Vanessa Garrard founded her consumer products group of companies in 2006, with the key focus on developing unique design-led products in consumer electronics and stationery segments.
Currently, 1 in 2 Australians own a product that Vanessa’s company has produced, a group which has grown it’s global footprint with offices in Brisbane, China, and the US.
Walmart, Best Buy, Argos, Kmart, Aldi, and Target are just some of the retail giants stocking products developed by Vanessa’s group of companies.
Amassing a slew of achievements, Vanessa has been ranked in Australia’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneur list every year since 2010 and was recognized for her entrepreneurial achievements in 2011 taking out the Telstra Young Business Women’s Award.
She has also topped the BRW Fast Starters and Fast 100 lists and was named the Australian EY Entrepreneur
of the Year for Industry in 2013.
More recently, Vanessa was recognised with an
Australian Financial Review / Westpac 100 Women of Influence award and was one of 4 Australian women
to be recognised in the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program for Asia-Pac region in 2015.
Passionate about entrepreneurship and having been involved in business since 12 years old she also volunteers her time as a judge and mentor in many community entrepreneur programs including the likes
of Google Kids Start-Up Challenges, UQ Lean Start Up Programs, Rare Birds.
" 1 in 2 Australians own
a product that Vanessa's
company has produced "
Australian Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs List
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
Young Business Woman of the Year
Owner Manager of the Year
AIM Management Excellence Awards
Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
2011, 2012, 2013
Top 20 under 40
5 Star Entrepreneurs
Asia Pac Class of 2015
EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women
Women of Influence Winner
The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence 2014
Entrepreneur of the Year -
EY Entrepreneur of the Year
National Winner - Industry Category
Ernst & Young
BRW GE Best Mid Market
Lord Mayors Innovation Award
awards and recognition
EY - Entrepreneur National Awards
Extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and supporting the Australian Start Up Community, Vanessa volunteers her time to mentor and judge several entrepreneur programmes throughout Australia including:
• Judge for EY Entrepreneur of the
Year Awards 2016 & 2017
• Judge in Google Kids Start Up
Challenges 2015, 2016 & 2017
• Mentor for Rare Birds 2016 & 2017
• Mentor for UQ Lean Start Up
• Ambassador LMBDW Entrepreneur
Community 2016 & 2017
• Ambassador of Start Up Australia
• QUT Women on the Move Forum 2016
• Impact Academy
GOOGLE - Sunshine Coast Youth Start Up Weekend
Join us on our next walk,
monthly events run in Brisbane by Vanessa
Mentor Walks is a monthly series that connects emerging female leaders with a range of senior women
from a diverse professional community. As mentors and mentees walk and talk, they discuss their
challenges, successes, aspirations, and lessons learned. Bringing mentorship into the fresh air,
each walk is a one-hour window for mentors and mentees to connect.
Regularly sharing her industry and entrepreneurial experience, Vanessa can be found speaking at numerous events including:
• EY Strategic Growth Forum – Shanghai
• EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women 2016
• EY Accelerating Growth Forum
• Real World Futures/
ACER Entrepreneurs Breakfast
QUT - The Age of Entrepreneurship, November 2015
Women in Business
I’ve managed to grow our businesses, expand globally, lead teams across 4 continents whilst being a mum to 4 children (6, 7, 8, 12 years), when I launched into the US market I had the 4 of them under 6 years old!
Not a natural speaker I realised in 2013 that I had to learn to be - I really needed to speak about my journey to try and inspire other women in business to scale up, build confidence and think bigger.
When journalists kept reporting that I was the only female business founder to be in the Smart 50 list or that I was named as the top female founder on the BRW Fast Starters Lists – I knew I needed to get out there and talk about my entrepreneurial and leadership experience.
For me reading this was flattering for a moment and then
I realised – I have to help change this so there are more women on these lists, I was just happy that our company was listed on the list, didn’t realise there was another story within the story about my gender.
“Twenty-one of the founders of the Smart50
companies are under 35. The Smart50 is list of
the fastest-growing small and medium companies compiled by SmartCompany. Just one CEO of this subgroup is a woman: Vanessa Garrard of E3 Style”
- Kath Walters SmartCompany
" to try to inspire other women in business "
Taking Business Global -
From a small business owners perspective
Vanessa shares her learnings of launching an Australian business into the US, UK, Europe and China.
The journey so far, from a second hand desk in my garage to now having product ranges in retail giants around the globe, including Walmart - the largest retailer in the world!
My learnings leading teams and managing supplier relationships across 4 continents - culture, communication and managing the BS factor!
Lean Start Up -
Think big on a small budget
Starting from my garage with $10,000, I managed to
get our products ranged in every major retailer within
Now with offices in Australia, China, the US we still work on a lean cost structure to stay fit and agile to expand
the business globally.
Innovate, Create, Inspire -
How we have Innovation and Creativity in our DNA as
a business and I will explain the ways in which we have harnessed this as a business from entry level positions through to C level in our business. How we collaborate with our suppliers and customers to think outside the
box to improve products, packaging and even sales
and business processes.
" from my garage to Walmart, the largest retailer in the world "
Shanghai - EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, May 2016
Product Development -
Design led & customer collaboration
A novel approach for product development for many companies in 2016, but this is something that we have delivered on for over 10 years. It has been at the core of our product development process. We develop products based on design and functionality – this results in the fashionable, on-trend, products that we have created that are owned by 1 in 2 Australians and consumers in the UK, US and Europe.
Shanghai - EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, May 2016
BRW Fast 100
BRW Fast 100
BRW Fast Starters Lists
BRW Fast Starter
Featuring as the Top Female Entrepreneur in listings
EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Telstra Innovation Category Finalist
Telstra Women's Business Awards
Telstra - Australian Business Awards
• St John’s Anglican College
• Harvard Business Women
• Women’s Leadership Summit
• League of Extraordinary Women
• Lord Mayor’s Innovation Panel
• AFR Retail Summit
• The Plunge Hub
Follow Vanessa Garrard on linkedin here
Since 2006, Vanessa has founded the following consumer product companies that source and develop consumer products for major retailers globally.