Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path, striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Nicole Lamond Philp, director of Universal Village, a Fair Trade food company that imports and distributes Qi Tea and is also the owner and distributor of Rhino Coffee.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I run all aspects of the business and outsource operations to a 3rd party logistics company. I have a national sales and merchandising company that does my sales nationwide. Mostly I’m focused on marketing, including promoting Qi Teas which are in Woolworths, IGAs and soon to be in Coles. Some of this is creative work, which I love the most – creating campaigns, writing copy etc.
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
I’ve never really thought of it as a career, it’s more that I wanted to be involved in Fair Trade – I wanted to introduce Fair Trade into Australia and see it in the mainstream.
“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.”
Where do you find your inspiration?
People who take a different path in life to the one they were born into – people who take up the challenge of what they are ‘called’ to do is really inspiring. Any work (whether art or in business) that is striving for what is good, true or beautiful is awesome.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
Yes, I do have a business mentor, Dale Simpson of Bravo Consulting. He’s been fantastic. He keeps me looking at the big picture – what am I trying to achieve? Because the goal wasn’t about a $ profit figure or something so tangible. It’s easy for one’s dream to get buried in the day to day minutiae and Dale helped keep the dream alive, so to speak. And it’s so valuable to have someone in your corner on the days when you feel like chucking it all in!
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
The fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started the business was a bit of a stumbling block! I’d also only ever worked in admin, I’d never been the person at the top actually making decisions. It took me a long time to get out of that mindset and grow in confidence.
How did you overcome these?
I went and did the first year of an MBA, then switched over to the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which was a great course.
What are your goals for the future?
To meet really inspiring people who are making the world a better place. To grow Qi Tea to be the most significant green tea brand in grocery in Australia and to see Fair Trade products in every household in Australia. To become more loving. To live in a house that feels like I’m living in a work of art. To spend some time living on a boat or in a shack near the edge of the world.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
Choose something you’re passionate about and go for it! A general rule of thumb in the early days is everything costs double what you budget and will take twice as long as what you think, so always, ALWAYS crunch the numbers. Timing is the essence of life and each year brings its set of (hopefully) victories and challenges. Take time to reflect and appreciate and learn from them all. Never compromise your values or your dream to make the world a better place.