Women in Business Series: This series is dedicated to shining the spotlight on women in business who inspire us every day.
Based in Canberra, The Lab is your ultimate beauty destination sans the BS. Come for the self-care, stay for the chats, owners Sianne and Tegan have created a cult-following, buzzing, light-filled studio, which you just want to spend hour upon hour in, being doted with the best of the best self-care rituals.
So, pour a cuppa and enjoy our chat with Sianne herself on what it’s like running The Lab and her best advice on starting a business.
Talk us through a typical working day for you right now.
No such thing. We see around 60 clients per day and every day is different. Tegan and I will always arrive super early to clean and set up for the day. As soon as the clock strikes 10 am there is no telling what will happen haha!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t spend all your money on a fit-out! Focus on the service and the rest will follow.
Who’s in your team, what are their roles and why do you love them?
Tegan – Co-Director and Senior Brow Artist
The funniest human on earth! Can shorten any word in the dictionary and make a new adorable word. She is magnetic, super stylish and great at managing people.
Carly – Senior Brow Artist and our very first staff member
The cutest human to ever exist. Her laugh is infectious and her attention to detail is second to none. Quirky, incredible, uber-talented, patient and beautiful all rolled up in one.
Telisa – Senior brow artist and lash lifting QUEEN
A natural at everything she does, makeup, lashes, brows – literally anything beauty and she nails it every time! New mum to the cutest and trendiest little beb, immaculate human at all times, arrives 1 hour early to work every day, loves pasta and our second and equally loved recruit.
Nay – Senior Brow artist formerly the receptionist
We call her Nay ‘fix it’ Mcfeeters because she literally fixes any and every problem that ever existed. She is adventurous, hilarious and our little baby forever. Super witty, fun-loving and always ready to help. Incredible brow artist and all-round good human
Ellie – Receptionist
Literally the most chilled human you have ever met. Nothing ever phases her! Super talented makeup artist and cutie patootie to boot. The light of our lives, always super positive and smiley no matter what! Our little Ellie Angel face.
Luana – Senior brow artist (threading)
Our newest recruit and our beautiful Brazilian bombshell. Incredibly fast learner, an amazing artist and so adorable! We are currently teaching her all the Aussie slang and marvelling at her skills and love having her as part of the lab fam!
Me (Sianne) – Skin specialist and best human to ever exist. (JOKES)
What advice would you give people wanting to start their own business?
DO IT! It is even harder than you could possibly ever imagine but if it is your passion then go for it. You need to understand the market you are entering and why you will do it better. Tegan and I started with a wax pot and a chair in the corner of our friend’s clothing store – if we can do it anyone can do it!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of taking the leap from having a side gig to it becoming their full-time gig?
HUSTLE! We started The Lab as a side gig and worked our BUTTS OFF until we could safely take the leap. You need to see a gap in the market and fill it! Work and work and work until everyone knows who you are. Have no shame, take every opportunity and not only be the best at what you do but offer the best and most GENUINE customer service – at the end of the day, it’s about the experience.
What are your strongest attributes that make you a successful business owner?
I think as co-owners, our strongest attributes are the other’s weaknesses and it works perfectly! Tegan is a beautiful soul, incredibly hard-working but also super relaxed and chilled. Everyone loves her and she has a massive cult following not only because of her brow ninja artistry skills but also because she is so darn likeable! I on the other hand am insanely driven, stressed at every turn and can’t switch off for a second. Tegan keeps me grounded but my constant state of anxiety though is not ideal (and the reason why we advocate for self-care) keeps me on my toes and constantly evolving the business.
What is your spirit animal?
Barb my cat because she is hilarious…
What is your favourite day of the week?
Sunday – Netflix and Chill. It’s the only day I dedicate entirely to myself.