Sarah Andrews is a scientist, stylist, writer and sailor. Wearing two more hats, she is also the creator and woman behind both Captains Rest in Tasmania, and The Hosting Masterclass.
Exuding style and old world charm in everything she does, Sarah has transformed a run down shack into a booming AirBnb business, whilst sharing her stories and learnings via another booming business, The Hosting Masterclass.
In this interview Sarah shares with us her most invaluable business tool, the importance of sticking to your own offerings and why you should always be authentic.
Q1: Hi Sarah, welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
I am the creator of @captainsrest in Tasmania, and @thehostingmasterclass — well known as the very best school in the world for micro hoteliers, Airbnb owners, and anyone wanting to move into the accommodation and tourism space. The school is worldwide now, and I am so proud it was grown here, in Australia.
Q2: How did you break into the industry? And how do you continue to create a point of difference?
Putting in the love, smarts, and time to create something very unique and beautiful, and of far more value than our students and guests every expected. I've never regarded selling or marketing to be tools that work. All of our students come from knowing someone who has been to one of our classes and just never shut up about it since. It has all snowballed from there.
Q3: What single tool or strategy have you found invaluable to your business so far?
Instagram. It's given genuine power to creators, not just to those with large teams and big budgets. It has really levelled the playing field for us all the create in an authentic way and reach each other and for that, I am very grateful.
Q4: What has been the biggest lesson in your journey so far?
Always be authentic and true to yourself and it will work out. I feel like there is a lot of pressure in all creative industries to be influenced by others. Do you. You have your own things to offer, stick with that.
Q5: What have you found is important in life and business to you? Have your priorities shifted over time?
The most valuable asset any of us have is time. With this in mind, balance in my life is the most important thing to me. There is only so much I can work, then I try to call it a day without feeling guilty. Pre covid I really loved to work very hard for 6 - 8 months, teaching and touring and then take the rest of the year off to rest, walk, explore and learn new things in new countries ... while holding up the ship via email and my phone for a few small hours a day. That is a balance I miss, as well as all the people and places I met along the way. These days I'm trying very hard to be patient and stay grateful for the beautiful things and people around where I live in Tasmania.
Q6: With this in mind, what is your big hope and dream for your work?
My work has so profoundly changed the lives of women around the world. It's sort of like a small bag of magic beans that almost all of them have taken and used to go on to live their dreams, whatever that may be! Chains of accommodation, moving from corporate careers into creative, becoming stylists and creatives in their own right! I am so proud and happy for them and would love to one day see my school grow to become a nonprofit, Western Women can enrol by donation, opening up the school to all who would appreciate the work - all of the proceeds going to women in developing countries to support their own entrepreneurial and creative dreams.
Q7: What are your top superpowers?
Well, I am a scientist and a designer so I feel like this unique combination has the ability to distill complex creative methods down into a structure all of us can understand and follow. "Being creative" is a myth, all of us can be taught the magic of creating beauty, I promise — I see it happen over and over again, its special!
Q8: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
My mother. She also has a successful creative business with such incredible authenticity and integrity. I feel like if you can truly work and create something of so much more value to others, for an entire lifetime than what they paid for it, your time and efforts are well spent and you can be proud.
Q9: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Honestly, with the right support, education, and goal anyone really is capable of any goal or pursuit you put your mind to. I used to dream of what I do now, but never thought it possible. Everything is (possible), I promise!