It was during a holiday to Austria when Barb de Corti noticed a significant improvement in her son's asthma symptoms, and made the connection between her son's asthma and chemical cleaning products. This connection would soon ignite ENJO's conception in Australia, launching an eco-friendly alternative to a saturated chemical cleaning market. ENJO and, the newly founded, Santé by ENJO, shine a light on sustainable living and this has positioned Barb as one of the most successful female business owners in Australia. We sat down with ENJO Australia's savvy and stylish Founder & CEO to see what makes her tick.
You’re the CEO and Founder of ENJO Australia, as well as a mother and a grandmother - What does a regular day look like for you?
I wake up at 4am for an early morning run and brainstorming session. Exercise clears my mind as running is meditation! I love exercising as heathy living is a part of my everyday lifestyle. It’s important for me to feel strong, fit and powerful when running a large company!
I arrive into ENJO HQ at 8am, but before I begin my day I make sure I have a coffee! My day consists of department meetings, PR activities, and working together with my Sales and Marketing Teams on day-to-day tasks. I am a very hands-on CEO with an open door policy and I love to be involved in everyday facets of my business.
I end my day with a cuddle from my gorgeous twin grandchildren, (they call me Granny B!), indulging in a healthy dinner and I love to read and relax my mind before bed.
Tell us a little about your journey to bringing ENJO to Australia. What initially drew you to ENJO and what inspired you?
My journey with ENJO started with a chance encounter in Austria 24 years ago. I was on a family holiday with my son, Mark, who suffered from severe asthma. In Austria I noticed his asthma improved dramatically. After a few days in Austria, I identified the link, it was due to the accommodation being cleaned without a single chemical.
Back in Australia, whilst I was working as an aerobics instructor, I decided to bring ENJO to Australia as a side hustle. Within 6 months I started selling ENJO’s chemical-free cleaning products as a one-woman business around Western Australia. At the time, my office was my garage, and door knocking was my selling technique.
We understand you are passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle, how do you achieve a work-life balance?
It’s important to me as a business owner to practice what I preach. Here at ENJO, one of our main values is to lead a healthy lifestyle and so I always make sure I exercise in the early mornings so that I have my afternoons and evenings to do as I please. However, I don’t believe there is such thing as a work-life balance, it’s just life! And you just have to love everything that you do.
What is the best piece of professional advice you have ever received and why?
The best professional advice I have received is that I always need to hustle! You’ve got to hustle to get the job done, and when you hustle you are working hard towards a common goal of creating a healthy income. If my staff see me hustling, it sets the momentum for the day.
What would be the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn as a business owner?
Being patient. As most mothers and business owners would know, patience is very important. In order to build a successful business, you have to hustle and impatience is a common by-product of the entrepreneurial mindset. Patience truly is a virtue.
Sometimes on your business journey you don’t always move forward in an upwards direction. You have to accept that sometimes stepping back is a step forward and that is something I have learnt in my 25 years of ENJO.
How would you describe your personal style and how do you apply this to your work?
Authentic and unconventional! Science tells us that our clothes we wear affects our behaviours. So I wake up every day and dress the way I feel. I love fashion, and I love investing in my wardrobe.
What do you love most about fashion?
I love that even though fashion evolves, and trends come and go, at the end of the day it’s not only about being fashionable, it’s about loving the skin that you’re in! I am also passionate about being creative, and I love wearing clothes which have been designed with passion.
What excites you about the future of ENJO?
Finally the world is starting to realise that being sustainable is stylish! And that is super exciting for ENJO as we are approaching our 25 years in business, and we are more relevant now than ever.
Luxury Labels are finally putting green ideas at the heart of their design process, and I love that ENJO brought green into a green clean 25 years ago! ENJO is kinder to the environment without compromising on quality and feel. We put sustainability and style into cleaning.
I can’t wait for what the future holds for ENJO, watch this space...
Women such as yourself are leading the change in attitudes as more succeed in business and entrepreneurship, what is your advice to women looking to follow in your footsteps?
I have 3 words which I live by each day. That is Passion – Purpose and Participation. My advice to women looking to follow in my footsteps is to work out what your passion is. Is it your family? And then what’s your purpose, would it be to make an extra income for your family? And finally, my last advice would be about participation. The more hours you put into your passion or purpose, the more money you can make or better yet, the more difference you can make to your career.