Just Between Us

MEET THE TWIN SISTERS BEHIND AUSTRALIAN SKINCARE BRAND – SAND&SKY

The world of skincare is both vast and diverse. With most brands promising their products hold the secret to eternal youth, an everlasting glow or magical formula that claims to wind the clock back to a time before crows-feet and furrowed eyebrow lines. In an industry filled with such wild claims, twin sisters Emily and Sarah have created a truly authentic brand, using natural ingredients that actually work. Though above all, they promise one simple thing – your skin will thank you. 

When it comes to product conception, their focus is around Australia’s native flora and fauna. During the early stages of development, the sisters spent a lot of time testing various local botanical ingredients before settling on their flagship (and original) product – the Australian Pink Clay mask. And they’ve developed a wider range of accompanying products since then. Now with a second range coming out, based on the Australian Emu Apple, this twin sister team have a clear vision for their business – to champion the wonder and efficacy of our Australian plant life for your skin. 

We were lucky enough to steal a bit of time away with Emily and Sarah, to chat about how they manage the business with a young family of their own, their pre-generational influence around setting out on this venture together and what their biggest challenges and rewards have been so far. 

EMILY

Sarah and I are twin sisters – I’m the older one 🙂 

I work with our innovation team to develop new product concepts; and the two year product launch plan that follows. As we create original products incorporating unique Australian ingredients, a lot of brainstorming, testing and innovating goes into each product we create.

Sarah and I work in separate areas of the business, which is great as we don’t have to worry about each other’s parts. We’re able to focus on our own areas, and you know the other will bring in the results.  

Bringing products to market on time can be insanely challenging, though it’s also super rewarding to bring a new product to 70 countries.

Our parents worked together while we were growing up, so it definitely wasn’t unexpected for us to do the same. Now we’ve been working together since 2011.

Our advice to other family businesses would be to develop some other hobbies, otherwise it is all-time consuming.

Looking ahead, we are launching more Australian Pink Clay products, as well as two new ranges with unique Australian ingredients. We found these ingredients over the past few years and can’t wait to bring them to the world.

SARAH

Emily is responsible for whatever she would like to do and I get the leftovers… Just kidding. 

Emily is all about brand and product, what is on trend product wise and how to promote it. While I dabble in this area, I’m not as good – my current focus lies in retail, Amazon, business development, plus a little bit of operations. 

What is helpful is that we have two different points of views that come together to help the overall business. While we don’t always necessarily agree, we both hold value and support the business in moving forward.

We also laugh a lot, which I love (we love banter). We can’t pretend that we don’t have lives outside our awesome jobs, so meetings are often interspersed with comments on world affairs, shopping trends, and of course our kids and family. 

Our whole family works together, 40% in Sand&Sky and 60% in the Hamilton Family Property Group, so our biggest challenge is not to talk about work at a family BBQ.

Our parents worked together and dad also worked with his friends, so being in business with family or friends wasn’t foreign to us. 

My advice for those in family business is to confront issues head on, discuss how you can improve together and try to see the other side’s version of events — much like in any work or life situation.

For us, we’d like the future to hold growth, challenges and laughter, and by the way we are quite keen on becoming a massive Australian skincare brand!

Words: Phoebe Carden
Photography: @sandandsky

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