It isn’t every day you get to meet an incredible, successful and beautiful business woman who as down to earth as Lorna Jane Clarkson. The founder and creative director of Lorna Jane Activewear is igniting women’s love for health, wellness and fitness with her inspired designs and positive attitude toward healthy living. Lorna Jane recently launched in the U.S. with stores in Malibu, Marina Del Rey and now their flagship store at Santa Monica Place. I was invited to speak with her yesterday on the last day of her stay in the U.S. – she’s headed to a much-needed vacation next! I so hope you enjoy the interview and learn something you can apply to your own life or business from this savvy, intelligent and charming woman who is living out her big dreams every day.
Share an “ah-ha” moment with your business
There are so many “ah-ha” moments in business (and life). Over the weekend we were in San Diego at the IDEA World Fitness Convention. There was a line of women waiting to see and buy the clothes. That kind of response when picking up and moving to a new country was my most recent “ah-ha” moment, as in “ah ha” we are on to something. The response was incredible. The women loved learning about the Move. Nourish. Believe. philosophy of Lorna Jane Active Wear. We were grateful for the response and affirmation that coming to the U.S. was the right move for Lorna Jane.
Lorna and I continued the conversation about being authentic with as a company and brand. She firmly believes that people see through the “fake” and that “as corny as it sounds” attributes much of her success because she works from her heart. Be real, be authentic, be from the heart in all that you.
Where you find inspiration in your creative process?
I find inspiration from life – all around really! Healthy living, the outdoors, bright colors, nature. Getting out and exploring, trying new things – these are essential to the creative process. I also love sayings and mantras. There are mood boards all over my home (much to her husband’s chagrin!). I’ve been collecting inspirational images and sayings and making mood boards my whole life.
Creativity is a conscious act. You must live a life of creativity to make creativity happen.
What excites you at the start of each day?
Breakfast! (this made me laugh!!) The day really! I lay out my exercise clothes the night before, like a ceremony and an event to look forward to in the morning (this is why workout clothing you love is so important, ladies!). In the morning I stretch for 20 to 30 minutes in my zen room. Sun salutations and stretches to wake up my body and mind. I take my dog Raja on a walk. I love having a calm start to my morning. Then it’s on to work…
What is a typical business day like for you?
I wake up between 5:00 and 5:30am and go through my morning routine. I arrive at the office between 8:30 and 9:00 and have my one cup of coffee – just one! I typically meet with my design team from 9:00 up until lunch time to review styles and fittings.
After lunch the focus shifts to marketing and campaigns. There are multiple time zones to account for in a business day, which can become a bit tricky. I typically leave the office around 7:00pm most nights.
I used to believe that a creative mind requires a bit of chaos. Now I function by the rule of “organized chaos”. Things are neatly arranged into stacks. My office has windows all around with trees and green views all around. I keep things I love on hand, from fashion books and visually inspiring quotes and images to fresh flowers. My favorites are peonies and orchids.
If you weren’t doing this, what would be your career?
Tough question! If I weren’t the creative director and founder of Lorna Jane I would still be doing something in health and fitness. Perhaps running wellness retreats, teaching classes or running a studio.
“Move. Nourish. Believe.” Wellness is to think and to perform at your best.
The conversation continued about health being intertwined with one’s attitude or outlook on life and a person’s pre-disposed mindset for happiness. If you’re interested in learning more about Lorna Jane’s view of wellness and how she lives to her fullest each day, buy a copy of Move. Nourish. Believe. and get inspired!
How do you take care of your health?
My daily routine is how I take care of myself day-to-day. In addition to that I make time for a weekly massage. On the weekends my husband and I escape to our beach house where we take long walks. Of course we discuss business, but that’s because to us “work-life-balance” has rolled into one. Lorna Jane is our work, our life and a source of balance.
I also believe that much of my health has to do with my disposition. I’m a very positive person and have been so all of my life according to my mother. I believe in good energy and acknowledging the importance of an optimistic outlook in life.
Who inspires you?
My customers. Their stories – those stories shared in Move. Nourish. Believe. The transformations are astounding. Our customers’ accounts inspire us to to be our very best.
There were floods in Australia a few years ago. As I watched footage of the clean up on local and national news I noticed women wearing Lorna Jane tops with affirmations and positive mantras as they cleaned their homes from the flood and wreckage. Knowing our clothing was helping to bring light to what was a very negative time in their lives was another “ah-ha” moment.
In the business realm, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs inspire me. At their core they have always had the courage to stay true to who they really are. That’s powerful. I found the more true to myself and authentic I am in when speaking the more people ‘fall in love’ with me and the Lorna Jane brand.
Don’t ever compromise who you are. Learn every day and embrace all that happens in your life – the good, the bad and everything in between. You can only celebrate the sweetness and reward of a win when you have been through a few losses.
Tell us about your perfect day – start to finish.
My perfect day is much like my daily life. I would eat wonderful food, exercise, walk my dog and spend the day with my husband, Bill. There would be plenty of flowers everywhere!
If it were a perfect day to a travel destination, I would go with my husband to Africa and take a safari tour!
Who would leave your starstruck?
Oprah. The way in which she tells us to listen to our inner voices while they’re whispering is advice we must all heed. We know what to do with our lives. It’s about listening. Oprah also warns that we must act on those voices before they start to yell. So, yes, Oprah. If she walked into my office or a store, I would be starstruck!
“There is no force equal to that of a determined mind.”
And the Lorna Jane mantra,“Never, Never, Never Give Up”.
Share a secret with us!
[laughs] I have no secrets! I’ll have to email you! It’s not really a secret, but I’m terrible at sports. My own sister wouldn’t pick me for her teams growing up! But not being good at sports is part of what makes me and the Lorna Jane brand so relatable. You don’t have to be the best for someone else or a team – you need to be the best for you. I’m an average girl just doing my bit each day to live a life of health and wellness.
See the full Lorna Jane line-up of inspired active wear for women at the flagship store in Santa Monica. I’ll be in the store on Thursday afternoon (July 12th from 4:00-5:00p) offering smoothies and open chat about wellness as a Lorna Jane ambassador. You all know I only get behind products and brands with LOTS of heart and there is no shortage of that with the Lorna Jane family! And if you don’t live in California, I’ll take orders for you ;)
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