Stirling residents Casey Bryden and Jillian Intini are creating sun smart fashion that are so on-trend that Camilla – the Duchess of Cornwall – and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson have embraced and, which Aussie mums recently voted as “Most Fashionable” in the 2020 Ausmumpreneur Award.
The Ausmumpreneur Awards is a nationally recognised business award which has been running for over a decade. Casey commented that winning one of the major awards and being a runner up for the Product Innovation category against bigger businesses is very humbling.
She also believes it’s an acknowledgment of the important work they do to turn around the perception that being sun smart is not fashionable.
“The Ausmumpreneur Awards competition was fierce with so many great mum-businesses
out there. We were honoured to be in such good company,” said Casey.
“Jillian and I are so proud to help – so far – over 20,000 women to better protect their skin from harmful UV rays and reduce their chances of getting skin cancer with firstly sun umbrellas, and now wraps and gloves, that they also love and want to use.”
The idea for the duo’s sun smart fashion business – SunBella – came about when Jillian was working as a nurse and saw women affected by skin cancer due to a lack of availability for effective sun protection items.
“As a nurse, I was seeing lots of women coming through the operating room with skin cancer, and they would tell me that they hated hat-hair, hated feeling hot and uncomfortable in long-sleeved shirts, and couldn’t reapply sunscreen over their makeup,” said Jillian.
“Their words motivated me to purchase a UV umbrella and use it whenever possible. However, when I tried to find one, I only found lace parasols which looked great but were very ineffective against harmful UV rays. Or ostentatious umbrellas that were just too out there.”
This experience prompted Jillian to make one themselves out of old, dismantled rain umbrellas. She reassembled, hand-sewed a canopy using curtain blockout material from Spotlight and added a wooden handle made by the Men’s Shed.
The resulting elegant, UPF50+ sun parasols that block out 98% of harmful UV rays became an instant hit with Aussie women and even royalty.
“A big boost to our sales and helped put us on the world stage was definitely when the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, was gifted a SunBella parasol during her last Australian visit and when celebrity chef Nigella Lawson was also spotted with it,” said Jillian.
Casey said the demand for SunBella’s fashionable UPF50+ parasols and “hands free sun protection” light wraps and gloves have continued strongly. Even against the backdrop of a global pandemic, sales have increased 300% this calendar year.
“Our commitment to manufacturing locally, sustainability by using recycled material and importantly, staying true to why we started SunBella – provide women with the best sun protection that makes them feel comfortable and beautiful – has helped us grow strong.”
Casey and Jillian will be showcasing their new SunBella parasol range for the first time at the Perth Christmas Upmarket on Sunday 29 November at UWA.
Check out our previous interview with the Sunbella duo here.
Browse through Perth Christmas Upmarket on Sunday 29 November and check out over 200+ locally designed and/or made products that are so unique and be sure to grab your attention.
Make a day of it with loved ones, family members or friends – shop till you drop, grab a recharger coffee and snack from our delicious food retailers before settling in for lunch and live music in the beautiful and grassy UWA grounds after your shopping is done.