This Is What It Takes To Create An #InstaFamous Beauty Brand Like Sand & Sky

Sand and Sky interview

With its millennial-pink packaging and insta-results, Sand & Sky was a recipe for beauty brand success. Boasting the powers of Australian Pink Clay which refines skin immediately (you don’t have to wait weeks!) and other Australian-native ingredients, it was just this one product that launched Sand & Sky onto beauty lovers’ radars and took it from Australia to international waters. With warehouses around the globe to meet online orders, Sand & Sky is also now available in Singapore via Sephora. We took a minute to speak to the founder Sarah Hamilton about the lightbulb moment for creating the brand from one product, and how it grew to so many parts of the map.

How did it all start out for you and your twin sister—what made you create Sand & Sky?

We wanted to create an Australian brand. We thought, “How do we transport people to Australia, how do we show off what Australia’s got to offer?” In beauty, that’s ingredients. The Australia Pink Clay mask won the hearts of our focus group of four and that was the first product launched in April 2017.

How did you discover the amazing Australian Pink Clay and the wonders it does for skin?

We went to a manufacturer with the ingredients we wanted in mind, and they helped us come up with the product and test for results. It had to work quickly and look good on social media so it iterated from there.

Sand and Sky Australian Pink Clay

Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Pore Refining Mask, $69.90, is a super multi-tasker: it deep cleanses, tightens pores, brightens the complexion, and boost radiance in just 10 minutes.

And why just one product? What was your vision for the business?

I’d love to tell you that we had a massive plan but we didn’t. We sold 60,000 units in about eight to 12 weeks. Really for us, it was then trying to keep up with demand and expanding globally.

Speaking of expanding globally, you have a warehouse in Singapore and now you’re in Malaysia via Sephora. How does it make you feel seeing Sand & Sky all over the world map like that?

It’s humbling when people know all about Sand & Sky. Seeing the global footprint was always part of the plan but seeing it coming to life via retail partners like Sephora, it’s a kind of pinch-yourself moment.

We’re amazed how the company has this strong ethos to stay cruelty- and nasty-free. Would you say there were challenges in doing or maintaining this?

It was hard at the start because we wanted to have all the ingredients sourced and grown in Australia and this was something other beauty brands weren’t looking for. Being cruelty-free and as natural as possible was a big part of what we wanted.

Sand and Sky Exfoliating treatment

Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment, $59.90, is a potent combination of physical and chemical exfoliants. There’s bamboo and macadamia seeds to slough off dry and dull skin cells, while the AHAs speed up cell turnover to reveal brighter, radiant skin.

We love how the brand has such a personal feel to it, as though you are speaking to your customers personally! How many people work in Sand & Sky?

It’s still quite a tight team, we have marketing girls, social media and influencer marketing and we work with PR agencies. We also have a whole team on the operational side.

As a working woman and mum, tell us what a day in your life looks like.

It’s busy — mornings I try to spend with the kids or exercise and drop them off at school and I try to be home before bedtime. I try not to be on my phone when I’m with the kids. It’s just creating boundaries where I just push that part of my life. It’s chaos, but I love it.

OK, so we’re sure people know a lot about the product, but how about talk us through it and would you recommend it for all skin types?

Yes, I would. The Australian Pink Clay is really purifying; it draws out those toxins and refines pores. Kakadu Plum helps brighten skin. We wanted it to show immediate results. Not two weeks, just one go. All the ingredients embody those results.

Text: Lina Esa/CLEO Malaysia/Sep-Oct issue

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