspired and empowered to take charge of their own lives, whether in the boardroom or outside of it. I’d love to see more women in leadership positions, and doing what they love. I hope that Leaders in Heels will be a positive platform for change.

What inspired you to start Leaders in Heels?

Leaders in Heels started as a blog in 2011 where I interviewed inspiring women and created articles with an educational focus.

The idea for the blog came from women sharing their stories with me. When I first came to Australia, I worked in the mining industry. One of my colleagues told me she was disappointed that she’d been overlooked for a vacant role. After talking to her, I discovered that she’d never told the boss she was interested in the role—she thought he would see her hard work and promote her. It surprised me that she never asked, as I would assume you have to show some sort of interest in the role if you want it.

I realised that some women don’t like to put themselves forward. It made me wonder why certain women were more successful than others, and what I could learn from them. That’s where the idea of the blog came from—I wanted to learn from successful women and share their experiences with other women. I wanted to help women build confidence, develop leadership traits they could use in every aspect of their lives, and create fulfilling personal lives.

In 2014 I ventured into creating stationery with the same purpose—to help women grow as leaders by creating daily habits through products such as notebooks, journals and planners that they use every day. The stationery is a unique offering, with exercises and activities created in collaboration with highly respected leadership and self-development experts. It inspires, educates and helps women build new habits incrementally, from one day to the next.

Your products are amazing and are sold throughout the world; can you let us in on any future plans for your range?

LEADERS IN HEELS stationery is created to nurture and empower female leaders. It aims to inspire women to find and follow their passion, and to help them stay on track so they can achieve their goals and dreams.

My goal for Leaders in Heels is to create more productivity tools such as planners and daily lists that are not only beautiful, but also inspiring and uplifting.

As a new mum I would love to also launch a range of motherhood-inspired stationery that is not only practical (e.g. keeping a feeding schedule) but also encouraging. The newborn period can be challenging for many women, and in a large number of cases leads to post-natal depression. I feel that stationery, something you use on a daily basis, is a great tool to help new mums find that bit of spark to get them through what can be long, tiring days with very little sleep!

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I have ever received was to always strive for independence. I recently saw an ad on a bus that said “Be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry (then go and find someone you actually like)”. This ad made me laugh but it summarises that advice perfectly.

What was your first car?

Nissan Micra.

What’s your favourite product from the Leaders in Heels range and why?

Phenomenal Woman Planners. They celebrate the greatness of women and are a comprehensive diary with pages to keep me focused on my big goals and motivate me to kick ass.

Tea or coffee?

Definitely coffee! My go-to is a flat white in an oversized mug.

Favourite food?

Italian, and all sorts of seafood and vegies.