:: mokopuna sales
:: head ram
With a scholarship to America’s UCLA and naming in New Zealand’s Olympic qualifying team, a high scoring football career seemed imminent for Simon Pauleit. But after a game changing back injury that stopped his semi-pro career short, Simon went against the play and turned that drive to sales. Not one to watch from the sidelines, this is the story of how Mokopuna’s head ram took sales by the balls.
In 2003, a crushed spine and 15 months of rehab later, Simon moved to the mainland to study German and marketing at Canterbury University. It was there he met a lecturer who spurred his interest in sales. After three years of study, with a double major under his belt, Simon sought a whole new ball game in the world of sales.
“My lecturer always said that – you don’t close a sale; you open a relationship to build a long term, successful business. This stuck.”
He first proved his worth with big brand Oakley, quickly moving from shop floor to sales rep. A transfer to Melbourne followed, as did a new role with Australian consumer products company, Pacific Brands. It was here he discovered an appreciation for authentic, reputable companies.
Fast forward four years, and Simon was back working in New Zealand as area manager for global sports brand, Adidas. The 2011 Rugby World Cup provided the perfect training ground for Simon, further solidifying his sales and management clout alongside major events. These new found skills transferred seamlessly to his next role as Red Bull’s key account manager.
After some late nights, Simon knew the score and saw an opportunity to make a play in an area outside of his comfort zone… in children’s clothing. Following a candid chat with a previous head, Simon took a shine to phil&teds’ values, people and culture – alongside the fact he could bring his furry dog friend (Ace) to work on occasion – and accepted a role with the company’s Mokopuna brand.
“We’ve revitalised the brand’s look and feel, and are set to launch arguably the most stylish collection to date. I’m extremely proud of the part I’ve played in creating a children’s merino clothing line that retailers can easily connect to, sell and, importantly, upsell.”
Simon’s drive and dedication with Mokopuna was soon noticed by management, and he was offered opportunities in other areas of the business too. Adding to his scorecard, Simon was instrumental in launching Mountain Buggy’s award-winning baby carrier, juno, in Australia. It’s fair to say, he kicks it where it counts.