Is Sarah Sklash transgender? A Closer look at Sarah’s sexuality, parents and her transformation

Motel Makeover on Netflix details the journey of two entrepreneurs – Sarah Sklash and April Brown – as they renovate the second branch of The June Motel during the coronavirus pandemic. That alone should be enough to have you rushing to your nearest screen to watch the show. However, we promise that the show will be much more interesting if you know more about the show’s brunette host Sarah Sklash. 

The first result you get when you google Sarah Sklash is her LinkedIn page. The page reveals an extensive background in analytical business before she became a motelier in June 2016. 

This piece will delve deeper into Sarah Sklash’s journey, revealing the parental inspiration behind her love of traveling, exploring the rumors regarding her sexuality, and detailing her transformation from a public service business analyst to pioneering motelier. 

Sarah Sklash was born in Toronto, Canada, to Michael and Karen Sklash. She grew up alongside a brother named David. 

Sklash’s LinkedIn page reveals that she’s lived in Australia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, and Israel, thanks to Michael and Karen. Sarah told Travel & Style that her parents turned her into a globe-trotter:

“When I was 5, my parents took my brother and I travelling for a year around the world. We spent some time living in Australia, France, and travelled all over Asia and Europe. My memories are adorably from the perspective of a child – Australia had the best slides, Austria had the best cookies.”

Sarah’s passion for traveling grew as she got older and partially inspired her to move into the hospitality industry. “[Sarah] believes that the moment you first open the doors to a new hotel room is the best feeling in the world,” Sklash’s LinkedIn page reads

Michael and Karen have supported their daughter’s new venture. In late October 2020, she attached the following caption alongside an Instagram photo of Michael and Karen enjoying a drink:

“A huge thank you to my parents for all the support they’ve given to @thejunemotel this year. From bookkeeping to picture hanging we have a lot to thank them for! Nice we were able to get a few social-distanced motel visits in.”

We cannot find a credible source behind the rumor that Sarah Sklash is transgender. Nevertheless, some netizens have run with it.

Secretive celebrities often face rumors about their sexuality as people try to draw a response from the celeb. Sklash rarely addresses her personal life on Instagram or on Motel Makeover

It is improbable that the rumor is true. Sarah reportedly married her husband Rodolphe in July 2019. 

In an interview with Flare in 2017, Sarah gave some insight into her relationship with her then-boyfriend. She stated that balancing her work and relationships had proved difficult since she co-founded The June Motel. 

Sklash also stated that she looked forward to unwinding with her boyfriend in their cottage. “Spending time with my boyfriend at our cottage, biking, kayaking or most luxuriously, watching Netflix with a glass of wine in hand,” Sarah responded to an inquest into how she unwinds.

After graduating from the Richard Ivey School of Business with an Honors in Business Administration, Sarah took up a job in public service as a Project Manager & Business Analyst. She had the enthusiasm for the job in her 20s, but with time, she started craving an outlet for her creativity. 

Sarah’s decision to become a motelier alongside her best friend April Brown came after the pair hosted a ‘wine camp’ for their friends at a dingy motel known as the Sportsman Motel. The plan was to renovate the motel for the event only, but the friends saw potential in the property. 

Two months after the event, the couple placed an offer before the motel’s owners. Sarah told Refinery29 that they bought the motel for a bargain. They purchased it using a vendor take-back mortgage because it would have been difficult to get traditional financing for the buy. 

Sarah and April ran the motel for a short while under its previous name before shutting down to allow for renovations. The pair envisioned a motel for the modern traveler – one who’s obsessed with posting their adventures on social media. They knew from the get-go that it wouldn’t be an easy task. Sarah told Authority Magazine:

“The clientele were mostly hunters and fisherman – not really the boutique travel crowd – but we set to work bringing our vision to life. We put all of our time and energy into the property, replacing the fish gutting station with a wine bar, and much more.”

Sklash secured funding from a small bank, but given the scale of the operation, they needed to use the $250,000 as wisely as possible. Sarah and April immersed themselves in the renovation. Sarah told Refinery29:

“We needed the stretch it [the budget] really, really far. So as April said, we were very, very hands-on on that first one. We also mastered that high, low mix, so lots of big box stores. We’ve assembled so much Ikea and we’ve painted to many walls.” 

The pair based The June Motels’ aesthetics on classic palm print wallpaper, which has now become something of a symbol of The June. The renovated motel opened on 5th May 2017. 

Sarah discovers new places by traveling and searching the internet for untapped gems. The pair found Sauble Beach – the location of the second June Motel – while scouring for sites with an east coast vibe similar to The Hamptons. Sklash talked to Refinery29 about the process of picking a location for the next June Motel:

“We’re always looking for, is there a brewery close by? Is there a vegan restaurant? Is there stunning scenery? There are some indicators of what’s going to be trendy, but it’s that balance of finding the perfect property and just a feeling. It’s great because we’re our own target markets so we ask ourselves, ‘Would I come here on vacation?”

After purchasing the property in the ‘magical, super retro beach town,’ Sarah and April refinanced the first June Motel to get funds for the renovation. The pair’s biggest renovation job yet involved revamping the motel’s 24 guest rooms, swimming pool, restaurant, gift shop, and lounge. 

As the renovation clicked into full gear, fate threw a spanner in the works in the form of coronavirus. Like most of us, Sarah dismissed the pandemic as a passing cloud that would disappear quickly. However, the seemingly harmless cloud evolved into a world-halting storm. 

Sarah and April risked losing everything if they failed to keep to their schedule. However, the virus disrupted everything, including supply and labor availability. Amazingly, though, the Sauble Beach June Motel opened just two months after the scheduled open date. 

The second location became something of an oasis for locals thirsty for travel and leisure. Sarah told Refinery29:

“Looking out and seeing people come together, we know they are creating lifelong memories. They’re having the best time they’ve had this year. Definitely with COVID, we have heard that a lot. When you get to sit back and witness people having those moments, it’s so special and rewarding.”

Sarah had little experience in design when she started designing The June. She’d helped model her cottage in Prince Edward county but had never taken up a challenge as massive as The June Motel. 

Nevertheless, Sarah immersed herself in creating a unique design identity for her motel. She consulted Pinterest, Instagram, and interior design experts in her search for cheap yet sleek ideas. Sklash talked to Refinery29 about her creative process:

“It’s really fun, and I can’t wait for the next motel so we can do this again. For Sauble Beach, it was like, ‘Okay, June is a woman in the 1970s, and she’s just bought a beach house.” We really think about the design through this personified version of our brand. We also walk around the property with a bottle of wine and some glasses and just sit there and brainstorm.”

Sarah is a prime example of an entrepreneur who’s learned on the job. She had no experience in design or running a motel but took the leap and is now a successful motelier. Sarah purchased the Sauble Beach motel with its restaurant despite not knowing how to run a restaurant. 

She hopes that her journey can inspire people to leap into entrepreneurship. She said:

“I think the other legacy is that we hope people see April and I, and are like, ‘Oh they’re just like me. If they can do it then I can go after my goal or I can start my business.’ That’s why we love to share our story. We just hope that it helps others take that leap.”

The pair’s search for the next June Motel location is set to start in autumn 2021. “We don’t know where it’s going to be,” Sklash told Fashion Magazine. “We’re going to be looking for that diamond in the rough property.”