6 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Gabrielle Hase is a London-based Non-Executive Director and digital commerce strategy consultant specialising in global eCommerce and omnichannel start up, step-change and digital growth strategies. As the founder and CEO of Soleberry Advisory,Gabrielle has worked closely with leading consumer brands such as Moonpig, Arcadia, LK Bennett, the Fragrance Shop, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick’s and The White Company to build their online presence, increase market share and drive transformation. Highlights include managing leading leisure brand Sweaty Betty’s global eCommerce business, accelerating Hobbs’ domestic and international online sales and launching TKMaxx.com, which opened an entirely new route to market for the European retailer.
Gabrielle sits on the board of Amplience, a venture capital-backed ecommerce content management platform; Planks, a British skiwear brand; All Together, a non-profit CEO Advisory collective, and Tate Enterprises, the commercial arm of Tate Galleries. She also mentors start-ups in leading London incubators and is in constant demand as a keynote speaker, moderator and as a conference chair – most recently speaking at the Good Growth Summit, Scotland Marketing Society, and Ecommerce Futures.
What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own company?
I would encourage women to see entrepreneurship in a broader way. You might already be an entrepreneur, but just not know it. To me, it’s about creating something new and different. I’m not the classic entrepreneur. I don’t have employees. But I consider myself entrepreneurial in the sense that I’m making my own opportunities and building my own brand. I’m selling the sum product of my experience, my networks and my ability to cross-pollinate ideas, people and resources, to help others achieve their goals.
If you want to work for yourself, you are an entrepreneur. Anybody can be an entrepreneur, as long as you’re comfortable with risk. I’d encourage women to be realistic but not afraid to try out of fear that they might not have the right profile for it. There’s no judgment, no failure – it’s just about knowing yourself.
What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?
- Get a clear understanding of what success means to you; of what you’re working for and looking for. Do you want to build a £100 million business exit? Or create a job that you can enjoy doing every day and will pay enough to live? Do you want to serve a social good? It’s going to be very easy to get side-tracked. When you start involving other people in the process, everyone’s going to have a different opinion, some of which are great to listen to. Some of them will only distract you. Try to refine what it is you’re really working towards and always keep that in mind. It’s never too soon to think about what the long-term picture is, even though that long term picture might change along the way. Always be true to your own vision.
- Solicit feedback and opinions and be open to them. Never be so closed-minded that you think you have all the answers. The people I work with who I think have the greatest chance of success are the ones who are confident, know what they want and will do anything to get there – but they aren’t arrogant, and they never let their ego get in the way. Being arrogant shuts you off from hearing different opinions, learning different things, and trying on different perspectives. And that I think can be fatal.
- Do things according to your own timetable. Know your strengths, weaknesses and preferences. It requires a lot of juggling, and you might be working on your own entrepreneurial venture around another job or life commitment. Sitting and stewing in a comfort zone for too long is never a great idea, but we’re all on our own journeys and growing at different rates. It’s never healthy to compare yourself to where others are. Always do what’s right for you, when it feels right for you to do it.
- Following your gut is such an important and smart decision – particularly when other people are saying you’re just being emotional.What do you do when an outside investment is a bundle of red flags, but people are telling you that your scepticism is ‘just an emotional response’ and you should take the money because you need it? You always have a choice. About which money you take, about which direction you head in, about who you hire, whether to keep going. Never feel like you don’t. You might get a couple of years in and find it doesn’t work for you anymore. That’s fine too. Know you can get out of it.
- Be kind. Do a favour for someone just because. You most definitely reap what you sow but it goes deeper than that. It helps us to connect with others, cultivate trust and build meaningful relationships. That’s good for the soul and for business. Being kind creates neural pathways in the brain that make you happier, too – and even live longer. Plus, taking a break from focusing on yourself and your own problems is always good for stress levels.
Who are the 5 women who inspire you the most?
- Marie Curie. Her sheer intellect coupled with her incredible will to achieve what she did in a hugely sexist environment and time is insanely inspirational.
- My mother. She has a generosity of spirit – she raised three children and four foster children – that I try to copy every day (and only succeed a small part of the time).
- Widowed friends. I have a few close friends who have lost their partners at a young age, and who have shown such resilience and emotional strength in the face of it that inspires me when I am feeling sorry for myself.
- Fiona Oakes. An ultra-marathoner and animal welfare champion. She uses her incredible athletic talent to earn money to support her animal shelter, Tower Hill Stables, in Essex, and her dedication and huge heart move me.
- The artist Pink. Not only is she an incredible musician, but she is always unapologetically herself in every way.
What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?
“People show their true colours unintentionally. Pay attention.”
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