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How three young founders turned $12k into a $12m business in two years

This year’s CommBank Young Hero Awards shines the spotlight on 10 outstanding business leaders from across Australia. These young entrepreneurs, aged 35 and under, are making a positive impact on Australia’s business market while pushing the boundaries of their respective industries. Let’s take a closer look at these trailblazing businesses and the remarkable founders that run them. Emma Spiliopoulos, Jessica Arthur, and Lauren Rugolo, Co-Founders of Lash Therapy Australia share insights into their business’s success and why they were awarded CommBank Young Hero Awards 2023: Startup of the Year. 

Biggest milestones in your startup journey?

Our business growth has been exponential, not only in sales and customers, but in opportunities and experiences. We went from making two thousand a month in sales to now over a million a month in sales. Our business has also been sent to over 140 countries worldwide.

We turned our four thousand investment each, so twelve thousand in total, into over $12 million AUD in just over two years.

After our rapid growth, we secured a retail deal with Costco and we now stock Australia and New Zealand stores nationally. We recently launched onto Amazon in the U.S. and our brand was featured on a billboard in Times Square New York.

What inspired you to start your own business?

We all had a passion for creating a life where we worked for ourselves. The idea of starting a business had been discussed between us for years, however, we never had the right idea, time, and drive to jump in. The Covid lockdowns provided a solution to this…

How did you identify the gap in the market that your business fills?


It was at the beginning of the Pandemic when all beauty salons closed and our lash extensions were quickly falling off. We were left with bare and brittle lashes and we were on the search for a solution fast. Whilst searching for this solution we found there was no natural ingredient lash serums for people with sensitive eyes. This is when the idea came together and we set out to create a range of products that we were assured would provide results without any risk of irritation or damage to our health.

Emma Spiliopoulos, Jessica Arthur, and Lauren Rugolo, Co-Founders of Lash Therapy Australia with judges Amy Morgan and Sara Sutton from CommBank at the CommBank Young Hero Awards dinner gala in Melbourne May 2023.

Biggest challenge you faced launching your startup?

We didn’t anticipate our rapid growth, so managing stock levels during these periods and selling out constantly was very stressful.

What unique products does your business offer that makes it stand out?

Lash Therapy Australia is different from what is currently available on the market as we offer a natural alternative to eyelash growth products, currently, the market is flooded with hormone-driven ingredients and products with harsh side effects. We have developed an online cult following for our real results and being the ‘side effect free’ lash serum.

What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs starting their own businesses?

The advice we would give to young entrepreneurs is to just go for it and don’t give up. You don’t need to know every aspect of owning a business from day one, you learn and grow along the way. Keep passion and persistence; hard work and dedication pay off.


By: Alyssa Herr, Editor


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