2021 Honorees

Kat Hanzalek

eCommerce Manager

“I'm a creative data geek, enamored with the eCommerce world.”

Tell us about where you work and what you do there.

I am the eCommerce Manager of Patagonia and founder of a women’s sexual health community called Get Down.

At Patagonia, I create and execute our eCommerce strategy across Australia and New Zealand. I manage an incredible team of developers, digital marketers, and product managers to stoke our customers, and find new initiatives to reach our growth plans. At Get Down we are aiming to change the sexual health landscape to be ethical, sustainable and women & womxn friendly. If only people knew where their rubber came from.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a storyteller who is passionate about technology, the outdoors, our planet, and supporting women in business. I’m a creative data geek, enamored with the eCommerce world. When life isn’t run by Shopify’s “Ka-Ching” noise, Slack, or my iPhone Calendar, I spend my time outdoors (love the snow), doing a salami masterclass, and reading to my baby girl Sierra. I used to work for a Trans-Siberian tour company so I have a pretty excellent collection of working remotely experiences.

What is your leadership style?

I like to give people direction to be fulfilled, in and out of the workplace. I avoid micromanaging and instead invite my team to use their own talent to work it out. Constant education in tech is so important, so I encourage my team to block out calendar time to self-learn the latest in their areas of expertise.

What do you think has been your biggest professional success so far?

“The innovator makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old order.” — Niccolò Machiavelli. Implementing change in any workplace is always really difficult, especially when change involves uprooting the technology stack or way people work.

In all workplaces, I feel like my biggest wins have been learning the needs of each business and trying to implement change that benefits efficiency and customer experience. It sounds boring, but it feels good when you get positive changes across the line. Especially when it brings happiness to your colleagues’ day-to-day jobs.

Other huge wins for me include completing a front-end web development while on maternity leave, when my baby was just three months old. It was exhausting, but made me feel like I could stay technically relevant when I wasn’t working.

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What goals do you have for 2021?

Launch my new side hustle Get Down so that I can learn new skills in holistically running a business. Continue to study front-end web development and give a new language (German) a go! Wunderbar!

What do you think is the next big trend in eCommerce?

Sustainability and brand accountability will become the norm instead of a unique selling proposition. Customers will continue to demand ethical products, fair trade products, environmentally-friendly packaging, and more visible supply chains on your website.

Name an eCommerce brand you admire and why.

Fluff Beauty, started by my high school pal Erika Geraerts. She was one of the founders of Frank Body and now has created a sustainable, mobile-first beauty brand. Fluff has some incredible collection pages which go against the grain.

For down below, Daye has an incredible mix of illustration and storytelling with great functionality. I admire those who go against the templates and get creative with web design and new functionality.

What do you geek out over?

I’m a sucker for business audiobooks. At the moment I’m in complete adoration of Basecamp’s work philosophy after listening to “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy to Work” by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried.