Today we’re excited to do our first dual Fairygodboss of the week! Lisa Williams has been an incredible mentor, partner and friend to Romy Newman (co-founder of Fairygodboss), including about 400 miles walked in heels through malls in Southern California. Lisa is thoughtful and devoted to fostering talent in other women. Now, she has joined up with Lesli, an insightful and motivated partner to build a dream team. Check out their awesome Margaret Dabbs London products here, and treat your hands and feet to a little luxury.
Fairygodbosses of the Week: Lisa Williams & Lesli Thies
Principals, intelliGroup Distribution -- Margaret Dabbs London
Orange County, CA
FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
LW: I’ve gained more than 25 years experience within the retail sales, spa, manufacturing and customer service businesses. I had the privilege to work at The Estee Lauder Companies for more than 20 years, and since then I spent 7 years learning about distributing goods in the luxury spa market. Based on my experience, I saw a strong market opportunity to launch a new business venture selling a luxury spa product not currently available in the U.S.
LT: As a California native, I graduated from Pepperdine University and soon found myself working within the TV, movie and music industries in Los Angeles. After managing many roles within the family business, I was thrilled about the opportunity to join up with Lisa to introduce Margaret Dabbs London to the US market.
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
LW/LT: We are both most proud of being mothers and watching our children grow up to be healthy, talented and successful adults.
We are excited to be launching our distribution company in the US. We are hiring talented people with flexible work schedules
and giving our team the freedom to determine their own income! We believe in the family dynamic and that women can have it all! And, we enjoy developing other women so they can move into key leadership rolesFGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
LW: While we all face many challenges I believe each one comes to you as a way to learn. My biggest challenge has been working for someone who does not appreciate your talents or see value in those traits that have been effective tools in the past. I experienced this after working for an organization for almost 19 years. In the end I was forced to leave a company that I cherished as my new boss was very upfront with her intentions for replacement.
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
LW/LT: We both enjoy traveling, tennis, family and great dinner conversation.
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
LW: While I have had dinner with Estee Lauder, that was early in my career. I’d love a chance to do it again -- and sit with an icon who created a beauty empire. Estee Lauder was a woman with an amazing vision to make all women look and feel beautiful.
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
LW/LT: Sweet Home Alabama
FGB: What is your favorite movie?
LT: I have several movies I can put into this category, but if I can only choose just one, I would have to choose "Back to the Future" I love the innocence, and the intelligence of this movie. It has something for everyone.
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
LT: I loved the "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" series. The writing was impeccable, and all three books kept my mind working.
LW: I would take the bible as it seems like I can read it over and over and get something new each time.
FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
LT: I love shoe shopping. I think a great pair of shoes can make an outfit. If I won the lottery, I would buy a huge property and house homeless dogs. I have such a love for animals. Leftover money would go into my home, my happy place.
FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?
LW: I have had the luxury of having many mentors in my career. Some of them have been my boss and others have been great role models. Nancy Feetham who was my boss in 3 different roles is an knowledgeable and inspirational leader. Tom Malloy has been a mentor since 2000. His ability to trust your judgement and allow you to make decisions and mistakes takes a strong leader.