Hi! I’m a mother, wife and a management accountant with English as her second language. And I’m the Founder, Creative Director & CEO of an inspirational stationery brand and online community. It’s nice to meet you.
My desires to nurture, inspire and empower come from my mum, who strongly shaped my views on the power of women.
Our story, and my story, starts with her (well before I was born in Poland). When Poland was still a communist nation in the seventies, every citizen had a job guarantee and everyone was paid the same, no matter their experience or commitment. So when my mum decided to go to university instead of working to earn money, everyone laughed.
” During communism when my mum decided to go to university instead of working to earn money, everyone laughed.
Fast forward to the nineties – I was 13 and my dad had just passed away.
Mum suddenly became a widow and a single mum to two kids. Communism was a thing of the past and thanks to her foresight, my mum was well-educated and working in a senior position in a large company – most likely managing those who had laughed at her before!
From her example, I learned that education is a person’s most valuable possession, as no one can ever take it away from you.
I also learned how important it is to achieve independence, because no man or government is a reliable financial plan. Those beliefs strongly shaped the decisions I made later in life that have led me to where I am today.
I learned how important it is to achieve independence, because no man or government is a reliable financial plan.
The spark of an idea
LH Agenda offers the kind of resources I wish I had back when I started my career. I had my first corporate job in Poland, before moving to Australia and working as a management accountant in the mining industry.
One day, a female colleague came to me. She was disappointed that she didn’t get a role that was available in our department. When I asked her what our boss said when she asked him for the role, she said she’d never asked. She was a woman, a friend and a colleague who deserved the role more than anyone else, but she’d hoped her hard work would be recognised without her saying a word.
Mum always told me: be nice, and ask for what you want. It’s hard to say if the difference was cultural or behavioural, but I realised that some women really struggle to put themselves forward for opportunities.
” Mum always told me: be nice, and ask for what you want.
I decided I wanted to inspire and empower women, and show them that they can create the lives and careers they truly love. I wanted to help them shape daily success habits enabling them to reach their full leadership potential and make their mark on the world, on their own terms. I started interviewing and learning from successful women, and compiling my findings to share with and educate others. Leaders in Heels was born.
Leaders in Heels
Since my humble beginning as a blogger, Leaders in Heels went on to feature interviews with hundreds of successful women, and articles covering leadership, success, career development and entrepreneurship. The blog has been visited over 8 million times!
I began to notice common traits that these successful women exhibited in their life and career, and distilled them into a one-page document, the LH Manifesto.
All habits need to be reinforced daily.
I realised that stationery is something women use on a daily basis, and that I could make it a tool to help them develop the habits of successful leaders. I wanted the stationery to share inspirational quotes, challenge them, and become part of their daily routine.
Of course, it played on my mind that an accountant with English as her second language possibly wouldn’t be cut out for starting a brand, but I had a passion and a burning desire to make things happen.
And that’s what I did!
Make Your Mark
In 2014 I launched the first Make Your Mark notebook for women, a product inspired by the LH Agenda Manifesto (six common traits shared by successful people).
Make Your Mark was designed to be an everyday notebook with a simple goal in mind – to unleash a remarkable leader in every woman on Earth. It was fully crowdfunded in 10 days and I sold out all 2000 copies. Here’s just some of the great feedback it’s received:
“Your notebook is a lovely and practical way of summarising some very wise thoughts to inspire us all and importantly, help us translate them into action.
Alison Watkins, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil
“A great personal tool that has helped me think about and work on each leadership trait in it’s own right. This has allowed me to expand my personal growth as a leader at work.
Susan Bramowicz, PA to State Manager – St.George Business Banking WA
“Thank you again for designing such a gorgeous book. I started with a new coaching client today, and gave her your book at the end of the first session, and she loved it. This is why I need another 20 books, and I will be including your book as a journal for most of my female coachees going forward.
Amanda Webb, Founder and Director of One Degree HR, General Manager, Xplore for Success
I had the pleasure of sending the notebooks to over 20 countries. Many were gifts for employees or handed out at women’s events. I delivered the notebooks to the offices around the globe including companies such as Unilever, Microsoft or American Express.
The notebook has been featured in many media outlets including Australian national TV! (this was beyond uncomfortable for an introvert like me, even though I just sat there and smiled!)
Following the success of our Make Your Mark notebook, we have continued to evolve into a stationery brand with a mission to nurture, inspire and empower female leaders and entrepreneurs.
In 2020 unisex career and meeting tools were introduced as we strived to be more relevant, inclusive, and reach a wider range of future leaders. The Leaders in Heels dream of inspiring and empowering women hasn’t changed but times have, so a rebrand to LH Agenda was a perfect way to mark an exciting new chapter. The mission to empower women through female-focused stationery remains, alongside our expansion into new products.
I’d love to see more women in leadership positions, and doing what they love (and that’s why I can’t wait to welcome you to our community!). Leadership is not just about work. Being a leader means following your own trail and inspiring others, and therefore can mean anything from raising a child to running a business. As long as it means pursuing a passion.
Life is like a pen and you have the power to draw whatever you can imagine, but the ink is limited, so make sure you use it wisely and create the life you love. Start crafting your ‘brand new’ from today. Forget about the past.
Your future starts now.
Founder, LH Agenda