The activewear entrepreneur o_ creating Yer trailblazing ‘fit fashion’ site and store
A Working day for me begins at 6am My children, aged four-and-a-half one-and-a-half, wake up and join for breakfast and we hang out until my mum arrives to look after them.‘I leave the house by 7:30am and, a couple of week, I swing by the gym for a weights workout before heading to the office. I’ve recently moved to central London so my day now includes a 30-minute train journey. It helps to separate my work and home life, and I use that time to zone out and just “be” – my phone stays strictly in my bag.‘No day is the same at ActiveinStyle, but it’s always busy and I’m grateful and excited to get to work. The website first went live in 2012, three days before my daughter was born, and I think of it as my other baby.’
‘After I graduated, I worked in media in London, before moving to Australia with my husband in 2008.I qualified as a personal trainer and worked as a PR and communications manager for Lorna Jane, which was one of Australia’s biggest activewear brands.‘In 2012, I was given the opportunity to launch Lorna Jane in the UK so I jumped at the chance and moved home. At first, I sold it through gyms and trunk shows and soon started ActiveInStyle (activeinstyle. com) as an online platform for sales.‘The Australians were ahead of the game when it came to activewear – they knew fitness wear could be fashionable and something you’d wear all day – to meet friends or do the school run. Back then, UK women had a few pieces of sportswear they’d exercise in then change out of.I wanted to introduce the idea of a workout wardrobe believe it motivates you to be more active.‘I decided to make ActiveInStyle a destination site, not only for Lorna Jane but some of the gorgeous brands in Australia and the US that our customers wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Over the next couple of years, we had several pop-up shops to showcase our range,and, in 2016, we opened our store on London’s King’s Road.’
Caroline Lucey founder, Active In Style Photo Gallery
MY WORKING DAY
‘I have a team of six in the office and three in the store, and we look after 45 brands. I might spend the morning looking at pitches from brands who want to be on the site or checking out new collections from existing suppliers.‘We do all the styling and photography for the site, and there’s such a high turnover of stock that we have a photoshoot every fortnight. I spend a lot of time trying to cast the right models – ones who embody our healthy, strong ethos.‘I always make my own lunch and bring it to work. I’ll fill a Tupperware box with salad and veg, then add some protein – chicken, eggs or cheese, say. I’ll also have some homemade protein balls or dark chocolate, and a coffee to kick-start the working day.’
GROWING THE BRAND
‘I never miss an opportunity to work in the shop. It’s a great way to find out who our customers are and what they want. We offer run club and free classes, so we’ve built a nice community. Occasionally, I join in a class, but I find it hard to fit in as much exercise as I’d like. I do British Military Fitness at the weekend and yoga if I can. My fallback is walking. That’s one of the benefits of living in activewear – I’m always ready to go!‘I’m most excited about our new ventures: The Active Man (theactiveman.com) is a website for men, to show them fitness wear can be functional and stylish. And Avenue C is our activewear brand for urban, modern women. We have 10 key pieces in luxe, black fabrics with a touch of gold and a new collection launching at the end of the year.’
CAROLINE ON SUCCESS
• Always be flexible and you won’t miss opportunities. I trained as a PT when I couldn’t find media work in Australia, and that led to Lorna Jane.
• Never think you’re too busy to give it a try. Even with young children you can start a business – you just need to be organised and willing to juggle.