In 2014, Sarah Jean Baker was struggling to get ready for a special occasion. Frustrated with applying fake lashes, the Brisbane-based businesswoman knew it was time for a solution.

“It was messy! I had one lash half attached and I thought ‘there has to be an easier way,'” she said.

After a period of research and tweaking, Sarah launched Sarah Jean in 2016, a company that makes it easy for people to apply false eyelashes in their own home. With adhesive in a mascara bottle and a tweezer applicator tool, Sarah’s creation filled a gap in the market. But its innovation meant the path to success wasn’t without a few road bumps.

“Being a unique product meant many factories said ‘you can’t put a glue in a mascara-style bottle, it hasn’t been done before’. Just because it hadn’t been done, didn’t mean it wasn’t possible,” said Sarah.

Hurdles including everything from dealing with manufacturers to designs to finance, though Sarah refused to be deterred.

“Finding manufacturers who were willing and shared my vision took a while; and it was also a lengthy process as I had certain requirements I didn’t want to waiver from such a cruelty-free, high quality, responsive [product] and so on. But I got there,” she said.

Critical to Sarah was being fully certified by PETA as vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.

“That’s part of the ethos of the brand I wanted to create. I do what I can now to support animal rescue charities which is something I will do more and more as Sarah Jean grows,” she said.

“It was a personal decision for the brand to be vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. But it’s been a key feature as I have stockists and customers that specifically buy Sarah Jean for those traits.”

Sarah was recognized for nifty invention through her nomination and inclusion in last year’s Queensland Young Entrepreneur 40 Under 40 Awards.

“I was so thrilled to have been included in these state-wide awards in the Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution category. When you predominantly work alone and spend most of your time either in front of a computer or packing orders, its easy to get up in that,” she said.

“But my friend emailed me the nomination forms. I entered as I thought it was a great initiative and opportunity to share my story  and connect with other people in similar positions.”

Sarah Jean is now rolling and growing steadily, with five different styles of lashes available. Sarah said that her journey so far has been great. She is thrilled with “helping people everywhere enjoy pretty lashes without the fuss”.

Other readers enjoyed this story about Brooklyn Beauty Bar here.