Cloud Hangouts With: Phoebe Simmonds

Cloud Hangouts With: Phoebe Simmonds

 Introducing: Cloud Hangouts With_ 

Self-isolation has stripped us all of so much. Our routines, our social gatherings, and more than anything, normality. Cloud Hangouts With_ aims to connect you with new, inspiring and talented friends of Etoile. Hear what they’re getting up to, how they’re introducing normal into a very un-normal situation.

A new Hangout will be featured on our Instagram stories (@etoilecollective) every Tuesday. Set your alarms in advance. We’ve got an amazing lineup.

Let’s kick things off with our first Cloud Hangout!

EP#1 | Meet: Phoebe Simmonds  

Phoebe really needs no introduction, but we’ll provide you one anyways if you haven’t had the pleasure of speaking or stalking her or her beautiful salon, The Blow Australia. Phoebe’s career in marketing has taken her to the US, London, Singapore and was the Marketing Director for Benefit Australia before founding The Blow in September 2018.

Last month on March 18, Phoebe made the incredibly tough decision to temporarily close her salon before it was government-mandated to protect her community, guests and team.

We had the pleasure of chatting to Phoebe, hearing more about her career and what she’s getting up to lately! We hope you enjoy the read :) 


{WHO} Phoebe Simmonds

{WHAT} Founder, The Blow Australia

{WHERE} @phoebeactually @theblowaustralia


What are you currently listening to/ reading / watching at the moment?

I’ve been listening to a lot more music at the moment, it really helps me focus and stay positive and motivated. I’m a big podcast nut and am really enjoying Brene Brown’s new series Unlocking Us, she talked to Glennon Doyle on women unlocking our wild, untamed bravery and it shook me to my core. I’ve also loved being transported with Desert Island Discs and have gone way back into the archives for some excellent storytelling. Reading: the First Stone by Helen Garner, Beauty by Bri Lee and The Most Of Nora Ephron. Watching: everything. Very happy to have Homeland back. Unorthodox is great, as is Mindhunters, then the usual binge of The Office, Parks and Rec, Seinfeld etc to keep me company.

 Is there an amazing destination that your career in marketing has taken you?

I have been very fortunate to travel all around the world when I was with LVMH based in London first and then Singapore. I spent a lot of time in Paris, New York and San Francisco and when I was based in Asia I got to open markets for Benefit Cosmetics in Indonesia, Thailand and India. All very challenging and brilliant in their own ways.

Has there been a pivotal moment in your career? What was it, how did you navigate through it and what did you learn from it?

When I was working for Nude Skincare in London, we were acquired by LVMH, under the tutelage of Parfums Christian Dior. This was exciting because it really elevated the brand and there was so much learning, experience and resources at our disposal, but it also came with the expectation that we would level up. I was young so all I could do was take the opportunity with all the grit and gusto that I could: I kept my eyes and ears open, learnt to be strategic and that the DNA and storytelling is key to bringing meaning and purpose to a brand.

Of the seven different blow-dry options offered at The Blow, which is your favourite and why?

That’s like choosing a child! My ride or die is The Mane Event because it adds polish to any occasion, has a lot of body and movement and immediately makes me feel like I can conquer my day with confidence. The Glitterati is my party go to, it’s effortless and fun.

Name some women who have inspired you throughout your life and the lessons they taught you?

I’ve been lucky to work for a lot of powerful women who have championed me and taught me valuable lessons, most particularly in communicating effectively and leading decisively. I’ve always been drawn to strong women and learnt a lot from the stories of Anita Roddick who founded The Body Shop and Jean and Jane Ford who founded Benefit, all striking iconoclasts who shook up the beauty industry and forged their own path.

When you’re not working, what are your favourite things to do?

Drinking with friends. Hitting the coast for a big refreshing ocean swim. Going to the movies by myself. Doing yoga. Long runs. Reading.

If you could describe yourself with three words, what would they be?

Confident. Positive. Direct.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

Your twenties are about figuring stuff out, nothing is going to feel exactly right yet so just relax into it and start loving who you are. And don’t waste time or energy wanting to be skinny. Be comfortable with your mind and heart and the rest will follow.

We upload CHW: episodes to our Instagram stories (@etoilecollective) every Tuesday! Missed out? Rewatch Phoebe's takeover below: