If you pay any attention at all to who makes your clothes (which you should), you’ve probably heard about the less-than-stellar uppity-ups behind brands like A&F and, unfortunately, even Lulu. Not to worry, new brands constantly rise up to battle for your cash and affection. Oh, by the way, have you heard of Lorna Jane Active?
Last Saturday, I got to workout with and hear from Lorna Jane Clarkson herself. While her activewear is new to the US (mainly SoCal), she started her business in Australia 25 years ago. Her brand has a philosophy (as all cool brands do), known as “MNB”, Move. Nourish. Believe. With plans to grow in the US, they wanted to show SoCal fitness bloggers what MNB and Lorna Jane Active is all about.
Read on to see what happened and hear my take on Lorna Jane Active and “MNB”. You ought to know, I wasn’t asked to write about this. I actually heard rumors of this event on the inter webs; i.e., I wasn’t specifically invited. Then I found a way to get in.
Move: Workout with Christine Bullock
The entire morning followed “MNB” in order, starting with MOVE! They brought in an LA area fitness pro named Christine Bullock. Also, Lorna Jane Clarkson did the entire workout with us, getting all sweaty!
I’m not familiar with choreographed, dance-y type fitness classes. It isn’t my style, but I had fun. Christine has a great personality for leading this kind of exercise; upbeat without being annoying, informative without being boring, and keeps you moving without making you hate her skinny guts. Impressive.
So, we did skips and squats, plies and planks, and Kymberly (Fun and Fit) went rogue a few times, Michael Jackson style. I took many sweaty selfies. The next day, the only thing that was sore was my calves. Actually, they’re still tight… and it’s Tuesday.
It was great fun working out next to Christine (Oatmeal In My Bowl), Alexandra & Kymberly (Fun and Fit), Gigi (Eats Celebrities) and Whitney (To Live & Diet in LA) ! I was glad I got to come simply so I could spend some time with these ladies.
Nourish: True Food Kitchen
Lorna Jane Active invited all of us to lunch at True Food Kitchen and they paid for it. I knew there would be food, but I figured it would be something along the lines of a Corner Cafe sandwich spread with some fancy cookies. Needless to say, this was a real treat.
True Food has fresh, good, real food. I had salmon with red quinoa, golden beats, arugula, and a creamy lemon sauce. It was delicious. They also have delightful lemonades and fruity beverages, my favorite being “Medicine Man”.
Do you know what Sea Buckthorn is? Neither do I, but I drank it!
The fact that they treated us to this unbelievable lunch speaks volumes about how seriously Lorna Jane and her company take the “nourish” part of their philosophy.
Believe: Lorna Jane’s Secrets
At lunch, Lorna Jane, all changed from the workout and fresh, sat down and answered questions from one of her staff; questions about her business and lifestyle.
Here are a few fun facts and pseudo-secrets:
- Lorna Jane Active puts out 70 to 100 new styles every month. WHAT?!
- Lorna Jane designs most of it, tries it all on, and signs off on every item personally.
- There is a hidden heart inside every garment. She says it symbolizes the love that each person who has touched that garment puts in to it.
- She lives the lifestyle she promotes; making time to meditate, exercise and relax daily.
- She defines success in her business as the ability to inspire more and more women.
- She wants every woman to feel great about her life and be able to do what she loves.
- Her passion is to inspire women all over the world, one by one.
Here are the top two things she said that stood out to me the most:
- I’m just an average woman. When the creator and energy force behind a luxury apparel brand says that, it is hard to ignore that inner voice that says, “Uh huh.” And yet, she’s right. I’ve seen a few health/fitness celebs and you can tell which ones love the attention and the spotlight. When she first entered the workout room, no one announced her. We didn’t realize she was there until Alexandra unknowingly asked her to take a photo of us…and then we saw her name tag. She was just another happy woman in the room and easy to talk too. She says she isn’t smarter than anyone else. She is passionate, yes, and she believes in herself, but so can others. She believes any woman can find the same success and fulfillment that she has.
- Give more of yourself to get more out of life. This reminds me of what I heard from Bo Eason about being generous. Be generous in how you apply your talents, time, energy, resources, etc. Be willing to give more than others are willing to give and you will stand out from the rest. It seems Lorna Jane has put her entire life into her company, and still is. This type of generosity is something I want to intentionally grow in every area of my life.
More than Just Clothes
This is a different kind of post that what I normally write. Usually I’d tell you how cool it was to hang out with blog buddies and leave it at that. Why write about a brand and person?
To be honest I do really want to know who makes the clothes I sweat in. Every single dollar we spend isn’t merely buying clothes or food, but is also giving energy to ideas and creating opportunities for people. Sometimes for good ideas and good people, and often the opposite.
Most of the ideas and people we give support too aren’t through intentional acts of charitable donations, but through the every day purchases, the self-treating splurges, and forgotten little things that eat up our budget every month. It is when we’re NOT paying attention that we give the most. That sounds awful but it’s true.
After Saturday I can say that, of all the activewear lines I know of, Lorna Jane is one of the truly positive ones. All the more so because the woman behind the brand seems to live what she believes. I’ve been to the local store in Huntington Beach and even taught bootcamp classes in their in-store studio for a few weeks. The clothes are good quality and you feel good wearing them. I won a gift card a while back and got me some Amy Tights & Flash Dance Pants.
I really do like the brand but, at the end of the day, I personally can’t afford it. Even if I could, there is a high likelihood that I’d feel guilty spending $65 on a sports bra when I could’ve spent half that and donated the rest to charity. Truthfully, that is how I think. One thing Lorna Jane said she believes in is living within your means. While her clothes aren’t within mine, I sure wish they were!