Sarah Hamilton from Sand and Sky: Cult Brands & Hero Products – LIVE | #335

Play episode

Special live episode where Sarah talks brand success, partnerships and cool parties

Sarah is a founder, investor and advisor. She is a founder and director of STRAAND, a newly launched Scalp Health brand backed by Unilever Ventures. Sarah also holds various advisory roles for Mermade Hair and Hunter Labs while leading the Private Label team at Adore Beauty.

Sarah’s business background led her to launch Bellabox the largest Australian beauty box in 2011, she then moved to Managing Director in Australia with Supernova, the parent co. for brands such as Coco & Eve and Sand & Sky which she co-founded with her sister. Her love of the startup space led her to Straand and there are a few more brands in the pipeline for launch in late 2023/ early 2024.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Sarah Hamilton, founder of Sand and Sky.

Today we bring you a special bonus episode from a live event!   Add to Cart was in Sydney for’s iPX partnerships experience for 2023 and we were lucky enough to be invited on to have an Add To Cart chat in person. And better still, we were able to record it and share it with you today. To say Sarah Hamilton has done a few things is a huge understatement –  she’s a founder – of success story Sand and Sky, bellabox and newly launched Straand (a scalp health brand).  She has a background in financial management and marketing, previously working in London at Dazed and Confused magazine and New York for Spin Magazine.  She’s currently an advisor for Mermade Hair and Hunter Labs and leads the Private Label team at Adore Beauty.  The theme for our conversation at iPX was how to create cult brands and hero products. And we discuss this at length. But we also dive into the influencer strategies she’s employed over the years, the role of Amazon in her growth and I also get seriously schooled in all things beauty…not a huge surprise there.

“I think in 2023, it’s always that test and learn, it’s not about spending a million dollars on a brand awareness campaign”

Sarah Hamilton

Not everyone can be sexy

“The product has to work.  I think that’s still the sexy part but it’s hard at the start.  It’s got to be sensorial, so people have to open it up and it smells good  I think the unsexy part is…and I really like operations…now needs to be delivered really quickly, so you need to be despatching really quickly, you need to have really strong customer service, you can’t have website issues, everything really needs to be seamless, but in the businesses I have been involved in, we try and separate those teams, but they are just as important. So yes, there’s probably that glory team on the sexy side, but the team that really makes a big big difference is that operational team.  You can’t ignore it.”

You have to be on Amazon

“From a US point of view and Australian brands find this hard, for beauty, you have to be on Amazon.  It’s where people shop and I met with Alta in the US about Sand and Sky and they were like we don’t want you to be on Amazon and I’m like, okay well how many times do you get packages from Amazon? And I’m thinking as if they’re gonna fall for this question and they’re like everyday…and I’m like ok, that made it easy! 

So it’s understanding in those different markets what works.  I’m such a fan of Amazon, it’s certainly the cheapest in terms of the commission  that you pay and you’ve got to go where the shopper is.”


“I love doing collaborations with brands and I know with Sand and Sky we did a collaboration with Go To and Frank Body.  Actually in beauty in Australia there’s lots of brands that really like to work together.  

I think alot of influencer is moving toward more long term ambassador type deals, so people don’t want to just see a one off and someone does another shampoo next week, it’s about how you’ve got that long term relationship and obviously affiliate on top of those partnerships works really well, so you’ve got that dual income source.”

Links from the episode

Subscribe to Add To Cart

We’ll let you know about new episodes PLUS exclusive
competitions and discounts from our guests!


More from this show

Weekly Ecommerce Newsletter


Let’s get social

We are a team of dedicated professionals delivering high quality WordPress themes and plugins.