Sarah builds upon something unique
Sarah Oram spent a decade advising big business on how to grow and improve during her career as a senior strategy manager at one of the world’s largest professional service firms.
She successfully climbed the corporate ladder and was working in London for PricewaterhouseCoopers when she decided it was time to take a risk and pursue her own business dream.
At the time she didn’t have a specific business venture in mind but Sarah recalls feeling compelled to walk away from her job, spend a year travelling and give herself the mental space to figure out what her next move would be.
Fast forward to today and the entrepreneurial businesswoman from Torquay is the founder and managing director of the award-winning Unique Laser franchise which had its beginnings in Westfield Geelong in 2014.
It is now in five locations including Doncaster, Ballarat, a franchised clinic in Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre and the most recently opened clinic in the heart of Torquay which Sarah co-owns with a long-term team member.
Sarah says while the role of business owner comes with its own set of pressures, including a huge sense of responsibility to her valued staff, she would not change a thing.
“I kind of had a choice to either continue up that corporate ladder and become a partner or whatever would be the pinnacle of that role for me, but I honestly looked at my bosses and thought, ‘I don’t think I want to do that’.
“It was time to decide whether I was going to go down that track or I make a change.
“So I quit my job. They wanted me to take a leave of absence but I thought ‘no, I’ll quit so then I can’t go back to it’ and put my money where my mouth is, I guess.”
Rather than put her savings into buying a house upon her return from overseas, she was determined to establish a business she could call her own.
“You only live once and I felt I had to take the risk,” she says.
Sarah had many ideas, including a yoga business, before she noticed there was a gap in the market for the latest laser hair removal technology back home in Australia, particularly in regional locations such as Geelong.
“When we first opened we were very much laser hair removal focused, we are the exclusive distributor for the technology we have in Australia and that was really important to me that we stood out from the rest,” Sarah explains.
“It was scary,” she laughs. “I remember standing at the door that first day thinking ‘are we ever going to make a sale?’.”
But those fears were short-lived and Unique Laser has gone on to win multiple awards, including being inducted into the Geelong Business Excellence Awards Hall of Fame in 2020.
The business has also evolved from a firm focus on laser hair removal to expanding its expertise into advanced medical skin and body treatments.
Unique Laser now offers a broad range of specialist treatments including skin rejuvenation, cosmetic injections, teeth whitening and cosmetic body contouring, as well as selling a range of quality skincare products for tailored at-home beauty regimes.
Sarah said while the lockdowns during the pandemic have been tough on the beauty industry, it did provide some clear air to redesign the skin menu and think about what their clients would need when they came out of lockdown.
“We were right in our assumptions because people just want to look after themselves now and they have refocused on their entire lives,” she says.
The Torquay local is also proud to have a clinic open in her hometown and is grateful that her career switch-up now allows her to relish the coastal lifestyle which includes pursuing a love of horse riding and growing a thriving produce garden at home.
Looking back, Sarah says she has zero regret about making the career swap and she considers it a privilege to help clients look and feel at their best.
“People come to us because they have a problem, or a concern or an inhibition, they are not confident with something so we have to navigate that and help them and be absolutely genuine in that.
“We have that connection with people when they might feel vulnerable so we have to respect that.
“We always say within the team that we are very privileged in what we do.”
Discover more about Unique Laser on their website or on Instagram at @uniquelaser_aus.