MEET OUR FOUNDER LORNA JANE CLARKSON
How does a business idea based on nothing to wear to work out, become a global phenomenon with the power to change the world’s attitude to exercise? It takes a special kind of vision to spot a gap in the market, to follow your instinct, develop a skill and grasp an opportunity with both hands.
Over thirty years ago, Lorna Jane Clarkson was an Aerobics instructor in Brisbane, Australia. Frustrated with the boring and unflattering workout fashion of the 1980s, it all began with a straightforward idea to create workout clothes that our girl could wear on the street. So, she took a pair of scissors to her favourite swimsuit to discover how it was made, and the first ever piece of Lorna Jane Activewear began to take shape. Lorna’s Aerobics students took notice of her designs and started asking for custom orders. Soon, overwhelming demand led to opening the first Lorna Jane store.
Lorna called it activewear because you put it on, to in fact be active, and saw the opportunity to change the way women lived – an idea that has since grown into a movement.
Her biggest challenge in the early days was convincing people that ‘Activewear’ was actually a thing! When she talked about women wearing workout clothes outside of the gym and that it would encourage them to be more active in their everyday lives, people thought she was crazy. That said, while the road hasn't always been easy, Lorna was determined and driven to be a global brand recognized as a thought leader in the health and fitness arena.
There has never been a more powerful time for women to be fearless, and it’s something that she is incredibly proud to be part of it. When first starting out, being a female CEO was rare and forward-thinking. Now, as Lorna lead’s this company, we continue to push the conversation ahead through our core values and authenticity.
Our customers were adopting our philosophy to move, nourish, and believe in themselves every day. Without realizing it, we had started a movement, and what originally started as a brand that made ‘Activewear’ had evolved into a way of life that encouraged women to lean into their full potential. We were changing how they lived their lives and we called it Active Living.
One of Lorna’s favourite things to do is meet the girls that make up the brilliant community of women who share our values and align with the Lorna Jane philosophy. She loves hearing their stories, finding out who they are, what motivates them, and how they're thriving.
With this in mind, we have taken significant steps towards sustainability for the future of women, this company, and the world.
When Lorna thinks about the legacy she’s leaving, she comes back to our core mission to motivate women to achieve their potential, believe in themselves, and know that with hard work and a can-do attitude, anything is possible. Remember, it's what we do every day, that shapes our future and ensures our communities, planet, and environment are just as healthy as the women that wear our products.
Since coining the term Activewear, Lorna has spent three decades learning, evolving, listening, and leading the way in product design and the normalisation of wearing Activewear everywhere.
Read more about the evolution of Lorna Jane here
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