Exceptional Magazine : 2012 Exceptional Magazine
10 Photography: idGroup "We want to succeed, but we also want to have fun while we're doing it." Naomi Simson, RedBalloon Gifted After a corporate career working for companies such as IBM and Ansett Australia, Naomi Simson wanted to create a business that gave her fexibility to spend more time with her family. In 2000, inspired by the dot-com boom, she invented a revolutionary business. Meet the 2011 Entrepreneur Of The Year Industry category winner. The judges said: "Naomi Simson is an outstanding entrepreneur with incredible marketing ability, who has built a sustainable business from scratch. Simson has made some extremely intuitive decisions and RedBalloon has reaped the benefts.” RedBalloon was completely new --- an online gifting service aggregating over 2,500 unique experiences, ranging from massage and sailing, to chocolate tours, car racing and skydiving. Offering gift vouchers for the public, reward and recognition programs, corporate gifts and sales incentives for organisations, RedBalloon has experienced a phenomenal rate of growth. In FY11, RedBalloon was a $36 million business and is set to reach $50 million in FY12. It has expanded to incorporate a retail presence in more than 3,000 outlets across Australia and New Zealand, offering gift cards, and premium gift card and experience boxes. With core values of integrity and personal accountability, Simson is proud to be considered a role model for female entrepreneurs. "Women start more businesses than men, so the challenge now is how do they get the resources, the fnances and the confdence they need to grow?" she says. Simson sees herself as a mentor for every employee. "RedBalloon's approach to innovation and our values are what unite us," Naomi says. "We want to succeed, but we also want to have fun while we're doing it." Her approach generates high levels of loyalty and engagement, with employees voting RedBalloon as one of the top Great Places to Work in Australia for the past three years. RedBalloon is fast changing gifting in Australia and New Zealand, delivering around 1.5 million gifts in 11 years. In Simson's words, its 'Big Hairy Audacious Goal' is to reach two million gifts by 2015.
2011 Exceptional Magazine
2013 Exceptional Magazine