Sue Ismiel created the original Nads Hair Removal gel from natural ingredients she found in her own kitchen. Prior to launching Nads Hair Removal in Australia, Sue worked as a receptionist and then as a medical records clerk – not exactly the ideal training ground for a future entrepreneur, but Sue proved to be ‘a natural’ in business.
After appearing on daytime TV with the daughter who inspired her creation, Sue Ismiel and the Nads brand became household names in Australia. International success soon followed and by 2005 the family owned and operated business was thriving, but Sue was exhausted and so she decided to take a well deserved break.
Sue Ismiel could never have imagined that taking 12 months off would spell potential disaster for the business she and her family had built over fifteen years. But in 2006 Sue Ismiel returned to find Nads on the brink of disaster.
A new marketing strategy which involved ditching the ‘Sue Ismiel and her daughters’ story that had made the Nads brand a household name, and with rapid expansion plans, saw an equally rapid decline in company profits. Once back at the helm, Sue promptly fired those responsible and spent the next two years building on the company’s former success as a family business.
Sue Ismiel told Australian Women Online, “After building a company brick by brick from the ground up, and investing fifteen years of my life doing so, I believe I was due for a well deserved break and decided to take twelve months off. But those twelve months were a disaster for my business. I had to come back to a business that was badly managed and where every dollar was basically spent recklessly. So I’m not going anywhere at all for the moment.”
Of course, Sue will eventually have to hand over the reins of the company at some stage and she has groomed her eldest daughter, Nadine for the challenges she will face as her mother’s successor.
All three of Sue’s daughters were working in the family business in 2005 when the company began to unravel under the direction of a new chief executive officer. But Sue did hasten to add that all three of her daughters learned a lot during their mother’s absence.
Sue Ismiel’s three daughters, Nadine, Natalie and Naomi have been actively working in the family business for a number of years. Nadine is the head of Research and Development. Natalie is the head of Marketing and Naomi works as a graphic designer.
The company also employs Sue’s husband Sam who works in the logistics side of the business. “My husband has been involved with the business since day one. But he is waiting for the day when he can spend more time with me,” said Sue.
“But I can’t connect the word ‘retirement’ to a happy feeling and I’m not quite sure if I’ll ever retire. I’ll always be involved in the business on one level or another. My business is part of my life. I have developed it and watched it grow over the years in the same way that I have been able to nurture my three beautiful daughters and it’s a part of me and I’ll always have a strong connection to it.”
For more information about Nads Hair Removal products visit www.nads.com.au