June 05 2018
When deciding who to feature for our latest profile piece, I thought to myself, who better than the person who is not only my right-hand and the person responsible for running Sims Hilditch with me, but is also one of my dearest friends. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Joanna Binder – our managing director.
Tell us about your role at Sims Hilditch.
I never feel quite right when people say I ‘run’ Sims Hilditch. Emma is the person responsible for building our wonderful business whilst I essentially run all the non-creative elements - from people and processes to finance, marketing and operations providing the opportunity for her to focus on what she loves - delivering the creative magic for all our clients.
What was life like pre-Sims Hilditch?
My business background is steeped in all elements of fashion retail from design and production through to online and retail sales. Having worked for various luxury brands throughout massive growth from Armani, Jigsaw and Burberry to Marie Chantal I acquired an innate sense of business and always as a solid right hand to the founder or Chief Creative.
So how did you find making the jump from retail to interiors and the home?
Honestly, it has felt like a very natural stepping stone. My experience has been very hands-on within creative environments so I am very familiar with managing the complexities of an organisation that has both creative and analytical skill sets. It’s what we call the right brain left brain mix and requires a balanced approach to support and mentor all personalities and expectations.
What made you decide to jump?
I needed a better balance in my life and the opportunity to be in one place long enough to fully enjoy it – from both a personal and professional perspective. I had spent all my working life in Senior roles travelling and living in the fast lane, and it was time for a big change but I didn’t know what.
Why Sims Hilditch then?
As with most things in life timing is everything. Whilst we were skiing one weekend with our husbands and having a heartfelt discussion about our collective plans Emma seized the moment. She suddenly said, oh my god! Will you help me? I’m a creative, I need to do what I love and I need your help. And that was that.
You and Emma go a long way back. How did you come to meet?
23 years ago in a village in Wiltshire. John and Emma had their family home there, and my husband and I bought our country home in the very same (tiny) village. John and Emma were the first people we met, and the rest, as they say, is history.
How is it working with one of your best friends?
Nothing short of wonderful. We have enormous respect for one another and we never let the other down. It is a marriage of complimentary well honed skills.
What’s the biggest thing you think you bring to the team and to the brand?
I think, and hope, that I’m a big enabler of the culture at Sims Hilditch. We’re developing a team of people who are young, energetic, talented, kind, empathetic and just plain lovely. That’s Emma through and through. That’s the brand. That’s the culture. That’s the people. That’s us.