Founded and formulated by an internationally acclaimed celebrity hairstylist, Iles Formula has developed a multi-award winning hair collection through the use of innovative formulas, fusing together minimalism with maximum performance. We sat down with the founder, Wendy Iles, to learn more about her leadership style and to get advice for aspiring sustainable leaders.
What makes a great – or successful – leader?
To me, passion and integrity are two of the greatest attributes in a leader. To believe in what you do with your heart and soul so as to inspire your customers and team. Likewise, integrity in every sense of the word. How you interact with your customers, business partners and team. Also, the integrity of not succumbing to the pressures of doing as others do. Iles Formula will never launch new products simply to boost revenue. As I’ve said before, I find it unnecessary, wasteful and confusing. We formulate less but we do it extremely well and that is what our customers love about our formulas.
What are your personal strengths as a leader?
With over four decades of experience working with some of the highest demanding clientele in the world, it’s safe to say I am truly passionate about hair and hair health. I also have a unique and well-rounded insight into the world of hair from all aspects – having owned salons earlier on in my career to working as a freelance stylist around the world on some of the most demanding and high-profile editorials, fashion and beauty campaigns. Fast forward to now, being the President of a niche but global luxury haircare brand.
What is the toughest lesson you learned?
The toughest lessons I’ve learned probably all stem back to the same core lesson; the need to delegate to my team so I am better able to focus on the areas that cannot be overseen by anyone else. As a niche, family-owned brand, my husband and I have had a deep involvement in every aspect and detail of the business. Whilst I will still always be involved, I now have a small but highly experienced team to support us in many areas of the business and I remind myself daily to lean on them for their specific areas of expertise.
And the most rewarding?
The most rewarding without a doubt are the reviews that I wake up to every day from customers from all around the world. Daring to be different in a market as highly competitive as haircare can be tough, but the positive reviews I receive are all the reward and assurance I need to know that we’re doing the right thing. Our customers love that we stand for minimalism meets maximum performance. No noise, just pure, unbeatable performance.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring leader?
Have courage and self-belief, and grow with integrity.
Why should people be positive about the future?
We are now more educated than ever to make positive changes with information readily available at our fingertips. Likewise, the technology required to make these positive changes is constantly improving. Combined, the future is bright!