Spotlight On: WatchBox President + Chief Operating Officer Amanda Ellison

For International Women’s Day, being celebrated around the world on March 8th, we’d like to introduce you to WatchBox Global President + Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Ellison. She is responsible for day-to-day company operations and expansion initiatives across all of WatchBox’s operating units worldwide. She also brings over 25 years of experience in business and law, including 8+ years in the luxury pre-owned watch space.

Business Acumen + Advice

What advice can you offer on the global business development?

A common refrain across WatchBox is ‘global is local; and local is global.’  In the context of building a global company, what this means is that you can’t take what works in America and expect it to work everywhere else. You have to understand other cultures and the nuances that come with them. Take the time to understand the nuances.

What are your thoughts on working in a male-driven industry with dynamic men?

I am truly gender blind. If you are good; you are good. If you are smart; you are smart. If someone doesn’t recognize my value because I am a woman, then that is their loss, not mine! I have lived my entire life in a ‘boys club;’ from growing up in South Africa to all phases of my career – in law, in business, and in the watch industry. But being a woman has never stopped me from achieving what I want to achieve. My opinion may not be more important simply because I am a woman, but it is, for sure, not less! Your attitude counts for a lot.

What motivated you to introduce the WatchBox Women’s Leadership Initiative

The foundation for this program was always with me. I grew up within the patriarchal culture of South Africa where women had a predestined path which involved very little emphasis on a career. Yet I couldn’t imagine being anything but career-driven.

I often see women in business struggling with the qualities of confidence and resilience. If I can guide the women in our company – in any small way – to find their inner voice, to believe their opinion actually matters, and to figure out how to stand up when they are knocked down, then I will truly be thrilled. This is what motivated me to formalize our Women’s Leadership Initiative – to provide mentorship as well as a network, resource, and learning and development program. I want to find our hidden pearls and help them grow!

Do you have personal goals for 2019?

Learning to take care of myself better; establishing some form of a work-life balance and getting my health in order. And on that note, while I preach the work-life balance, I am afraid I am not very good at it.

Recommended Reading:

  • BUSINESS BOOK: Traction
  • NOVELS: I love stories woven around history and something interesting to learn. Two books that stand out to me are Barbara Taylor Bradford’s A Woman of Substance and A Farewell to France by Noel Barber.
  • PODCAST: The Tim Ferriss Show
  • WATCH MEDIA: I get my daily news and updates on industry happenings from WatchPro.
  • NETFLIX QUEUE: I just finished watching Mad Men…which made me so grateful that I was not a working woman in the 60s. They would have put me in an insane institution for refusing to conform!

The Watches:

  • First Watch: I don’t remember what brand it was, but I was 9 years old, and the watch stolen off my wrist in a London subway.
  • First Watch I really Wanted: A two-tone Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a champagne dial….
  • Daily Wear: Rolex Daytona. Daytona. Daytona. Daytona.
  • Wish List Watches: FP Journe Élégante and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak