We're a mum and daughter team who believe we should be able to enjoy our outdoor lifestyle, protect ourselves from the sun... and feel good at the same time.
Watch the clip below to get a better idea of why we do what we do, and to see some of our products. Or scroll on down to read more...
We started Sun Bella back in 2012. Jillian was a nurse and her favourite part of the job was chatting with my patients. She saw plenty of skin cancer patients over the years and during our chats, they would often make comments about how they...
"knew they should have protected their skin better, but hated hat-hair”
“it was always too hot to wear long sleeved shirts”
“sunscreens irritated their skin”.
Their stories were all different, but the theme was generally the same - they hadn’t protected their skin because it was inconvenient or uncomfortable.
There was one patient in particular that was the catalyst for Sun Bella though. Jillian was the scrub nurse and was chatting to a female skin cancer patient while the plastic surgeon was removing yet another skin cancer from her scalp. She said she despised wearing hats because they gave her hat-hair.
Instead (to avoid squashing her hair) she wore a visor. She explained that she thought she was doing the right thing by wearing a hat but “who would have thought I would get sun damage on that part of my head? You can’t put sun-block in your hair!”
She was echoing Jillian's own lifestyle. Jillian had spent her entire life outdoors (being from WA, that meant lots of camping, fishing, picnics, alfresco dining, cycling, walks etc) and had always worn a visor so she didn’t mess up her short hair.
Jillian decided to start using a parasol for sun protection. Unfortunately it was easier said than done. The products available were unattractive or only had a UPF rating of 15 (that’s the rating on a standard rain umbrella).
Jillian decided to make her own.
She bought a couple of old rain umbrellas from the local swap-meet, dismantled them, hand-sewed a canopy using curtain-blackout fabric from Spotlight and had a handle turned from wood by a gentleman at the Mens Shed.
The end result was better than she had expected. Feedback from friends and strangers on Jillian’s craft project was overwhelming. It seemed to filled a gap in the market, and had the potential to change womens attitudes to sun safety.
Jillian had accidentally created a sun protection option for women that could be acceptable and fashionable part of everyday life, rather than a burden or daggy afterthought.
Around the same time, Casey left her full-time marketing job to look after her first baby, and together, we decided that this craft project was something that women could (and should) be using in our every day lives.
We launched Sun Bella, based on a philosophy that women should be able to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle safely and with style.
Sunbella won the Business Excellence category of the National AusMumpreneur Awards for 2015, the 2015 Stirling Micro Business Award and reached a record number of sales after the Duchess of Cornwall was gifted a Sun Bella by the State Government of Western Australia. In 2017 Nigella Lawson was spotted using one of our City Luxe Sun Bellas. In 2020 we won the Fashion Business Excellence and Product Innovation categories of the AusMumpreneur Awards and Julia Morris used one of our Cosmopolitan parasos throughout the 2021 and 2022 seasons of I'm a Celebrity on Channel 10. In Feb 2022 our little brand was featured in a full page cover of a newspaper, much to our (happy!) surprise).
We're always open to feedback, so if you've purchased a Sun Bella product, let us know your thoughts, or haven't bought one yet, let us know what's stopping you. Thank you for your support. Jillian & Casey
Leave us a message
Got a question? Want to leave us some feedback? We'd love to hear from you.