Sienna Byron Bay: Australian-made luxe, vegan nail polish

Local Byron Bay business Sienna Byron Bay hits the nail on the head with cruelty-free nail polish.

Danielle Egan arrived in the NSW coastal town of Byron Bay 18 years ago. She bustled into town with a crew of circus goers and very few belongings; a common story for many long-stay Byron locals.

Many people living in the area are attracted to the healthy and alternative lifestyle. There’s a big market culture, and a community of talented artisans who create beautiful, handmade wares.

Collection of 12 bright nail colours and hand with nails painted in red.

Danielle never ended up leaving Byron Bay. Its natural beauty - beaches and a laid-back lifestyle - holds a special place in her heart. But with the whimsical, dreaminess of the place comes a harsh reality.

“You have to be able to create your own business in Byron,” Danielle says. “You have to have a product that stands out and that meets the needs of the people living here.”

After some time trying to work out what it was she wanted to focus her attention on, Danielle recognised a gap in the relaxed coastal town, and it surprised her at first. “Whether you’re local to Byron Bay or a visitor on holidays, women always like to get their nails painted. It’s generally quite warm, so there’s always a demand for it. Us girls paint our nails, rain, hail or shine, right?”

Close up of metallic black nails with nail polish container.

However, there wasn’t a nail polish available locally (or anywhere that Danielle could find) that didn’t include animal products like fish scales. “Many people don’t know that most nail polishes include animal products but there was a heightened awareness in Byron Bay about this issue.”

“In Byron everyone is looking for the healthy alternatives. They will seek out a sunscreen that has no additives and do their research on where to buy the freshest fruit and veggies,” she says.

Danielle knew if she could research the right environmentally-friendly nail polish formula, she’d have a very attractive product to sell to local nail salons. “At least then people had the choice if they wanted it,” Danielle says.

It wasn’t until September 2014 that Danielle was able to launch Sienna Byron Bay to the public. Her aim was to produce a handmade, luxe, vegan nail polish with no nasties and no animal testing. After years of research, Danielle launched the label with $300 to her name.

Sienna is different to any other Australian-made polish on the market because it’s the “cleanest formula and is handmade to ensure top quality coating”.

Danielle, the owner of Sienna flashes her bright red nails.

It’s obvious Danielle is very precise at getting the product right. Right down to the wood-based lids, which are from wood sourced locally in and around Byron, every little part of Sienna is well thought out.

“We don’t sell a turnkey product, which is where you purchase something already made by a manufacturer and put your brand name on it. Instead, we work with 30+ suppliers. We’re a resilient bunch and when we put our heads together, it’s amazing how quickly things can happen,” says Danielle.

The business quickly turned into an online-based business because Danielle realised she was fulfilling a niche that no one else had thought of. “Our online orders which are serviced by Australia Post are growing every day,” she says. “People all over the country want their favourite Sienna polish.”

Danielle has come to realise that sales for luxe, vegan nail polish aren’t exclusive to the people of Byron Bay, even though it’s where the concept originated.

“Over the years, consumers are taking a more active stance with wanting to know what’s in the products they are using in their homes and on their bodies, and Sienna ticks those boxes for the conscious shopper.”

Sienna isn’t just nail polish anymore, either. The brand offers acetone free nail polish remover and glass nail files (that can be reused over and over).

Australia Post helps to service Sienna’s online shopping audience. She also has stockists all over the country but online is a major part of Danielle’s business. Her Instagram following sits just over 25,000 and provides daily updates to fans about new colours and nail trends.

When Danielle started, she hand poured the nail polish herself. There were 13 colours available then. Now, the Sienna range boasts over 70 different colours, satisfying the Byron Bay market and beyond. “There’s something for everyone,” Danielle says, “every skin tone and every personality.”

For those wondering what the colour of the month is, it’s “hands down, Merlot. I’m not sure if it’s the warm, deep, red colour that they love, or the fact that we all like a good glass of red during winter.” For those that enjoy brighter colours a “bright fuchsia like Luscious will break through the bleak cloudy days.”

Image credits: Sienna Byron Bay.

Track your online shopping

Download the AusPost app to track your parcels, change delivery locations, and more.