Joon Haque has spent 20 years building iconic global brands, having had the opportunity to work with some incredible minds from award-winning creative agencies across luxury, lifestyle, fashion, automotive and hospitality. Additionally, working client-side has meant she could deepen her experience in business development for global matrixed organizations and high growth startups, as well as consulting for investors.
“ It is not easy to innovate if you’re constantly worried about just keeping things afloat, it stifles and sours creativity over time”
This led her to launch her own conscious style, slow fashion brand Mignonnette London, and Beautiful World Collective - the luxury brand and business consultancy-academy-network for creative entrepreneurs.
The Collective allows her to channel all her varied experiences through consulting and coaching leaders who want to build a successful brand and business, I talked to her about creative leadership and the challenges to be an entrepreneur in the fashion industry.
What is creative leadership?
Creative leadership is a style of leading that focuses on setting a clear vision for a team, while introducing creative approaches to solving challenges, and nurturing a true innovative environment. It focuses on developing an inspirational culture and accepts that the leader does not and cannot have all the answers - the exact path towards an end-goal will be discovered by the team.
The leader’s role is to keep that end-goal in sight, while fostering the right conditions so that teams feel supported and trusted enough to experiment, learn, and grow to achieve the best possible outcomes. The iteration approach to development used by many startups is a perfect example where effective creative leadership is crucial. The challenge can often be ensuring teams feel empowered enough to allow the process to work properly, as it demands leaders leave overly controlling, perfectionist tendencies at the door. Nothing great is ever perfect first time round, and that is ok - accepting that is part of the creative process.
In these challenging/disruptive times, there is a raising need for creative leadership, why?
Disruptive times call for disruptive thinking - old ways of doing things will get old results. That’s not what we need right now. We need people brave enough to try different ideas, methods, ways forward for this new world we’re living in, and we need leaders to trust and cultivate this growth. The world is changing at such a rapid pace, and the way the world adjusted to the pandemic has accelerated that. Now we know that consumer habits can change overnight, and how quickly we can pivot our businesses in response to that. Also, now we can see how much time, money and resource we wasted doing certain things before. We’ve found better solutions, it’s unlikely we will regress back to how things were before.
Throughout history, the companies that embraced change fast enough have always been the ones to survive. But this calls for people who have the courage to break convention: innovators, mavericks, visionaries. We need to uphold these people now more than ever. They are the ones shaping the future we will all be living in.
You are the founder of Beautiful World Collective to help creative entrepreneurs to build a brand and business that allows them to thrive, how do you do that?
Beautiful World Collective is a melting pot of my life’s work and deepest passions. I feel honored to have worked with some brilliant people in large or high investment
businesses, and I realized most creative entrepreneurs do not have direct access to that kind of knowledge until much later in the game if they make it that far.
Through the Collective we help creative entrepreneurs build an aspirational brand using market-leading thinking, while ensuring it is built on a solid business framework specially designed for small and medium size brands.
I’ve known many creatives who are exceptional artists - but they can’t also be expec ted to have solid business skills or to think commercially unless they’ve been shown how - so they never quite reach their full potential. It is not easy to innovate if you’re constantly worried about just keeping things afloat, it stifles and sours creativity over time. Many people eventually give up or just accept they’ll never live the life they dream of. It’s my life’s mission to change that. I want these creatives to not just survive, but really, truly thrive doing what they love.
What does Beautiful World Collective make unique compared to others on the market?
We are revolutionizing the creative industry. We are the only consultancy that look s at the full picture holistically - the brand, the business and the creative themselves. What does that creative really want, how do they want to live, what do they excel at, what do they currently offer, how can that be optimized and how can their business model allow them to live life on their own terms. Alongside that, there is the building of the brand. We focus on developing luxury and high-end brands as that is a world we know inside out and it is the natural fit for the standard of creatives we work with.
I have not found any other expert, consultant or advisor that does what we do all in one. There are certainly life and business coaches, or luxury brand strategists and consultants - but no one else works with all the puzzle parts and tailors it for each individual creative. Also, there are traditional ways of securing funding for a business, but they can be short-sighted, come with high-pressure conditions or simply make the creative lose focus on their actual talents.
“ If you can’t see something you want in the world, just create it yourself - which is what I did. I want to empower every leader; we work with to live their highest potential by mastering how to flourish from their craft”
It depressed and enraged me that there are so few satisfactory options for creatives who are phenomenal at what they do. In true entrepreneurial spirit - if you can’t see something you want in the world, just create it yourself - which is what I did. I want to empower every leader, we work with to live their highest potential by mastering how to flourish from their craft. For all time, creativity and commerce have been at odds, with stereotypes of the lone artist pitched against the soulless sell out. Doing well can be viewed as something to be slightly ashamed of, or a closely guarded secret available to only a few. I defy this notion. I believe success - however you define it - is everyone’s right if they
choose it. It is time for change. It is time for a creative revolution.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you build a luxury brand and business that thrives, please visit: