After deciding to chase their dream in a “now or never” moment two years ago, sisters Tammy and Kylie have watched Skye & Lach Eyewear grow from strength to strength. To celebrate the launch of their new website, they have decided to share some insight into who they are and how they run their business.
Over coffee, of course.
Tell us a bit about life outside of Skye & Lach Eyewear?
T: Like many Melbournians, I’d say we have three great loves. Our families, food and sport! We both have young families that keep us busy… but we do make an effort to go out and do the things we love, like travelling, going to the football and trying new places to eat around the city.
K: We’re both mad Carlton and Melbourne City supporters but don’t hold that against us! We also absolutely love the Australian Open tennis and go every year.
What is your favourite travel destination?
K: I can speak for both of us when I say that we love anywhere warm and tropical. Bring on the sunshine and poolside cocktails any day! Hawaii definitely fits the bill here and we have been lucky enough for both families travelling to Hawaii together.
T: There are so many amazing destinations out there. We were lucky to grow up with a parent in the airline industry, which lead to many holidays around Australia and abroad. It’s definitely influenced who we are because we both love travelling and have worked in the travel industry. Barcelona and the South of France are two of my favourties. You can’t beat the beautiful beaches and the atmosphere is amazing!
T: It came quite naturally to us. We had started an online fashion boutique but after a while we realised we were more passionate about accessories – specifically over-sized sunglasses. They’re a statement piece and that’s what we love so much about them.
What is your favourite Skye & Lach Eyewear design?
T: MINX – it’s our original design and colours. The one we first started on and were able to test our market with and the response was awesome. Currently working on new colours with this one so stay tuned! Black on black does go with everything though, so I can’t go past that one as a personal fave.
K: Valentine is mine – I love a great over-sized cat eye and this one has a very luxe feel. I personally love it because the detailing makes it glam, but it is subtle enough to wear every day. It was also our first time using the matte frame and they have been a huge hit!
What have been some of your challenges in creating and running a business?
K: Having to learn everything ourselves! It’s hard but we have so much knowledge now – we’ve handled everything from importing and manufacturing, to design, to social media, our website, finances and more.
T: Time. You always feel like you need more of it! One of our designs can take 4-6 months to complete. It can be quite tedious. We’re impatient to get new designs to our customers but time is something we have to sacrifice to get everything to be the way we want it to be.
How is it balancing your business and family responsibilities?
K: Our families are our priority, for sure. We’re always running around after our kids and their activities. When you don’t have much time to spare and you know you have to get s**t done for the business, you do it. We make fast, smart decisions. And sometimes we wing it – it’s chaos but we try to have a few laughs along the way.
T: Agreed! We’re also lucky that we live within a few minutes of each other and our parents, so our support network is always close by. It’s a part of our routine now so we’re used to juggling a lot of different hats at once.
What advice would you give to young women thinking about starting a business?
K: Just go for it! As we said, ours was a “now or never” moment. Don’t reach the stage where you’re almost at “never”. If you have an idea, explore it, do the research and have a little faith that you will succeed.
T: And make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. I don’t think Skye & Lach would be as popular, or of such high quality, if we weren’t so in love with statement sunglasses. We aim high because we’re passionate about the product and the customer.
What has been your favourite part of running Skye & Lach Eyewear?
T&K: The customers, one hundred per cent! The feedback, the photos, and in particular the return purchasers, make us really proud of what we’re doing. We’ve also dealt with some really amazing people who have helped us throughout the entire experience, from when we first started till now.
Do you want to hear more from Tammy & Kylie?
Let us know in the comments below.