The CEO of Antipodes, Elizabeth Barbalich, Shares The ‘Mistake’ She Learnt The Most From

Each issue we speak to four inspiring, hard-working women and find out their thoughts on success, gender stereotypes and inspiration.  Elizabeth Barbalich, CEO of Antipodes, shared with us what makes her tick and most importantly, advice that will help us succeed in both business and life.

I’d name my autobiography: Elizabeth Barbalich, Antipodes Beauty Brand, from Wellington to the World.

To me success means: Knowing Antipodes is making a difference on a global scale.

My most treasured possessions: My three adorable children – Isabella, 19, Luciano, 18 and Florence, 16.


In business you need to surround yourself with A-grade people who can do things that you can’t.


The gender stereotype I can’t stand: That women need to be looked after (have everything paid for).

Best advice I’ve been given was: Treat every day as it were your last.

My definition of a feminist is: Strong , independent, fashion-forward, culturally aware, but also realistic.

Biggest ‘pinch me’ moment: When Antipodes was listed in Selfridges in London, and when we had the Air New Zealand contract confirmed, AND when Sam Smith instagramed Antipodes as his next new favourite thing!

I made my first dollar: On a paper run.

Biggest frustration for women in the business world: None really – I think the only frustration is trying to live up to the perception of a mum, and undertake business at the same time.

The ‘mistake’ I learnt the most from: Trying to do everything. In business you need to surround yourself with A-grade people who can do things that you can’t.

My secret to achieving a work/life balance: Lots of sleep, no alcohol during the week, exercise every day and taking a mid-year Bali holiday.

In five years’ time I see myself: Still in the business! But less operational. Antipodes will be in our incredible heritage-listed building in Wellington, which is currently undergoing earthquake strengthening, and this will be followed by the coolest ‘office’ fit out in the capital.

Best memory with my Mum: Saturday afternoons; my mum would get out her sewing machine and make mini skirts for me – what a cool mum! She would also let me be very creative in the kitchen on a Saturday, especially using expensive ingredients to try out new cakes and biscuits, which often failed!

Dream winter getaway: Bali – Zoran and I love this destination for a blend of relaxation, restaurants and surfing. No matter how many times we go, its still a dream holiday.
Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird.

Signature scent: Penhaligon’s latest scent – Halfeti – an incredible oriental fragrance of black rose, patchouli and jasmine. I also love any thing by Dolce and Gabbana.

Movie with the best ending: Schindlers List – the German business man’s heroic save of hundreds of Jewish lives, claiming he needed them to work in his weapons parts factory (to save them from the concentration camps) – even though none of the parts were sold to the German army. He sacrificed his wealth to save many lives.

Life motto: Live life now.