Naomi Simson founded RedBalloon from her home in 2001. Red Balloon is now considered one of Australia’s online retail success stories, having delivered nearly 4 million customers to its small business experience partners. More recently Naomi formed The Big Red Group which provides management and services to its subsidiaries; RedBalloon, Redii, Wrapped and The Huddle and Albert AI Marketics.
Naomi began her career in marketing and gained experience with IBM, KPMG, Apple, and Ansett Australia. Naomi is an investor on Channel Ten’s ‘Shark Tank’.
An author of two bestselling books, ‘Live What You Love’, a book she wrote for young people coming into the work force; and ‘Ready to Soar’, a guide to help would be entrepreneurs decide if this is the journey for them. Both books call on her experience as a leader, manager, business person, parent and contributor to the community.
Naomi is a director on the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Having been recognised by LinkedIn each year since 2012 as one of the World’s Most Influential Thought Leaders her writing and conversation has attracted more than 2.2 million followers on the professional network. She has also won several awards including a 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Silver Stevie Award and the 2008 Telstra Business Women’s Award for Innovation.
Passionate about creating great workplaces, she is proud of RedBalloon being voted five times as one of Australia’s Best Places to Work. Her philanthropic work includes joining the council of Voiceless, the animal protection group, and she is a governor for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
Naomi believes in balanced voice. She had strong professional female role models in her life such as her mother who worked in computing for more than 30 years and Lyndsey Cattermole AM. These were just two of the many women who showed her what was possible as an entrepreneur. Naomi believed that she could be that role model for other women.
Naomi has hosted mentor weekends for female founders, participated as an angel investor with Scale Investors – which invests in female lead start-ups, is an advisor to Heads Over Heels where she amplified the women in the program. She has spoken at more than 1000 events, seminars, conferences, schools, universities and meet ups in the last 15 years sharing what she has learned and encouraging people to invest in themselves.
Naomi’s personal motto is “if it is meant to be it is up to me” and she is always one to step up to the plate and do the work.