I’d like to introduce you to the fabulous Louise Pearce, a wonderful and passionate soul I worked with before I started Hills & West at SBS.
Louise was a corporate who worked with C-suite media tycoons before she decided to have a sea change and move with her family to Port Macquarie. Once her and her family re-located to start their dream life, Louise was intrigued by a unique career opportunity that her sister approached her with. She initially said ‘no’, however then thought she’d give it a shot. She was at a stage in her life where she had to be open to opportunities and try new things. We often check in to see how things are going and after our conversation I was so inspired I wanted to share her story.
Keep reading to hear more about what makes Louise such a successful business woman and a sneak peak into some of her year round beauty tips.
A little about Louise…
I was born and bred in Cowra, a small country town in central west NSW where I had an idyllic childhood. Like most kids growing up in the 70/80’s, we played outside and rode our bikes around the streets with our neighbours until mum called us in for dinner. I always knew I wanted my kids to have a similar upbringing, but I took the long way ‘round!
I moved to Sydney after completing my HSC, did the Europe/UK/USA backpacking trail for a few years, back to Sydney where I met my husband and we were eventually blessed with two gorgeous children, Digby 8 and Molly 4, who bring us joy and mischief in equal measure!
As much as we both loved all Sydney has to offer, after 25 years it came to the point where we wanted to simplify our lives. We were naturally keen to gravitate somewhere rural or regional that had plenty on offer for families and lots of opportunities for the kids in the future. We landed in Port Macquarie on the mid north coast of NSW as it ticked all the boxes. It’s close to my husband’s family (but not too close!) and not only has the best beaches in the world, it boasts the perfect climate too. All the kids’ activities are within a 10 minute drive, as are the beaches and there is no metered parking in sight! There’s also plenty of culture, vineyards, restaurants and shopping to keep us oldies happy too!
“To say we’ve found Paradise is an understatement and I’m sure the kids will come to appreciate how lucky they are one day!”
Your work journey…
I was unsure which direction I wanted to take when I finished my HSC, so once in Sydney I completed a Secretarial course at St Patrick’s Business College which back then was a very prestigious college run by the Nuns. We wore a uniform and had our hair, nails and stockings inspected for perfection on a daily basis – standards that have been instilled in me ever since! I learnt shorthand, typing and for one hour a week we had a “play” on a computer installed with WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS – the Nuns didn’t exactly predict future trends!
My first foray into the work force was in recruitment, where I placed office admin staff into both permanent roles and temporary assignments. The women I worked with shaped me into who I am today (for better or worse!) and some are still my greatest friends and biggest influences. After 7 years, the industry became fiercely competitive and I was ready for a change. I’d been studying Human Resources at the time, and a role came onto our books for an Executive Assistant to the HR Director at Channel 7 and it had my name all over it! I worked at Seven for many years, in HR and also Programming and Production and I loved every minute of it! An opportunity for career advancement came along, working for the Chief Operating Officer at SBS. It proved to be an incredible experience and one of my biggest learning curves to date, where I learnt the fine art of balancing stakeholders’ needs within the strict confines of a Government Charter. I then moved onto the Ten Network where I worked for an incredibly smart, driven woman who taught me a great deal about resilience and making a mark in a typically male-dominated industry.
I thoroughly enjoyed all my roles, the people and the buzz of the media industry, but my priorities began to change when the kids came along.
“I knew I didn’t want to trade my time for money anymore, I wanted to BE present for my kids and have complete flexibility with my work schedule…essentially I wanted it all but I had no idea how to get it!”
When I was due to return to work after my second maternity leave, we started thinking seriously about what we wanted our life to be. As fate would have it, Ten had a major restructure, I was offered a redundancy and that’s when the Port Macquarie dream came to life! Simultaneously, my sister who lives in San Francisco, had been raving about this amazing skincare she had been using and how it’s completely changed her life! I thought she was nuts but I let her finish. She told me she was so obsessed with it, she decided to become a consultant for the brand and it was heading to Australia and I should do the same. As I said, I thought she was nuts and I replied with a firm ‘no’! I had no sales experience and I wasn’t a skincare junkie. But she didn’t give up and started telling me more about Rodan + Fields.
Firstly, the founders are the same Dermatologists, Dr Katie Rodan and Dr Kathy Fields, who created Proactiv acne solutions (you may have heard of them!). They wanted to do for anti-ageing what they had done for acne and created new products to address the other main skin concerns, such as wrinkles, sun damage, sensitivity and of course, acne. They originally partnered with Estee Lauder in 2002 and took the products into high-end department stores in the US, where they became the Number 1 selling skincare brand in Nordstrom. But then two things happened: The global financial crisis hit and people stopped shopping in bricks and mortar stores. Simultaneously, the huge rise in social media, iPhones and online shopping, meant that people were looking for online recommendations from their friends. The Doctors realised that it wasn’t the woman behind the glass counter selling their products – it was their customers who were referring their friends! So they made the bold decision to pull their Number 1 selling products from the shelves, bought back their share from Estee Lauder and entered the Direct Sales channel…
“…so they could empower women like me, who are actually passionate about helping people get their best skin ever, to run their own businesses.”
And thanks to their new sales force, we are the Number 1 skincare brand in North America, having surpassed Clinique, Estee Lauder and Lancome – just phenomenal given they don’t spend a single dollar on advertising! It’s a social commerce business model and it’s been made simple so anyone can do it – we run the business from our mobile phones and the back office takes care of everything for us including order fulfilment, delivering products, invoicing, IT and marketing materials. We simply share these incredible products with our network and offer great follow up customer service – something a department store simply can’t compete with! Oh and we’re not a party plan company so there’s no need to spend our evenings and weekends away from the family – that would’ve been a deal-breaker for me!
The best of both worlds
When we made the move to Port Macquarie, I knew I wouldn’t be able to find a well paying, Senior Executive Assistant role in Media, and nor did I particularly want to do that anymore. But I also knew, being a full-time SAHM (which is THE hardest job in the world) wasn’t for me either – I’m still the same ambitious, driven and determined person I’ve always been but I longed for more fulfilment than what Peppa Pig and hide and seek had to offer! So what this business has given me, is not only a sizeable, ever increasing monthly pay cheque, but the flexibility to work around my family and other commitments in my busy life.
“I have the best of both worlds as I can contribute to the family budget and never miss a moment with my kids. Unlike a corporate structure, there is no pay ceiling”
My pay cheque is a true reflection of the work I put in, and as I continue to succeed and grow, so will may pay. Our company showers us with rewards and recognition like no other – I’m currently running for some Tiffany jewellery and a DJ’s shopping experience, and there’s a trip to Nashville coming up too – the sky’s the limit in terms of what we can do! What I love too is there’s a whole community of like-minded women (and some men!) that encourage you on your own journey – there is no competition (again it’s all up to you how much or little you do) and there’s plenty of room for everyone at the top! We have world class training and no sales or skincare experience is necessary – the only requirement is a desire to learn and grow personally and professionally – all with a pay cheque attached! With Global expansion on the horizon, an aggressive growth strategy and outside the box concepts with R+F’s private equity partner TPG Capital (who only invest in fast-growing companies such as UBER, AirBnB and Spotify) we have a LOT to be excited about right now!
Working for yourself
It’s hard! You only have yourself to rely on and it takes a lot of discipline and self-motivation to stay on track.
“As I always say “no one is going to care about your dreams as much as you do” so you just have to do the daily grind to realise those dreams.”
And whilst it’s always good to know your competitors, the only competition you have in this business is yourself so it’s about waking up every day and giving it YOUR best. Also, that it’s important to celebrate your success, even the small wins and gains – I’ve been known to do a happy dance in my lounge room when an unexpected order comes through! I’m lucky in that I can do my job anywhere I choose, be that a café, the beach, school pick-up line, overseas on holiday or the comfort of my lounge room….so that in itself is a pretty great reward!
Any advice to taking the leap?
Don’t overthink it! Everything is done for you, you just have to be coachable and willing to do the work.
“Imagine if you could compress 40 years of a traditional career into 5-10 years of part-time hours.”
This model is designed for busy, working women who want to design their own life. The work can be done in 15 minute bursts throughout the day, so you certainly don’t have to be dedicated to it full-time. There is no particular person that this business is suited to, but women already successful in their career who can see this as a vehicle to achieve other goals tend to have a lot of success. We have lawyers, doctors, business owners, teachers and police officers in our business! The one thing they all have in common is they want something just for themselves. Something fun yet meaningful that allows them to feel empowered and creates time freedom to do what they want most in life, be that more time with their family; to be able to donate more to their chosen charities or simply have some play money for themselves. And the chance to partner with the Proactiv Doctors in their second Billion dollar brand is too good an opportunity to pass up! And what’s the worst that can happen? You get incredible skincare at a discounted price #winning!
Your style icons
I can’t go past Kate Middleton for poise, polish and perfection. I know not everyone is a fan of the matchy-matchy look but she never puts a foot wrong, looking impeccable at all times. On the other end of the spectrum, Helena Christensen, the original supermodel, with her chic, boho, effortless style and oh my, those eyes and cheekbones! In business, I’ve worked with a lot of very strong, capable women whom I admire and one in particular who has become a mentor is Sarah Keith, currently the Managing Director of Publicis Media. She’ll kill me for shouting her out, but not only is she an astute businesswoman she has the warmest heart, sharpest wit and cleverest mind I know, with a style all of her own.
5 things you can’t live without
Family, iPhone, Rodan+Fields Multifunction Eye Cream, fresh fruit and my hairdresser!
5 things on your bucket list
1. Seeing The Northern lights in Norway
2. Returning to one of my favourite counties, Turkey, with my family.
3. Touring around Italy and France with my husband, and staying at the Villa D’Este in Lake Como and consuming truffles for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
4. Any of the stunning walks in Tasmania, but probably The Freycinet or Bay of Fires walk…maybe more truffles and pinot noir here!
5. Leaving this business as a legacy for my children and teaching other women how to reach their highest potential and to do the same for their families.
And of course… your favourite H&W bag?
The Morgan 3 in 1 Backpack of course! So sleek and stylish, yet versatile and practical for a busy Mum on the run!
If you have ever thought about taking the leap then reach out to Louise as I am sure you would be more than happy to tell you the ins and outs.
An inspirational lady empowering business woman and mothers to find an alternative that works for them. Thank you so much Louise for your words of wisdom toward achieving a balanced and fabulous lifestyle.