Meet the Powerhouse Behind One of Australia’s Most Successful Online Companys
Not only do we love Etsy for the fact that it is one of the most successful e-commerce company's in the world (and for being responsible for some of our most enjoyable online shopping sprees, ever), but also for the fact that it provides entrepreneurs from all over the globe with a community platform to sell their creations and to make their creative dreams and visions a reality. The global online marketplace for vintage and handmade goods is a remarkable business, to say the least.
Unsurprisingly, when we were given the opportunity to discuss all things career with the managing director of Etsy Australia and Asia, Helen Souness, we jumped at the chance. Not only does Souness live and breathe the Etsy brand, but she truly is as inspiring as the brand itself, too. Scroll on and read our interview with one of the Australia’s most impressive businesswomen.
I lead the Etsy Australia and Asia team in helping creative entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses on our marketplace platform.
Probably the hours, because I think people expect it to be a joy (and it is!) working with so many makers and creative people inside Etsy and outside in the Etsy community. While there is much joy, I will do 7.00 a.m. calls with New York colleagues and am as likely to do a 9.00 p.m. call with European colleagues. I have a lot of flexibility though, which I love to use to take back some hours picking up my daughter from school on Fridays for example.
I think it was a pant suit, and I still wear the navy blazer from the suit occasionally. I wear pretty classic clothes and hoard everything, so at this point in my career I have grown my own vintage wardrobe!
Perhaps unusually, it would be my father. He died when I was five and I don’t have any memories of him. I would love to know his opinions on a bunch of life and work questions.
Paul Bennett’s Start Up Daily NewsBot is an amazing round up of global and local digital and start up news. I also have a load of Google Alerts set up and find that a great way to pick up press on Etsy and many other topics I want to follow. Of course, Twitter is great for bites of news from lots of sources too, with favourites accounts including The New Yorker, The Guardian, and Techcrunch.
Nothing. The hardest people to work with and the toughest situations have definitely taught me the most, so I look back and am grateful for all the challenges.
Passion, intelligence, self-awareness, and an outcome focus, with a sense of humour hopefully too to ensure work is always fun.
Clothes don’t really impact me in that way. I love to prepare really thoroughly for challenging days, so reading and making a plan the night before is my best advice for feeling ready for anything.
Peripatetic and low maintenance. Will is very generous and has a wonderful vocabulary, a couple of the many reasons I love working with him.
I speak to or spend time following the Etsy community of makers. Supporting their creative businesses is what this job is all about. When I spend time with Etsy sellers it really re-energises me—they are such amazing people living out their creative dreams.
Graciously and ideally with a successor already ready to go.
I think sometimes people are in a hurry in their early careers. Your career is a long game.
I wake up to a dog barking alarm that makes me roll out of bed to walk my dog on the beach. A day starts well watching my dog’s complete joy at getting wet, sandy, and generally into trouble on the beach and dog park. I end the day almost inevitably catching up on Twitter, which is sadly to the detriment of reading books.
That personal development is as much about learning to play to your strengths as much as it is about addressing your weaknesses.
Etsy’s plans for growing Asian markets and what this means for empowering small makers and new online entrepreneurs, and helping a whole host of makers, designers make their creative business dreams come true this year with Etsy Resolution, our free email course which guides you through the process of starting a thriving creative business on Etsy.