Co-Owner / The Lip Lab
I can’t remember how many times my sisters and I have sat down at a cafe, drink in hand, devising our plan to start the next BIG THING. We have come up with some amazing ideas, tea brands, fitness empires, you name it we have workshopped it. Seriously someone start an idea business, because we would be your ladies!
I believe that there are two sorts of people in this world, the type that sit down in cafes and dream the big dreams, and the type like Courtney and Kimberley Treacy that have the grit to turn those dreams into reality.
What type are you?
Sisters, co-founders and owners of The Lip Lab, Courtney and Kimberley Treacy are action takers first and foremost. The Lip Lab is the very first company of it’s kind in Australia, where women can actually make their own lips and foundation shades. Yes, you heard it right, in conjunction with one of their professional lip colour consultants; women can choose, mix and apply their own shades to create customisable lipstick.
Devising the idea for The Lip Lab while on holiday, The concept is now a fully fledged franchise with locations all over Australia.
Do you want to know what the girls did before starting their empire? (Of course, you do) keep reading the entire interview, because this interview is the perfect 1st of Feb ‘kick along’.
Let’s dive into the interview to find out.
Hey Courtney, so privileged to have you here at The Cool Career. Can you start by telling me where you grew up?
We both grew up in Cobbitty in Sydney’s South West, where we attended Cobbitty Public School, a small community school that was very close-knit and where we made friends that we are still very close to today.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
We attended Macarthur Anglican School at Cobbitty for High School.
I didn’t particularly thrive at school, I preferred to socialise rather than study hard, which I now regret to a certain extent. At school Kimberley suffered from bullying up until Year 9, which is why today she is such a strong person and very resilient.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
No far from it. When I left school, I went to work for a prominent Sydney barrister and Kim studied travel and tourism, and then childcare. We did make life-long friends at school; however, we don’t feel like school played an important role in helping us get to where we are today.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
At school we were never offered internships or work experience. However, after school and on weekends we worked at our mum’s salon and our older sister’s salon, doing menial cleaning jobs and reception duties, which helped us develop a good grounding for customer service and hard work.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
I did a business management course after leaving school whilst working in chambers and then later I completed Dermal studies and tattoo removal. As mentioned above, Kim completed a one-year diploma in travel and tourism, and then a certificate 3 in childcare, followed by a full Diploma in Beauty therapy, which is where she found her calling.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for and explain any highlights.
For two years I worked at a legal-chambers and shortly after had my first child. Whilst on maternity leave, I started my own tattoo removal business called Vanish Tattoo, which I still own. Today I have multiple staff who service 16 salons a month for me in regional NSW.
Kim’s journey was a bit different to mine. She tried everything, from being a receptionist to working at a TV station! Every interview she went for she got it. After working for a chain of salons and being told you can’t have a toilet break for the next 10 hours, she quit on the spot and has never looked back.
How did you get into the job that you are in now?
Our mum has always been in the beauty industry, so it was inevitable we would follow her footsteps.
What is the hardest part of your current job?
We agree that staff is the hardest aspect of our business. Keeping staff motivated and happy is a challenge, along with staying up to date with all the latest trends.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you in your current job?
We normally arrive at work at least an hour before opening to ensure everything is ready for the day ahead. Our day can be looking after a five-year old’s birthday party, where each little guest creates a lip gloss to 200 corporate women making a lipstick to a group of bridesmaids and hens. Every day is different, as is every lipstick and foundation.
If we are working at the office, one of us goes on a coffee run, then we spend a few hours answering emails from our suppliers, customers and returning any missed phone calls.
We are often awake at 2am scheduling calls with our US-based suppliers.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
Our mum and dad are our heroes. They have supported us along the way not only financially but minding our kids, suggesting ideas, etc. We have looked up to them always, as they have both been able to successfully build businesses from the ground up.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
Always present yourself in the best possible way e.g. appearance and attitude, always have a can-do attitude and show initiative. My pet hate is people who stand around saying there is nothing to do, when there is always something to do! Go the extra mile, have a smile on your face every-day and do what you love!
List the most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
- Favourite Websites: Expedia because I love anything travel and Net-A-Porter, which is my weakness!
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: Roxy Jacenko and Sweaty Betty PR
- Favourite Podcast: The Entrepreneur Effect
- Favourite Netflix Series: Black Mirror and Lovesick
- Favourite all-time book/s: The Portrait of a Lady, I read it when I was 19 and it has haunted me ever since
- People: favourite people are my family, my 2 daughters Dempsey and Evie and my mum, dad and Sister Kimberley