Brieane Olson is the president of PacSun, a California-inspired lifestyle and clothing brand. She’s also a Women in Retail Leadership Circle board member! In this member spotlight, we asked Olson a series of questions about both her professional and personal lives so that you can get to know her better.

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
    There are two: “Radical Uncertainty” by John Kay and Mervyn King, and “Competing in the Age of AI” by Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani
  2. What’s a tip you have for productively leading a remote or hybrid team?
    Create space for innovation, brainstorming, and creative thought sessions. I set aside two hours each week on Friday with my leadership team to have lunch together virtually, reflect on the week, and provide opportunities to innovate the future together.
  3. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
    I found it challenging to create boundaries between work and personal life. Moving to Italy early in my career helped me to embrace the beauty of slowing down.
  4. What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
    The responsibility is all-encompassing and constant.
  5. What’s the best way you motivate team members?
    Strive for authenticity. Allow yourself to be vulnerable in your leadership role and empower your teams.
  6. What woman inspires you right now and why?
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She chose a difficult path into the women’s movement and laid the path for women’s legal rights.
  7. What are you looking forward to the most for the industry?
    Future innovation: the digital transformation and opportunity to build meaningful connection and community in the hyperverse.
  8. What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a job candidate?
  9. What’s something that you learned about yourself in the past year? 
    Embrace the long view. Resilient leaders stay focused on the horizon, anticipating the new business models that are likely to emerge and sparking the innovations that will define tomorrow.
  10. What’s your favorite podcast? 
    Over the Wall with Rob LoCascio
  11. What values are most important to you as a leader? 
    Humility. Passion and commitment. Respect. Resilience. Honesty and transparency. Accountability. Integrity.
  12. What’s the most important thing people should know about you? 
    That I am purpose driven
  13. What’s one habit you adopted while working from home that you kept/would like to keep with you as you return to the office?
    Family dinners
  14. How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
    A work in progress.
  15. What’s your favorite app? 
  16. What do you do to recharge? 
    Spend time by the ocean, read, and create magical moments with my children.
  17. What’s your biggest accomplishment?
  18. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? 
    Be true to your authentic self.
  19. What gets you up in the morning?
    I’m an early riser and enjoy productive mornings.
  20. What do you like most about being a member of Women in Retail Leadership Circle? 
    The community of incredible women and the opportunity to create lifelong connections together.

Interested in connecting with women like Brieane Olson? Apply today to become a Women in Retail Leadership Circle member!