Emily and Sarah Hamilton are twin sisters and co-founders of Supernova, the mother company of four successful health and beauty ecommerce brands that cater to the wellness needs of women all over the world with their excellent approach on the start-up ecosystem.
We’ve gone so far in creating a gender-balanced world that women nowadays have been breaking down barriers and charting territories we’ve never dared cross before. With the dawn of this “new age” comes yet another rising breakthrough, as women everywhere dare to fill alpha roles in the entrepreneurial industry.
In this vein, LadyBoss talks with two powerful forerunners of this new epoch of entrepreneurial growth, specifically in the world of ecommerce. Australian-born twin siblings Emily and Sarah Hamilton are serving serious feminine energy and are redefining, in their own ways, the basic tenets of doing business—especially ecommerce—with Supernova, the mother company of four health and beauty brands with one HQ based in Singapore. Aside from attributing their success to their father’s entrepreneurial influence, the sisters have each found and focused on role specialisations that make them effective partners and bosses; Emily’s penchant for entrepreneurship kept her eyes open to possibilities in the market, and Sarah’s background on finance and marketing helps her develop a methodology for their brands.
Read about how making intentional choices led them to translate their passion for skincare to a growing ecommerce empire, amassing more than 100 products under their brands and attracting a loyal following from around the globe!
So, tell us a little about Supernova and the goals and mission you’ve established for it from the outset.
We like to think of our [business] as the ‘Shark Tank’ of the e-commerce world. We’re now approaching our third year of business, with four global brands under our belt: Coco & Eve, Sky & Sand, Body Boss and Skinny Mint, with more in the pipeline for 2019. We knew we wanted to build a global brand, we also wanted to figure out a way to make e-commerce profitable and to build a formula which successfully grows brands faster than anyone has done so before.
What do you think are the most salient qualities and habits of confident, empowered women? How do think these qualities play into the whole entrepreneurial industry?
To us, it’s always important to make goals and to have dreams and ambitions. Powerful women know what they want to do and set out to accomplish them. In a time where women are getting more recognised, it’s also important for us to stand firm in what we believe in and be intentional about the choices we make.
Powerful women know what they want to do and set out to accomplish them. It’s important for us to stand firm in what we believe in and be intentional about the choices we make.
In the entrepreneurial industry where you will make many mistakes, powerful and confident women are to us the ones who can trust their own judgement but also leave space to listen to the feedback of others to improve.
How do women contribute to revolutionising the ecommerce industry?
One way women are really coming into e-commerce is through the beauty and fashion industry. As women, we understand the needs of other women, we know what matters to them and what will make them feel good about themselves. As a result these are gaps in the market that are increasingly being identified by women and we now see a lot more e-commerce shops catering to women’s needs.
To what do you attribute the success of your ecommerce journey?
We came from a family of business entrepreneurs and we were definitely influenced by that and we were also highly attracted to the attraction of e-commerce and marketing. The reach that the internet gives you is powerful and very valuable to a brand. For Supernova, we managed to identify this gap in the market before e- commerce really took off, not many people had their shops solely on the internet but customers love the convenience of being able to buy an item with just a click. Having the potential early has really helped to propel the growth of Supernova and its brands.
Coco & Eve
Sand & Sky
Do you think a woman’s wardrobe is important to feeling empowered or powerful? What items personally complete your “power look”?
Yes. As a woman liking how you look everyday and feeling good about yourself really helps to make you feel positive and driven to accomplish the tasks you set out for yourself each day. You don’t need a flashy dress or a loud outfit to look good, it’s more important to find your own style and wear something that makes you feel comfortable and good about yourself.
Sarah: For me it is definitely my glasses that makes me feel empowered and ready to conquer my day!
Emily: For me, some staples I have in my wardrobe are simple structured dresses. To me they really help to accentuate your figure, they are easy to wear and you will always look presentable in a dress.
How do you maintain a balance between your personal and professional lives?
We have families of our own so balancing work and our families is very important to us. One thing we try to do is to delegate our tasks. As bosses sometimes you want to do things by yourself your way but we learn to trust the people we hire and not to be in control of everything. This frees up more time for us to think about the big picture for the company as well. We also make sure we make time before or after work to get the exercise we need!
What challenges have you encountered as women entrepreneurs and how did you overcome them?
As women entrepreneurs you always have to defy the standard expectations people have of women. You may feel the need to prove yourself, but be confident and you will definitely be able to rise against the preconceived notions of women.
Another challenge is coping with failures. As business owners we face setbacks and sometimes you might doubt yourself, “Is it because I am not capable?” but failure is common when it comes to start-ups, everyone faces it. For us, we just learned to take it in our stride and knew that it was only going to help us do things better.
You may feel the need to prove yourself, but be confident and you will definitely be able to rise against the preconceived notions of women.
Overall we want to be recognised as entrepreneurs and not with the tag of ‘female’ etc out the front of it, while we are happy to help push the notion of diversity we also realise we have been very lucky, and have worked hard for, all of our opportunities to date. Many people have a much harder road than ours so if we can inspire and motivate others then we don’t mind whatever title people give us!
What’s the best advice you’ve received and would gladly pass on to women aspiring to follow your path?
I would advise our fellow sisters to pursue their interests by working at a company that is doing great things in your industry. Most importantly, find a job, boss or mentor you can learn from. After learning and achieving something in the industry then you can start to plan where you can personally make an impact, how to build something new and innovative. Finally, always trust your instincts, don’t listen to advice blindly and believe in yourself.
Always trust your instincts, don’t listen to advice blindly and believe in yourself.