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new business contributor: ANGELA BRIGGS, CEO of UMENCO

Nikki Yazxhi

CEO & Director of UMENCO, Angela Briggs

She has over 11 years experience recruiting for leading fashion and lifestyle brands globally, and is going to be sharing her expertise with us, right here…

Angela’s story: Angela has been responsible for pinnacle appointments within the Australian industry, including alice McCALL, CAMILLA AND MARC, sass & bide, Scanlan & Theodore, LIFEwithBIRD, Assembly Label, Virgin Australia and Shoes of Prey to name a few. Her vision is unprecedented and the networks and personal relationships she shares is the key to the business. Such a culture generates a ‘like-minded’, loyal client base with unprompted recommendations that makes her the authority figure in the market place.

A post shared by UMENCO (@umencotalent) on She has steered UMENCO – specialists in human resources, organisational and leadership development, recruitment, executive search and career coaching – on a path to openhearted, sustainable success. As a single parent to a son with special needs and CEO of one of Australia’s leading fashion advisories, Angela was aware early on that her nurturing home life and demanding work role would collide. Therefore, she has ensured they do so in a blaze of inspiration, purpose and prosperity that benefits her team, clients and her son. At its core, UMENCO nurtures holistic fashion industry partnerships where internal culture and personal satisfaction are entwined, applauded and celebrated. It is Thomas – Angela’s son and muse – who has proven a pivotal motivator towards grounding each UMENCO relationship in kindness.

“Thomas is a reflection of the UMENCO values in his brave and beautiful approach to life,” explains Angela. “He continually inspires me to hold UMENCO up to the light to see what we can achieve with more love. In turn, our clients reap the rewards of that kind, nurturing approach in an otherwise competitive industry.” Clients then experience a happy and productive workplace and culture, proven to deliver high levels of performance, innovation and commercial success. “When we work together to build success that is sustainable, meaningful and contributes positively back to our community, we all achieve greatness,” Angela says. UMENCO’s commitment to supporting children with autism is an integral thread the business.

In 2017, UMENCO partnered with client LIFEwithBIRD to develop an in-house HR program in which 50% of the service fee is donated directly to Thomas’s school, Giant Steps. Giant Steps is only one of two schools in Sydney that is solely for children with autism. Giant Steps is in fact the only school that provides a trans disciplinary approach which ensures programs are intensive, child specific and include speech, music and occupational therapy as well as best practice education techniques for children with autism. In addition to being a registered and accredited school, Giant Steps is also a registered charity. The families of Giant Steps work together raising approximately $5 million a year via donations, events and fundraising to ensure all students regardless of their families’ economic circumstance receive the same support.

In 2018 UMENCO will be collaborating with clients to raise awareness and funds for Giant Steps. “Our team and clients are united and driven to create meaning and magic in each of our partnerships and projects,” Angela explains. “I believe in any business, kindness and kinship is the most valuable form of currency.”

We asked Angela the bM questions to find out more about her – read on…

You, in three words? Intuitive, spirited, resilient

What inspires you? Joan Didion’s essay “Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power”

What’s your work title? CEO, at UMENCO

What was your first ever job? At 15 I worked weekends at Thai restaurant in Brisbane – I was saving to go to London.

What did you want to be ‘when you were little’? An International Correspondent, I wanted to be Christiane Amanpour.

How did your current career come about? About 10 years ago I started recruiting for Scanlan and Theodore, Colette Dinnigan and sass & bide and loved it. From there I joined Apple before taking on UMENCO. I enjoy supporting people to achieve their career goals and brands to build a great people culture. I have found my flow building a business – it’s challenging, rewarding and fun.

Explain your usual day? Thomas and I are early risers. We love to have slow mornings together before school and work. Lots of tea, walk Lucy and have breakfast at Alimentari, pilates, work and end the day with a swim at Bondi or Bronte. We often have early evening beach picnics at Bronte or Bondi in Summer.

What ‘makes your day’? I’m quite clumsy – not throwing something on myself is always a winning day. That and a great blowdry.

Three things in your life you can’t live without? My son Thomas, our dog Lucy and my iPhone.

4 fave songs on your iPod? The Greatest, Cat Power. The Golden Age, Beck. Slipped, The National. Nothing to Find, The War on Drugs.

Place to escape to? MOMA, New York or the Amalfi Coast, Italy.

How do you relax? Phone free time. Reading. Chai at Gertrude and Alice, a swim at North Bondi or Icebergs, watching Twin Peaks.

Best piece of life advice you’ve received? “Keep a good heart. That’s the most important thing in life. It’s not how much money you make or what you can acquire. The art of it is to keep a good heart.” Joni Mitchell

What will you be doing 5 years time? Possibly living in New York – Thomas will be finished school. Travel will be a big part of our life.

Stay tuned for Angela’s posts…




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