5 minutes with Ella Baché CEO (and boss-mama), Pippa Hallas

In Boss Mama, Features, Stories by Nicole Fuge

As someone who knows the importance of championing other women, believes it takes a village to raise little ones and lives by the mantra that the world is a better place when women support women (sans any judgement), I’m sure you’ll soon understand why we have a bit of a girl crush on Pippa Hallas.

As the CEO of beauty empire, Ella Baché, and mama to Lachlan, five, and Darcy, three, she is a force to be reckoned with.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Pippa and chat all things family business, career, mama-hood and more.

Tell us about your journey to become CEO of Ella Baché?

“Ella Baché was started by my great aunt alongside my grandparents and my father, so I was immersed in it when growing up.

I spent many afternoons after school and in the holidays in the office or factory and was always aware of what was happening – although there was never any pressure to join in. I loved fashion, magazines and the creative process as well as the people surrounding it. I think this influenced my decision (even sublimely) to do a business marketing degree after school and then to go onto spend the next decade in advertising both in Sydney and London.

I joined Ella Baché and headed up the marketing department until about eight years ago when I stepped into the CEO position.

It’s such a beautiful heritage brand, and the excitement to continue to reinvent, innovate and stay ahead of the industry in our own way drives my passion and hard work.

Technology has been the main catalyst for so much change in the skincare and beauty industry over the last few years, which has created much opportunity and, at times, has been very challenging – but that’s why I love what I do.”

What is it like working with family?

“They say blood is thicker than water and it’s true. When you work for a family business – something your family has pioneered and created – you give your all.

My father is still the chairman and although he lives in Byron and hasn’t been active in the business for over 25 years, we have a great, open relationship and know we have each other’s back.”

What’s your boss-lady style?

“I expect a lot from people as I expect a lot from myself. I’m naturally an open and collaborative leader, with a casual, honest but energetic approach.”

Tell us about your great-aunt and grandmother, their relationship, and what you learnt from them?

“Ella and Edith were passionate pioneering woman. They weren’t business people or marketers, but they loved quality ingredients, formulations that worked on the skin like prescriptions and committed to a life-long curiosity and acquisition of knowledge about the skin.”

Why do you think it’s so important for women to support other women?

Women can be so hard on each other, especially on the school playground! I have never bought into this and am fortunate that I have an amazing group of girlfriends from school who are like family. We have only ever shown each other love, support and friendship. That’s how it should be.

It’s amazing how many women have become business leaders at Ella Baché– it empowers women in their own careers. I want to continue that journey and make sure we’re market leaders setting up a business model that’s unique in Australia.”

What does an average day from mama to boss entail for you?

“My day starts early as both my boys wake up at the crack of dawn. The key is coffee!

I like to head into the office early so I can prepare myself for the day ahead – this is the only time I will have to myself so preparation is key.

I am structured in the way I work – for example I start early and finish early. I am better mentally in the morning. I also know I need to adapt every day because each day is different. You can’t be too rigid with your schedule because if you think it’ll be the same every day it won’t always be that simple. It can undermine your resilience.

I make sure I stay present and in the moment, both at work and home.”

How do you juggle being a CEO and mama?

“I’m fortunate that I have great support from my husband and nanny, who works three days with us at home. She is part of the family and we all have our own strengths and play our own roles in running a business and bringing up two beautiful boys.”

Tell me about your children?

“They are vibrant and full of life… quite literally, I chase them around all day long. Lachlan is my eldest, he is five and has just started primary school, he is gentle creative and very kind a more sensitive soul. Whereas Darcy, my youngest who is three, is loud, boisterous and like a little ram!”

For other boss-mamas out there, what advice or lessons have you learnt that you want to share?

“My biggest lesson and piece of advice rolled into one is that you can’t try and do it all. It’s so important to create a network of supportive people around you. I think as women we’re all so quick to judge one another when really, we are all in this together!

In my case, my husband and I share the load at work and home. As a working mum, I couldn’t then be expected to do every single thing at home. It’s about balancing your roles out evenly.

Somethings you can’t do, so you need to outsource and feel okay about that. It’s about using your time in the most effective way. If it means spending time with your kids for two hours a day over shopping, then that’s what you do.

We are lucky we live in a world where we do so much via our mobile phones.

Working out of your comfort zone is the best place to learn and never stop trusting yourself – there’s a reason you are where you are. In this day and age women still need to be bold leaders. There are not as many women at the top of companies as CEOs as there should be. You have to be okay with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.”

As a beauty guru, we have to ask, what are your fave beauty products and why?

“SPF is key. In Australia women are ageing 20 years faster than anywhere else in the world. I also never go anywhere without Ella Baché Eternal+ Reconstructing Serum and Very Rich Cream, which work to tone, lift and visibly firm my skin.”

What’s next for Ella Bache?

“We are about to launch Ella Baché’s NeoBright range into market which is our new pigmentation correction and brightening range, we hosted a launch at Chin Chins to celebrate in collaboration with the artist Dina Broadhurst. The products have been designed to correct pigmentation and brighten the complexion and everybody here at Ella Baché HQ are loving them!

On top of that, we have just re-created our Menu of Services, which works on clients’ complete skincare solution, we have some of the best skin experts working for us which take clients on a journey from their in-salon treatment right through to a day-to-day skincare routine.”

You might also like: The Beach People reveal their secrets to launching a successful #mama business5 inspiring mamas to help you kickstart the week, and We’re throwing in the 9-to-5 for life on the road with a 1-year-old.