We caught up with Lorna Jane Clarkson; Author, Fashion Designer (founder of multi-award-winning activewear label Lorna Jane) and Business Entrenpreneur.
SA: You have had an incredible career path, tell us how you started?
Lorna: It all began when I was working part-time as an aerobics Instructor, I started designing and wearing my own leotards because I was tired of the dull, shapeless styles available at the time. The ladies in my class were very excited about my designs and asked me to make some for them as well, which of course I was more than happy to do! My aim was to design activewear that actually got the wearer excited about exercise.
25 years on, my dreams have come true and you can now see women all over the world wearing their activewear with pride and making a promise to lead an active, healthy and happy life.
SA: What was one of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome?
Lorna: As with anyone starting a new business, my obstacles were predominantly financial to begin with. My mum, Jean, lent me money initially to increase the scale of production and cover rent and living expenses. When I decided to quit my job and start building Lorna Jane as a brand full time, I had to sell my dream home and move into a tiny studio apartment which doubled as my design studio. It was a struggle to make ends meet for a while, but orders picked up very quickly and soon I was able to stand on my own two feet.
SA: You have just launched your cookbook, tell us one of your favourite recipes?
Lorna: Nourish is a compilation of my all time favourite recipes, which I hand selected from those I cook every day in my kitchen for family and friends. With winter in full swing at the moment, I am really enjoying the roast kumara and peanut butter soup – it’s delicious, nourishing and perfect for a warming lunch or dinner.
SA: A way you unwind after a busy week is?
Lorna: For me, exercise is the best way to unwind and relax when my schedule is particularly hectic. I love being able to arrive home, pop on my running shoes and take my puppy Roger for a walk. I can then sit down to a delicious nourishing dinner with my husband Bill and steal some of his dessert feeling relaxed and ready to tackle the following day.
SA: Favourite holiday destination?
Lorna: Since expanding internationally, I have been travelling non stop but would have to say Los Angeles is my all time favourite. We have several Lorna Jane stores in Los Angeles, so I visit quite regularly for work but when on holiday I love to treat myself and my husband Bill, by staying at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, which is not only beautiful and luxurious, but sits right on the beach.
SA: What are three things a person can possess that make them valuable?
Lorna: Determination, authenticity and self confidence.
SA: Who has inspired you most?
Lorna: My husband, Bill, has always and will always be my biggest source of inspiration. Since the early days of Lorna Jane, Bill has been at my side with incredible determination and an entrepreneurial spirit that never ceases to amaze me. Without Bill as CEO, Lorna Jane would not be where it is today.
SA: Can you tell us your favourite tonic recipe to start the morning?
Lorna: I love to change up my morning routine with a variety of tonics and elixirs, but the Immunity tonic is definitely one of my favourites. It’s a beautiful combination of fresh orange juice, fresh ginger and turmeric and Manuka honey, which are all ingredients to support your immune system and ward of colds and flu’s.
SA: I loved your outfit from Tuesday, can you send us the links to where we can shop this?
Of course, I was wearing 2 of my favourite pieces at the moment – the Amy Full Length tight (http://www.lornajane.com.au/LB0122/Amy-F-L-Tight). This tight is one our best selling styles and is part of our LJ Originals range. I was also wearing The Devotion Excel Zip Through (http://www.lornajane.com.au/U051464/Devotion-Excel-Zip-Through), which is from our Uniquely Lorna Jane range – I love the flattering panel lines and the little bit of sparkle on the shoulders.