Founder + Director / Babe Scrub
There’s no shortage of women’s beauty brands, yet for many millennial women in particular, Babe Scrub seems to stand out. Why?
It could be that the product offering was finessed by market research, or it could be the on trend – tongue in cheek packaging…. but my guess is that it’s all of the above and more. You see when a smart, fierce and bullish women, like Kim Pierce launches a business you sit up and listen. (Or lay down and scrub, I’m going for the latter!)
Stocked in Sephora, Nordstrom and my fav Urban Outfitters, Babe Scrub needs little introduction, which is fine by me because it’s Kim’s killer #careerstory that takes centre stage in this interview.
Kim grew up a natural born traveler. Born in South Africa, she moved to her father’s homeland of Australian when she was young. Kim went to high school in Coffs Harbour, but it was her earlier travel experience that shaped the business women that Kim was to become.
Kim’s #careerstory is a doozy, from Japanese at Tafe, to Events Management, to back at Uni for Chinese studies – Kim is a woman that followed her passion and in her own words
“always learned how to build something out of nothing.”
My favourite part of today’s #careerstory is Kim’s depiction of the transition between working for somebody else, and working for yourself. It’s the stuff that every girl needs to know about because sometimes the best course of action is the hardest to make, but be the most rewarding.
So my only questions is… what are you waiting for? Have you got a business idea? A product you want to bring to market? An idea, a hunch? Whatever your future holds, please make this interview your present.
Girls, it’s time to meet the head of the Babe Squad… Kim Pierce.
Hey Kim, Incredibly pumped to have you hear, chatting about your AH-MAZING career. So, tell us, Where did you grow up?
I was born in South Africa, and after the war broke out in Rhodesia we moved to back to my father’s homeland, Australia. My father worked in the mining industry and we continued to move across states until I was 11, where we eventually settled for a few years in Northern New South Wales while I completed my schooling.
South Africa, is 100% on my bucket list. Did you find moving around a struggle growing up? How did the experience shape you?
The experience of moving between towns impressed on me the sheer variety of lifestyles being lived out in anyone day in this country and ultimately taught me to be open-minded about the people you meet and how they choose to live their lives. This, in turn, set a mindset within me to see no boundaries associated with geography, time, skill set or any other limiting factors we can put on ourselves. This open mindset has underpinned all my successes and shaped me as the business women that I am today – I don’t really subscribe to the notion of “can’t”.
So Kim, where did you go to High School, how was the experience for you?
I attended the local high school in Coffs Harbour – a small coastal town in the 80’s. School in the 80’s wasn’t like it is today and in our small, coastal town, school was a place where a one size fits all approach meant that typically the information you retained was through rote learning. School for me certainly wasn’t a place where we were encouraged to follow our dreams or think outside the box. The experience of being stifled in a small town cemented a desire in me to escape as far and wide as I possibly could, shaping the next 20 years of my journey through three career changes and travelling the world.
I went to a small school as well, and I can hand on heart agree with your findings Kim. I had never heard of rote learning before. It’s quite interesting. So did the school and teachers prepare you for choosing a career?
Far from it! All of my experiences and further education choices were driven from my desire to escape what was around me – as opposed to being inspired by something tangible in front of me that I could see and listen to.
Did you go to University, College, Tafe? Take us through the experience.
Straight out of school, I studied Japanese language at a Sydney TAFE (my goal to become a flight attendant required learning Japanese language!). Many years later when I was a special events manager, I wanted to broaden my opportunities as the gruelling hours in events were not compatible with being a single mother, so I took myself off to uni full time to complete an undergraduate degree as a mature student where I majored in Chinese studies. I used to bring my toddlers to lectures and put them under the desk at the library where I used the uni computers to complete my assignments!
Haha, what a great story, and trajectory. Language is definitely something that I wish I had studied at school. So, can you take us through your career journey so far? Who have you worked for? Dive into any highlights!
I have had very diverse career journey, but all of my roles have helped shaped the leader I am today as the Founder and Director of Babe Australia. After leaving school I travelled the world working in hospitality and tourism and lived and worked in many countries including Canada (where I used my Japanese speaking abilities to snag a job working for a Heli ski company), Greece (where I sunned all day and worked in clubs at night), Austria (where I worked in the ski fields), and Amsterdam (working in hotels).
Coming back to Australia I then used my international hospitality experience to secure my next big role with as a special event manager. I coordinated teams to design and deliver off-site special events where we would build everything from the kitchens to laying pyrotechnics in the rainforest in remote locations. After I graduated from uni, I then worked as a management consultant in the oil, gas and mining industry and worked in this role for five years.
Ultimately all these roles helped shape my skills as a project manager. I know how to create something out of nothing, it’s what I do best.
KIM! You are freakin, incredible. WOW… what a journey, so diverse. So how did you go from worker to founder of Babe Australia?
My fortieth birthday was around the corner and while I worked as a management consultant I helped build a new business arm within that organization that began generating serious revenue, fast. Being entrepreneurial I wanted to focus all of my energy on this side project and when my proposal didn’t receive the support of the organisation I was working in, I decided it was time to call it quits working for other people, and the time was now to launch my own business. I’d always wanted to engineer my own lifestyle and I realised at that moment that no one was ever going to give me the opportunity to just do my own thing with a safety net, and I needed to gift myself that opportunity. With the support of my family, I resigned from my corporate role to launch my new businesses.
What’s the hardest part of owning your own business?
One of the hardest parts about being the founder of a company is that it can be lonely, so finding other business owners and founders to share stories with is important.
What does a typical work day look like at Babe Australia?
Depending on what day of the week it is, I try to segment my week into focus days. Typically, I spend time in the mornings gathering my thoughts and highlighting items left over from the previous day’s work list and prioritising the tasks for the day to make sure those tasks are in line of my weekly, monthly and annual objectives and goals.
Do you have a hero? Someone that you look up to for career related, or life advice?
Rather than having one hero or person that inspires me, I tend to find inspiration in the people around me and that I meet that are simply doing what they do. For me, there’s inspiration in everyone’s story.
What advice would you give girls who are looking at starting their own business
I would say just GO FOT IT, and GO HARD. Learn as much as you can, be keen, put yourself in front of people, push yourself and your own boundaries and know that you can achieve ANYTHING you put your mind to.
What are your favourite resources that you turn to constantly in your biz?
- Websites: Google- for real! (you don’t even know what it was like out there before google)
- Books: The Artists Way (Julia Cameron), The Lean Start Up (Eric Ries)
- People: My sister Colleen who is our lead creative at Babe, my husband whose grace, determination and intelligence blows my mind every, single day, and my bestie who is an energetic force of positivity in my life.
- Other: The Hunger Games movie, and Pinterest