She may have grown up on a farm riding motorbikes, but she was always destined for global success.
Meet Jaimee Lupton: PR whiz, beauty and haircare entrepreneur, and co-founder of MONDAY, a cult line of luxurious-yet-affordable haircare that’s taking the world by storm.
Since launching just over two years ago, the brand’s rise has been exponential. Six months of stock sold in the first four weeks and MONDAY’s pretty pink bottles of shampoo and conditioner are now flying off the shelves of the world’s biggest retailers, from Coles and Tesco to Amazon and Walmart.
With over 8 million bottles sold so far and an ever-growing battalion of beauty industry accolades, MONDAY is quite literally revolutionising the supermarket shampoo game. “I think I knew we had a good thing in MONDAY, but it’s been pleasantly surprising to see just how much people have loved it and what a community we’ve built,” says Jaimee, an AUT alumna and Mumbrella’s 2021 Under-30 Achiever of the Year.
“I think it’s been so successful because people were looking for what I was - something that looks really premium, feels incredible to use, doesn’t compromise on values that are important to them, and doesn’t cost the earth!”
But as well as being a great product, much of that success must also be attributed to Jaimee’s PR prowess and entrepreneurial predilection.
“I think I was always destined to be an entrepreneur. As early as primary school I’d buy and sell things from eBay. I got a real kick out of it and learned valuable skills about margins and keeping running costs low.”
After completing high school at Epsom Girls Grammar, she honed her skills at AUT, gaining a Bachelor of Communication Studies and opening the door to a wealth of exciting opportunities.
The public relations courses she completed provided a useful framework for launching the business, encouraging her to think holistically about her offering, rather than focusing solely on the bottom line. But as she points out, her AUT experience extended well beyond the classroom walls.
“AUT taught me that university is not just about the mandatory work you do as part of your course, but the opportunities that surround you while you’re there.
“I was always connecting with new people and interning in different places, such as Fashion Week and PR agencies. Whether or not you realise it at the time, you end up using those connections later. At AUT I built invaluable foundations and pathways for the future.”
Recently she’s been giving back to the AUT community, sharing her story with students to empower and inspire. “I was once where so many AUT students are today and know how invaluable it is to hear from people who’ve had some success in the field you’re looking to get into. It can seem like a big gap between where you are and where you want to be, but it’s really not.”
After graduating, Jaimee headed across the ditch, taking up a role at Australia’s top luxury communications agency. The seedbed for MONDAY was sown.
“I saw a gap to create something that felt beautiful and luxurious, just without the unnecessary price tag. ‘Exclusivity’ has long been a buzzword in beauty, but by definition that means someone is always excluded. So, I set out to create a more inclusive beauty brand.”
Now firmly established in 10 different countries, Jaimee’s focus for 2022 is on breaking into new markets and retailers, expanding into other personal care categories, and getting the new products her team has been perfecting onto supermarket shelves.
It’ll be a busy year – she and partner Nick are also due to welcome their first child in July.
“With the baby on the way I’ve been forced to slow down and take things a little easier. MONDAY has been my baby for the past few years, which has been so great, but it’s time to put my other baby first!”
This story was originally published in Insight, the magazine for AUT alumni and friends. Read the most recent issue of Insight for more stories of groundbreaking research and great AUT graduates who are making a difference around the world.