Creative Business Leader, strategist, Entrepreneur and Consultant
Alexandra Smart is a highly respected and creative business leader, strategist, entrepreneur, and consultant with over 30 years’ experience in hyper competitive industries.
Her ability to combine creative thinking and commercial imperatives, has cemented her reputation for business acumen, leadership, strategy, and high performance. Alexandra is an expert at applying creative entrepreneurial vision to business ventures and driving for scale and profitability while operating with integrity and at the highest ethical standards.
Alexandra has held executive leadership management roles in the media and digital sectors, as well as, for the last 20 years, founding and scaling her own fashion luxury design enterprise, GINGER & SMART. She executed the sale of the business to private equity investors in 2019 and now divides her time between board directorships, public speaking, advisory work, and executive coaching and mentoring with eci Partners.
Notably, as Founder and Managing Director of GINGER & SMART, she led the growth and international expansion of the brand across 5 channels (national and international, digital, wholesale, and corporate). With a strong sense of changing consumer and client demands, Alexandra has successfully navigated highly complex environments across cultures in areas such as strategy, people leadership, digital and e-commerce, design, manufacturing, supply chain management, regulatory and environment regulation and logistics. The brand is now highly recognised as a leading sustainable and ethical label focusing on social responsibility, and at the forefront of design.
With a keen focus on the arts and social responsibility, Alexandra is a spokesperson for the fashion industry and a seasoned public speaker. She was recently voted in the Power 30 List of Influential Retailers.
Alexandra is a Director of the Melbourne Fashion Festival, a member of the Contemporary Collectors Benefactors Committee (CCB) at the Art Gallery of NSW, a mentor with the AGSM/UNSW Alumni Leader Mentor program and has also been a member of the TCF Innovation Committee advising the Australian government on innovation and local manufacturing for the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Sector. She has also been a committee member of SunSCHine, tasked with raising funds for the Sydney Childrens Hospital Network.
Alexandra holds a Masters Business Administration (MBA) from the AGSM and a Bachelor of Communications (BA Journalism).
About Ginger & Smart
GINGER & SMART designs for spirited women whose distinctive style is an expression of their individuality. A sense of cool confidence and discovery underpins the luxury contemporary design aesthetic of the brand, which seeks to combine the polished and the playful aspects of a woman.
Founded in 2002 by Sydney based sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart, the inspiration to establish the business came from the desire to combine family talent to build a strong fashion lifestyle brand. With Alexandra’s creative business background as an editor and publisher for high quality lifestyle magazines, combined with Genevieve’s years spent at the design helm of some of Australia’s most successful fashion businesses, their united industry knowledge covers every possibility for a successful and exciting fashion venture.
GINGER & SMART combines captivating design with the finest quality materials and first rate manufacturers. The brand product mix includes ready to wear fashion, an accessories line, swim, and a sister collection called AKIN by GINGER & SMART.
GINGER & SMART has 9 dynamic stores that showcase the essence of the brand to their discerning customers. The label is placed with carefully selected stores throughout the world and is available in over 40 boutiques in Australia.
Alexandra talks about
Building a Brand/Business in the Creative and Retail Industries
- Germinating an entrepreneurial idea that sets you apart from others: what can you bring to the table that makes your offering special, relevant, and sustainable
- Finding the right business structure and suppliers and buyers to sustain a business over the long term
- Team, team, team focus
- Navigating the necessary walk of creativity and commerciality
Entrepreneurialism and Creativity
- What makes a creative idea stick
- How can the seemingly opposing concepts of entrepreneurial speed and creative nurturing marry and work for the long term
- The key attributes required every day to make this marriage work
Women in Business
- Youth and Expertise
- The reality of the work/life balance: debunking the myths…
- The importance to women of planning a career path that encompasses kids and family
Keeping going without losing health and wellbeing
Social responsibility as a business practice
- Sustainability How to embed sustainability into your business
- Ethical trading
- The importance of being transparent and authentic
- Importance to culture and the bottom line
The GINGER & SMART Journey
- The start up story
- How we have built a business, brand, team
- The ups and downs and lessons learnt
We recently asked Alexandra to be one of our star guests as part of our “In Conversation With” series of networking cocktail events with our key clients and some associated partners in our Mosman store Having worked with Alexandra years ago in publishing, I knew she would be great and was not disappointed Some people just have the ability to capture and inspire a crowd simply by being their intelligent, natural and honest selves It’s about sharing their business and life experiences in a way that, no matter what the demographic mix is in the crowd, they will all relate to the stories being told by the speaker and their words will resonate and touch them This is exactly what Alexandra did with our 70 guests and I would love to get her back again for a future event
-Debbie Coffey, Manyara Home
As one of Australian fashion’s most prominent sibling duos, The Office Space was thrilled to feature Alexandra and Genevieve Smart on our June Insight talk series “Design Duos” This was an intimate and revealing discussion on the nuances of the professional and personal partnership behind one of Australia’s most loved lifestyle brands Through question and answer format we unpacked the dynamic of the Ginger Smart duo, and how duality in design and strategy creates the “math and the magic” that has seen Ginger Smart celebrate over 16 years in an industry not know for longevity Both Alexandra and Genevieve spoke with confidence and candour and had our audience of Sydney creatives and entrepreneurs engaged from the outset Theirs is a story and a perspective on business and creativity that is worth hearing,
-Naomi Tosic, The Office Space
We invited Alexandra to speak at the Online Retail Supply Chain Summit 2017 due to her experience and expertise in the industry. She delivered a very compelling and interesting presentation which received great feedback from the audience and other speakers at the Summit I have seen a large number of C Level presentations across various industries The content and insight in Alexandra’s presentation lived up to this high calibre, while being entertaining and thought provoking I highly recommend her for any future speaking engagements.