Power Retail Podcast: From Accidental Leader to Industry Game-Changer

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 29 Jul 2019

Tune in as we chat with Jane Cay, the CEO and Founder of Birdsnest, to discuss being an ‘accidental leader’, staying level-headed in a stressful situation and creating the right office culture.

Birdsnest is one of Australia’s most popular destinations to shop. Sitting at one of the top 40 per cent most visited sites in Australia, Jane Cay, Birdsnest owner, has helped transform the Aussie retail scene.

The womenswear line has been around for fourteen years and began its online journey more than ten years ago. “I often say I’m the accidental leader of 150 people. It feels like a big responsibility sometimes, and there were certainly parts of that journey that I had to really take stock and question myself and see whether I was the right leader for these people. There were times, and I think any entrepreneur can relate to it, where you’re so in love with your business, and then other times it can be stressful and you feel the responsibility; sleepless nights, waking up, worrying about things,” Ms Cay explained. “For me, it’s often the people more than anything financial, that really gets to me.”

Passionate about having a great work culture, Birdsnest knows that an excellent working environment reflects in customer experience. “If people are there, and wanting to be a part of something and create great experiences, then you do. For myself, getting to a point where I questioned whether I was the right leader or not, I got a coach, and someone to come in and really say, well, the best way to find out how you’re leading this team is to ask them,” Cay said.

Jane Cay noted that she had to find her vulnerability and get her team to critique her, and tell her how she can improve, in a “What should Jane continue doing; What should she stop doing; What should she start doing?’ session. From there, she learned that she needed to stop pushing her own ‘Panic button’, and take things slow. Ultimately, she knew that she was the right fit for the team.

To listen to the full podcast, tune in to the Power Retail Podcast at the Retail Global Gold Coast 2019 Conference below.

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