Sunshine Coast innovators go global

Laundry Lady chief executive officer Susan Toft, and Bakslap founder, Raphael McGowan.

It was a case of twice as nice as Sunshine Coast-based businesses The Laundry Lady and Bakslap were both successful as part of Trade and Investment Queensland’s (TIQ) New to Export Program.

The Laundry Lady, which offers a pickup and delivery laundry service, and breakthrough lotion applicator Bakslap, will each receive $15,000 in matched funding from the Queensland Government to take their ideas internationally.

It’s a real coup for local innovators on the Sunshine Coast, and an opportunity which Laundry Lady chief executive officer Susan Toft said would fast-track her business in new markets like New Zealand.

“Laundry Lady has a team of 160-plus contractors Australia-wide, and the ongoing demand for our affordable washing, drying, folding and ironing services means international expansion is the next, natural step for us,” Susan said.

Susan, who identified a market gap for an affordable and mobile laundry service before launching her business in 2012, said the $15,000 boost would be integral in Laundry Lady’s success abroad.

“Later this year, we will be attending a women’s lifestyle expo in Hamilton, in New Zealand’s north island,” she said.

“This will be our key event in introducing Laundry Lady to the New Zealand market.”

Laundry Lady will use the opportunity to promote its services to busy families and businesses living in New Zealand as well as a recruitment drive for New Zealand-based contractors.

As part of the New to Export Grant, Susan will also receive face-to-face business mentoring and export strategy development.

“We’re very grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to see what the coming 12 months bring as we continue to expand in Australia and now internationally thanks to Trade and Investment Queensland and the State Government.”

The TIQ New to Export Grant selection process was highly-competitive, seeing hundreds of applications come in from businesses across the State.

As Bakslap founder Raphael McGowan said, exporting to a new market is a major commitment of resources and a significant step for any business.

“But when you have the support of the Queensland Government through TIQ, it gives our team a lot of confidence,” he said.

Like Susan, Raphael runs his business from the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland – now touted as one of the country’s top hubs for innovation.

The region’s focus on sun safety and enjoyment of the outdoor lifestyle provides the perfect backdrop for Raphael’s business, Bakslap.

Bakslap offers a range of innovative health and skincare protective products, including its award-winning lotion applicator (suitable for everything from sunscreen through to moisturiser and tanning lotion).

“Outside of our local market, Bakslap has an e-commerce growth focus for New Zealand and the United Kingdom,” Raphael said.

“In terms of retail growth, the focus is on the United States, which is where the TIQ program and Grant will support.”

With a commitment to health and community, Bakslap already has an impressive footprint here in Australia, having partnerships with the likes of National Skin Cancer Centres, Australia Skin Cancer Foundation, Royal Life Saving, and Cancer Council Queensland.

“We’ll be heading to the United States for meetings with retailers and distributors in July,” Raphael said, adding that exporting will kick off as early as next year.

Funded by the Queensland Government, the New to Export Grant provides Queensland businesses with the tools and support to grow and scale their goods and services internationally.

The Laundry Lady and Bakslap will now benefit from ongoing export strategy support and participate in an eight-week export capacity and capability training program.

You can learn more about Susan’s laundry-busting business The Laundry Lady at and Raphael’s revolutionary skin protective products at