International Women's Day Q&A with Kristy Morris

International Women's Day Q&A with Kristy Morris

Kristy Morris is the CEO and Co-Founder of KAILO, Australia’s Leading Luxury Wellness brand. KAILO is proudly female founded, and privately funded, and so Kristy is the perfect person to talk about what it is like to be a female leader in business in today’s world.

Our Global Marketing Manager Mathilde Nellemann speaks to Kristy about how KAILO ended up being an all-female team, what challenges she faces as a female entrepreneur, misconceptions about women in leadership positions, and more. 


KAILO is female founded and female operated – was this intentional, or did this happen organically?

"This was definitely a key focus for us as a business and we are extremely proud to be female founded and lead!" 


In what ways does your company empower and uplift women within your team, and the broader community?

"KAILO is an all-female team and a business that prides itself on offering flexible work opportunities to all our staff.  Many of our team members are working mothers or in the early stages of having their young family.  We have always supported our team with flexible working arrangements and career development.  In relation to the broader community, KAILO works closely with The Forgotten Women charity supporting women to be rehomed after facing homelessness through unforeseen circumstances.  We are extremely honoured to be working with them. KAILO will always be connected to the wider community!"


Can you share any challenges you have faced as a female entrepreneur, and how you have navigated them to pave the way for others?

"I have faced many moments of the “boys club” environment. I have learned through the journey is by showing up and backing yourself through time you gain the level of respect everyone should experience, and gender shouldn’t be a factor.  I have been very conscious as mother to two sons and a daughter to make sure my actions showcase to them the power of supporting your own personal journey.  We are not in control of how others behave however, we are in control of how respond."


How does your company culture reflect the values of inclusivity, diversity, and gender equality, particularly on a day like International Women's Day? 

"KAILO from day one has always had a diverse team, and this is something that has happened organically which comes from a place of being authentic about choosing our talent based on their skill set. We have worked with Freelancing Gems who have a recruitment opportunity to place refugees into the workforce.  We are proud to have recently employed a highly talented new team member through this programme."


What is one of the biggest misconceptions about women in leadership positions?

"That you can easily have it all.  You can have it all however, it comes with complexity and huge sacrifices, and you need to have amazing support around you."


As a female leader, what strategies do you employ to foster collaboration, innovation and growth within your company? 

 "We have always empowered our team to bring to the fore font their ideas and solutions.  Our team have opportunities to get outside of their comfort zone through working across different sides of the business and travelling the world and also being part of the research and design aspect.  All our Head Office team started on reception and have all grown into roles to build our brand internationally.  This had been a passion of ours as we believe you need to understand the business from the ground up to then be able to take it further. For example, Erin our nutritionist started on reception and is now an international educator along with part of the research team for new up and coming products. Cooper who was part of a design team project at QUT finished her degree and joined KAILO on reception and now does full time design work for KAILO."


How do you prioritise mentorship and support for women in leadership roles within KAILO, and what impact has this had on your company’s success? 

"Training and development outside of KAILO has been key and our leaders have had the opportunity to do growth/leadership workshops and ongoing courses.  We also allow our leaders to do their role without micromanaging them. We empower our whole team to make decisions and execute and if it wasn’t the best way forward, we will always support the decision and see it as a learning opportunity for us all."


How do you balance the demands of running a business with personal and family life, and what advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs facing similar challenges? 

"It is extremely challenging to manage it all and some days do feel overwhelming however, when you have great talent around you within your business there are no barriers, and everything is possible.  Surround yourself with people who have a growth mindset and “can do” attitude.  Being in business comes with having to sacrifice certain areas of your life so you can put family first then work.The area that I have had to put into practice is focusing on healthy eating/regular exercise and setting boundaries, so you have time with your family and recognising it is ok to put your phone on do not disturb and you don’t have to reply to messages instantly."


In celebrating International Women’s Day, what message or legacy do you hope to leave for future generations of women in business?  

"Back yourself as no one else will until you do!  You don’t have to do it alone, there is nothing more powerful than women supporting women in business.  Surround yourself with the best and learn from them!"


Which woman inspires you the most?   

"Michelle Obama and my mother!"


"Our vision is to pioneer the global wellness industry by offering products and services, at the forefront of science and holistic health. "

International Women's Day Q&A with Kristy Morris