How and when was the Lorna Jane brand born?
When I was working part-time as an aerobics instructor, I started designing and wearing my own leotards as I was tired of the dull and boring options available for women at the time. I wanted activewear that actually inspired me to workout!
The ladies in my class loved my designs and asked me to make some exercise kit for them, which of course I was happy to do! Little did I know, this was the start of the Lorna Jane brand, which 25 years on, has over 160 stores and followers all over the world!
What is the philosophy/mantra behind your brand?
The Lorna Jane Active Living philosophy is the driving force behind everything we do, say and believe. Active Living allows you to create the life of your dreams through the daily practice of Move Nourish Believe.
Who is the Lorna Jane customer?
The Lorna Jane customer is a go-getter, a dreamer, a doer and a lover of all things Active Living. She is focused on living her most beautiful life through the Active Living philosophy, and wants the latest activewear, recipes and motivation to do it! She is the essence of the Lorna Jane brand and is the reason behind every single thing we do.
Has your amazing success ever taken you by surprise? (ie, did you ever dream this to be possible when you were starting out?)
I would never in a million years have imagined I’d be here today with more than 160 retail stores globally and a social media network of over 1.5 million. It just shows the importance of following your dreams and never giving up! I just wanted to wake up every day and do what I loved to do; teach classes and design activewear. I’m so fortunate to have built a global business from simply doing what I love.
What does it take to be successful in your industry today?
Today, more than ever, it is critical that you understand your customer and create products that fit perfectly with their attitude and lifestyle. The modern woman is busier than ever, so she needs a wardrobe that keeps up with the pace of her life, yet doesn’t compromise when it comes to fashion. Lorna Jane activewear offers the perfect combination of fashion, function and durability which is why women around the world just can’t get enough of it.
What advice would you give a young entrepreneur who is inspired by your story and wants to tread a similar path?
Never, never, never give up! it is getting through the challenges that separates the dreamers from the achievers.
What is your ultimate dream for Lorna Jane?
I want Lorna Jane to pioneer the Active Living movement across the world and ignite women to live their best active lives through the daily practice of Move Nourish Believe! As part of this, we’re holding Active Nation Day on September 28 which is a day dedicated to encouraging women to put their health first by embracing Active Living. This event has now gone global and my ultimate dream is for it to one day be celebrated in Australia with a public holiday.
Who and/or what are your current major inspirations?
My customers are the culture and essence of Lorna Jane and their loyalty and support has always been so important to me. I love hearing from the determined, inspirational, active women that make up the Lorna Jane Sisterhood – it really puts a spring in my step and motivates me to continue designing the best activewear on the planet!
Who did you idolize growing up?
My mum, Jean, has always been my biggest supporter and greatest source of inspiration. Mum taught me to have a genuine desire to reach for the stars and encouraged me to work hard at anything I set my mind to. It was this ‘sky’s the limit’ attitude that gave me the courage to start Lorna Jane and ultimately achieve everything I could have wished for.
Ten items you cannot live without?
1. SPF 30 sunscreen
2. Coconut oil
3. Peanut butter
4. Amy F/L Tights
5. Isabel Marant hightops
6. My iPad
7. Cacao nibs
8. Rosewater face mist
9. A good book
10. My customers!
Stay tuned for the second installment in our interview with Lorna, (as well as recipes from her new book, Nourish!)