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How one woman is increasing Australia’s access to salon-quality haircare

IMAGE VIA MONDAY HAIRCARE

WORDS BY THE FOREWORD

Democratising salon-quality haircare, one pastel pink bottle at a time.

This article was originally published on The Foreword, a weekly careers-focused newsletter featuring advice, insights and recommendations from an array of exceptional people. You can subscribe to it here

Launching a company is no small feat. But starting your first company in your twenties amid an unprecedented global pandemic, with a product that’s proven so popular that stores can’t keep up with demand?

That’s another story entirely. And it’s exactly what Jaimee Lupton has achieved with Monday Haircare. Jaimee is on a mission to democratise salon-quality haircare, one pastel pink bottle at a time.


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Brimming with drive, business savvy and an entrepreneurial spirit, Jaimee has successfully ventured from communications into the world of business, taking her impeccable taste and knowledge of luxury brands with her. From procrastination to PR, mentors and mental health—soak up the valuable advice she has to offer.

Tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what do you do?

I’m Jaimee Lupton, the co-founder of Monday Haircare. I recently moved home [New Zealand] from four years living in Sydney, where I was working in luxury communications. I absolutely loved Sydney, made lifelong friends and enjoyed everything about living there. Love dragged me home, and that’s when I knuckled down, focused and created Monday. Our goal has been to disrupt the hair game by creating premium haircare at supermarket prices⁠ – making a little bit of luxury accessible to everyone.

What does an average day look like for you?

The best thing about starting my own business is that every day is so different. On average I’ll get up at 7am, read my emails, DMs and messages in bed for an hour (I’m pretty sure this is what you’re NOT supposed to do, but I do!). Once I’m up, I have a smoothie with my favourite Dose & Co collagen powder⁠ – it’s incredible the things this has done for my skin. I’ll make any phone calls I need to on the way to the office and be in by 9am. My day is then spent in meetings with our various teams, working on new product development (this is my favourite part) and driving the marketing team for Monday. I’m so lucky to have an incredible team around me.

What advice do you have for striking a work/life balance?

Good work/life balance is crucial for long-term mental health, so I make sure to set aside time each day for my own self-care⁠—whether this be a face mask, meditation or exercise. Even 10 minutes makes a huge difference! It’s easy to get caught up in spending all your time invested in work, but I think if you want to be successful in the long term it’s so important to make time to look after yourself and spend quality time with family and friends.

What anxieties, if any, do you hold about your life/career? And how do you deal with them?

That’s a great question and I’m happy to admit my confidence still isn’t 100 per cent. I’m learning a lot as I go! I’m lucky to have co-founded Monday with my partner, Nick. Business is his life. If you asked him if he would choose hanging out with me or working on any given Sunday, I’m sure he would choose working! He’s a genius when it comes to building brands and growing businesses. I’ve been a student of ‘The University of Nick’ for two years now and I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learnt, which has helped build my confidence. Having his support and his belief in the vision from day one got me over the line to do this.

 

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How has the current COVID-19 situation affected your industry, and your work personally? How have you dealt with it?

What a time to launch a brand (no previous PR experience could have prepared us for this!)⁠, but we pushed through and I’m so proud of what we have achieved so far. It has proven that now, more than ever, high-quality beauty products should be available at accessible price points. I truly believe that every person, no matter their story, should be entitled to look and feel good. My team and I all had to make major adjustments to how we worked together when New Zealand went into full lockdown⁠ – we had A LOT of Zoom meetings and that always comes with its challenges! I think we’ve come out of this stronger and I’m so happy we’re all back together in the office.

What does productivity look like to you and what tips do you have for managing your time?

Working in an [PR] agency prior to founding Monday has taught me many valuable productivity and organisation skills. You have to be organised when juggling multiple clients at once! There are a couple of strategies I follow: Before I sit down I make sure I have everything I need: pen, book, laptop, water, snack (all about the snacks!), so I don’t have to get up and down all the time
I turn my phone upside down and put it on the other side of the table. If it’s sitting next to me I’m forever looking at the Monday Instagram and reading reviews from followers – it’s a rabbit hole I’ve had to learn not to get stuck in during the day. But at night, that’s where you’ll find me!

How do you deal with procrastination?

I often find I procrastinate when I get to a task that I haven’t been looking forward to, and to deal with this I follow a concept I learnt from time management guru Wendy Cole back in my PR days. Start your day with the thing on your to-do list that you dread the most. Once it has been completed, you’ll be in a great mood and able to get on with your day in a positive and productive mindset. It’s called eating your frog!

What do you consider your biggest failure?

If I read about someone not totally enjoying their Monday experience for whatever reason I really take that to heart. I’m across all social media channels so I see it all! Naturally, I want everyone to love Monday, even though I know it’s impossible to be everything to everyone.

When working on a new project how do you overcome self-doubt and fear?

Support from fellow business entrepreneurs is essential. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive network⁠. Kristin Fisher of Kristin Fisher Eyebrows came on board very early on as a brand muse, but she also really helped me with feedback during the whole development process. I’ve loved having trusted friends like Kristin around to help bounce ideas off⁠ – I’m very lucky!

 

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Do you have any rituals that help with your work or mental health?

Meditation! I try my best to practice five minutes of meditation a day but I must admit sometimes work takes priority. So many successful people I’ve spoken to swear by it and I’m trying my best to prioritise it on my daily to-do list! When things get a bit overwhelming, I like to stop and take a minute to get away from my phone/technology and really focus on my breathing⁠ – this helps me to re-centre and refocus on the task ahead.

Can you recommend any resources that have helped you in your career?

The best resource I’ve had is people⁠. I know I’ve mentioned this multiple times but surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are in different areas and learn from them. Don’t feel like you need to know everything about everything. I would recommend finding a mentor that can help guide you through your career and be there to bounce ideas off when needed. And Instagram! Instagram keeps me inspired.

What’s the best and worst advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given is that there will always be critics and sadly people who might want to bring you down, but at the end of the day you are the one putting blood, sweat and tears into everything you do and only you can drive things forward. Forget about those who just want to see you fail! Everything happens for a reason. The worst advice I’ve been given is to not quit my day job⁠ – I took a leap of faith when starting Monday and haven’t looked back since!

How do you navigate social media, any rules or guidelines you set for yourself?

Social media is the best way to communicate directly with your customers and learn from them. I look at every single comment and message we receive and try to understand how we can use these insights moving forward. The best part about social media is getting insight directly from your customer about new product ideas⁠ – we’ve had such positive responses from our followers who are really engaged with the brand and interested in what we have coming up next.

We always ensure that we’re responding to comments or messages within a few hours at most⁠ – it’s critical to be engaged with your customers. However, there are also major challenges with social media. I’ve learnt that not everyone will love your product and I have to try not to take things personally. I always try to respond to anyone who has had a negative experience right away and work out exactly what happened. With beauty, there isn’t going to be a single product that works for everyone.

List five things keeping you inspired and sane right now.

Our Monday muses keep me inspired daily. They include:

  • Kristen Fisher of Kristin Fisher Eyebrows – our absolute beauty muse and someone who keeps it real
  • Samantha Harris – our philanthropy muse, someone who puts helping others first
  • Rukaiya Daud of Fourth St Home – our curator muse, she has beautiful taste in everything!
  • Beck Wadworth of An Organised Life – our minimalist muse, I admire her refined approach to everything


Find out more about Monday Haircare here. You can subscribe to The Foreword here and follow it on Instagram here.

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