Jilly Brocklebank is a fun-filled woman. She carries her confidence gracefully, and inspires everyone around her to succeed. The utmost courage in her makes her personality dynamic. With years of experience in the travel retail sector, she loves this industry to the core.
DutyFreeList in conversation with Jilly Brocklebank on the eve of Women’s Day 2019!
Your current role and a short brief.
I am part of One Red Kite Ltd, set up by Kevin Brocklebank. We offer a range of services to the Travel retail industry. I specialize in recruitment within our fantastic industry, providing a bespoke recruitment service for brands, retailers and service providers. We find great people within the industry as well as introducing new talent. I am incredibly passionate about it and love the fact that no day is the same!
What sparks passion in you about travel retail, travel and tourism?
Oh my goodness me, I love travel retail!! It is the best! From high street department stores, brands and also at World Duty Free for many years, I have experienced it all. There is nothing better than being part of the exciting buzz of an airport. From dawn until dusk airports are a curious mix of people all travelling somewhere. I miss the shop floor buzz from time to time, talking to passengers and making a part of their journey better.
What is your management style? How do your employees perceive you?
I would say my management style has changed and adapted over the years. Involving my team in all that happens in the business, encouraging them to stretch their capability, to grow and develop themselves. I believe I am an open minded manager, I value my and listen to my team, support them on our business projects.
Who is your women role model?
Jo Malone, who grew a business from a kitchen table into a major global brand, sheer hard work and tenacity went into building an iconic brand. I am sorry she is no longer involved in the brand, but her blue print for the business has always been maintained. I admire the fact she has started a new venture in the industry with Jo Loves.
Advice for young women in your and other industries?
Always take every opportunity you can and make the very best of it. Learn as much as you can and even though you may not always have experience, it is a hard work, positive attitude and enthusiasm that count.
Who would you thank as a mentor in your career?
I have been very lucky to work with many great people in all the positions I have had in my career, I have learnt so much from all of them and so pleased to be in touch with all of them still to this day.
At World Duty Free(WDF) I had the pleasure of working with Debbie Ansell, who I learnt so much from. And now I never ever forget to put a date on a document! At Estee Lauder Companies, I worked for Rebecca Day, who imparted such experience and learnings on to me, we still share ideas now! I have been fortunate enough to interact with many people from companies and brands as well, so I learn from each and every person I meet.
What celebrities inspire you?
I would not say that a “celebrity” would inspire me – however as I thoroughly enjoy watching and playing tennis, I would say Andy Murray, he has fought against some of the very best tennis players we have ever seen and is a worthy match. The most memorable is the Olympic final in Rio, against Del Potro. It was a match of an emotional journey, both giving every ounce of energy to every point. It was about 2am in the morning when it finished.
What was the last gift you bought at duty free and gave someone?
A beautiful bottle of Perrier Jouet champagne for a very very dear friend who was celebrating a very special birthday and a large bag of Haribo sweets for my 9 year old son!
Innovations that you are looking forward to in technology/ social media (foldable phones, VR, AI, BITCOIN ?)
I rely on a very good Mac laptop and an I-phone, that’s all I need! I think technology can offer us good opportunities but it is part of a wider circle and does not always solve everything for us – I think we can use technology better and smarter, but people must always talk to people and that counts for more than technological advances sometimes.