CrowdInk had the chance to sit down (virtually) with Casey Bryden, co-owner of Sunbella, creators of the sunbella, a sun-safe and stylish parasol, the likes of which you’ve never before seen! She talks about how she worked together with her mother to come up with the initial project and why the sun parasol is so important for the modern woman.
CrowdInk: Tell us about your brand. How did you get started? What was the inspiration behind it?
Casey Bryden: Sunbella is owned and run by myself and my mum, Jillian. We design and manufacture a range of unique sun parasols.
Jillian is a Clinical Theatre Nurse who, whilst working at a hospital, heard firsthand from frustrated skin-cancer sufferers whom avoided sun-safety because existing products compromised their style or gave them hat-hair. A global search unearthed a gap in the market for a modern sun umbrella with appropriate UV protection, so we set out to create one.
Our inspiration hasn’t changed direction, but we have become more passionate because of the resounding support and demand from our customers. We’ve grown from selling at local markets to international distribution, offering hire packages for weddings and custom branding options for major corporate clients. In 2015, we won the national AusMumpreneur Award for Business Excellence in Melbourne, had our product gifted to The Duchess of Cornwall by the State, and won the Stirling Micro-Business Award.
CI: What’s your number one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs?
CB: Seek out other entrepreneurs who are on a similar journey and travel the road with them. Starting your own business can feel daunting and you can feel like you are pioneering uncharted territory. However, in many ways, our journeys are very similar and sharing the things we’ve learned, either through our mistakes or our wins, helps us all grow together exponentially. It’s also much more rewarding when you have a network who is excited to celebrate your successes with you.
CI: How are you changing the way women view fashion?
CB: Our aim to influence women’s attitudes towards fashion and sun protection by solving the frustrating conundrum of having to choose between being sun-smart or stylish.
We are bringing back the parasol – but not the parasol as you know it. We have transformed the traditional parasol into a unique and stylish accessory that provides effective UV protection. Our parasols are sleek and modern, with a unique fabric canopy that is rated UPF50+. We’re liberating women from hat-hair, while allowing them to protect their skin and feel elegant at the same time.
CI: What’s your favourite accessory?
CB: A sunbella, of course 😉
Click here to check out the full line.