Jackie Maxted

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.

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Name and role:

Jackie Maxted, founder and managing director of beautyheaven.com.au

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

My role is to inspire and lead the company (which consists of three websites, beautydirectory, beautyheaven and homeheaven); across content, sales and admin teams. Together with my management team, I strategise and plan for continued growth in the industry, to meet the needs of both our members and brand partners. I then aim to translate that into a clear vision and tone to create the right culture for a positive working environment.

Each day starts with a 15-minute stand-up managers team meeting to set the direction and goals for the day. I spend the rest of my day in internal meetings across financial, content, technical and HR issues. I keep up to date with industry news through daily updates on beautydirectory and keep myself acquainted with the best beauty purchases I need with a daily dose of beautyheaven. More recently with the launch of our new baby, homeheaven, I am familiarising myself with all things ‘housekeeping’. I usually wrap the day up with preparation of a to-do list, so my next day starts with a little less chaos.

How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?

I could never have imagined ending up here when I was studying communications at uni in the early ‘80’s! I have traversed through media, marketing and PR for my whole working life and allowed my career to unfold as technological changes presented new opportunities. I have now been in digital publishing for 16 years and am delighted to be a market leader in what is considered a relatively new industry.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Sometimes it happens in internal meetings as long as there is plenty of lollies on the table and we have generous amounts of time to play with very silly ideas. But usually I find inspiration in the strangest places and often great distances away from the work place. Interesting thoughts arise from unexpected experiences. I make sure that I always have a fiction and non-fiction book on the go and I see as many interesting films and TV shows as I can.

Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?

I have never had one singular mentor but I have met many experienced and developed business people over the years, many of whom have given me new ways to approach old problems. I am also always on the lookout to build new relationships with business professionals who come from different backgrounds to mine. I have worked in a business of my own for many years now so can lack the perspective that big corporations or equally one-man-bands might have; so continuing to working with people with those experiences is incredibly relevant and important to me.

What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?

Starting a new business and trying to successfully build a new concept is challenging because ultimately (in our situation) we were asking people to change their behaviour – 16 years ago, Google and smartphones weren’t the norm and an online business or resource was quite foreign! We spent a lot of time educating our new audience and our clients about ways to work together in this new medium. It wasn’t really a ’stumbling block’ but it certainly required our tenacity and passion to create the success we wanted.

What are your goals for the future?

In this highly competitive and ever-changing industry, our goal is to continue to deliver high quality information and entertainment websites and simultaneously grow an engaged and connected community. For beautyheaven in particular, we aim to remain innovative and inspire females and beauty lovers in general with both practical and exciting beauty news, reviews and product tutorials.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?

As my career has unfolded and opportunities presented themselves, I have always responded in a way that embraced change. My advice would be to accept that your life can and will have many chapters – things change, including you, your situation (whether that be professional or personal) or your environment. How you choose to respond to those changes will shape you and your life. So, try to turn every opportunity into one that’s in line with your values and passions. Always be open to learning new things and challenging yourself. This will help you be a head above the rest.