Sarah Hamilton is one busy lady.
Together with her sister she founded the wildly successful Bella Box beauty subscription service. She’s also a mother of three (all under four years of age).
She also recently spoke at a Melbourne Start-Up Week event ‘Ladies who Launch’, hosted by Square, a mobile credit reader company that aims to support female entrepreneurs in the technology sector.
I spoke with Sarah about the role of women in business and how Bella Box got started.
Tell us how Bella Box came about?
“I was living in New York and my sister was living in Singapore at the time. We had seen the launch of the Birchbox (the first of it’s kind). It seemed exciting and fun. We didn’t take ourselves too seriously in all of it. We knew we wanted to give it a go in Australia and Singapore and from go to launch it was about four to five months.”
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“The Bella Box idea was really pushed through social media at first, people were excited. Beauty enthusiasts were already aware of what was happening overseas and so when we launched it was like oh, well this is the Australian beauty subscription box.”
How did you get involved with Ladies who Launch?
“Well, we had done some pop up stores and got to know Sqaure from there. I’m always really excited when I see new things out there and this was one of them. We did a few seminars and it went from there.”
Why do you think it’s important for women to support each other in business?
“Growing up, I didn’t really focus on the fact that I was a woman. My family all had an entrepreneur side and I had two brothers. We were always taught to be in the top 5 per cent of what you do.
“Salary never meant anything and it wasn’t the end goal. The focus was to generate business. I was silly I guess because I didn’t realise that this wasn’t the case for women everywhere. I didn’t get that some women were not supported, that some women were not confident the way I was.
“I remember talking to Megan Quinn, who is the co-founder of Net-a-Porter and she was speaking to Penny Wong about it. I guess she really articulated how I felt. She just said ‘You have no idea. Not everyone gets these opportunities. Your role is to empower other women’ and since then it’s just this nagging thought. She just articulated it well.
“I can be confident and walk in to a room and say ‘this is me, this is what I do’ but other women might not be able to do that. I think it’s really important that we talk about it.”