Tell us what Stylerunner is all about.
Stylrunner is about bringing women all over the world the most exciting and stylish active wear from the best brands and emerging brands which they may never have heard of. It's not only about the clothes it’s also about inspiring them to live a healthy, fabulous life and to really live up to their best.
Stylerunner has a massive following and has developed a very loyal fan base. Is this important to the success of Stylerunner?
The community is so important to us, it’s actually been the driving force behind our success. We’ve essentially found other women just like us all over the world who are as passionate about working out, drinking green smoothies and living a healthy life. There’s an amazing feeling that comes from connecting with people and the more it’s grown and evolved it’s inspired us to bring them different things, new things and better things. It's really about listening to the Stylerunner community and finding out how we are impacting on their life and what they want more of. We love engaging with them on that level and being able to provide value in more than just that first layer of fabulous clothing.
How is the team structured at Stylerunner to ensure you connect with all your customers and supporters?
The team is across everything. For example, we share our Instagram account among 10 of us and this gives everyone the opportunity to talk to our community. We get to read the comments, see their questions and dive into their lives by clicking on the accounts of the girls who are talking to us. We do a lot of things collaboratively within our team as we find that so many people have great ideas. Our buyers have some of the best ideas as they know our products and they know the women who buy them. Anyone in our business that wants to contribute in a way that goes above and beyond their role, we really encourage.
Instragram is playing a massive part in businesses worldwide. How important has Instagram been to Stylerunner?
It has been hugely instrumental in what we’ve achieved to date. For the first time ever, small brands or start up brands can really compete with the massive retailers with $100 million budgets on a level playing field. Sometimes young brands like ourselves, and I can name a couple of really incredible examples like Frank Body and Triangle Bikini, have done even better than the brands with the big budgets. It’s allowed us to grow incredibly rapidly, reach an enormous audience and we wouldn't be where we are without it.
Stylerunner not only posts images of clothes and women looking fit and healthy on Instagram but also of food and snack ideas. How does Stylerunner promote healthy eating?
Well that brings me to our blog. We want to be able to connect with our customers on every level. These are women who appreciate the same sorts of things so why wouldn't we want to share even more value and not just limit ourselves to selling clothes? We want to talk to them about things that we mutually appreciate like healthy foods, how to exercise and how to get enough sleep. Work/life balance and women in careers are also subjects we often feature on our blog.
What is the importance of both exercise and healthy eating? Why should the two go hand in hand?
I think it’s important to have a really well rounded reigeme. Eating gets you all the right nutrients and minerals but exercise keeps your body young. It's reguvenating, pumps oxygen through your body more quickly and has proven association with the length of your life and reduces things like heart disease and risks of a lot of cancers. It's also important to get enough sleep. I see people who eat really well, waking up at 5am to go to the gym and they think they’re ticking all the right boxes. However they’re so stressed and tired and I believe that's an area that's really being neglected. It’s about mental health, you've got to look after your mind just as much as your body.
Food is such a popular and widely discussed topic within the fashion industry. What is Stylerunners position on the size 0 debate?
I think one of the most exciting trends that we’ve seen in the modeling industry over the last few years, is that it has moved away from the ultra thin body to a more sporty, healthy body. When we first started casting for Stylerunner it was almost impossible to find a healthy or fit representation. It was a really tough task but now there are so many models which fit our brand. Looking at their own Instagram accounts you can see that they’re hiking, doing sit ups and eating big meals. It’s about a really healthy, well rounded diet. That waif look is out, particularly here in Australia, I’m not sure what it’s like internationally, but here it’s very much about a healthy body and we are all for that.
Speaking of food, what do you like to eat?
You know what, if I could drink everything in smoothie form I would. (Like a Sunday roast smoothie?) Well, it’s actually amazing some of the flavour combinations you see now. Like smoked bacon donuts or olive oil and black pepper ice cream, so I’m sure it wont be too long before we see a Sunday Roast smoothie. If I could I would start everyday with a big, beautiful smoothie of berries, coconut water, kale and all of that good stuff. But what else do I love to eat? I love Indian food. My hubby is Indian so I’m very lucky that his mum, who is one of the most incredible Indian cooks, spoils me with it. I also really love……..oh everything! From Middle Eastern cuisine to French food. I’m a general food lover.
So how do you keep in shape and balance a busy schedule, long hours and still make sure you’re eating proper food and enough food and leading this healthy lifestyle that Stylerunner promotes?
It does get hard when I’m really busy but I try to keep a routine. The easiest way to keep doing something is to make it a habit and making it non negotiable. I get into the office really early and then around 5:30pm I head to the gym with my colleagues. A lot of my team members go to F45 and we do a 45 minutes class which is quite easy to fit in. Then I'm home early enough to have a nice dinner with the hubby and I can still do a little bit of work if I have to but it’s in the comfort of my lounge so I can still put my feet up.
I guess you have to be realistic, when you’re running a business you have to put in the hours. Especially for the first few years but you just have to know that it’s only going to be short term. It’s ironic that I was starting this business to sell healthy, inspiring active wear and for the first couple of years I didn't have enough time to exercise myself. For the first two years it’s going to be really hard, you’re going to have to sacrifice some of the things you love, but you say to yourself I have to bring back the balance in year three. Now we have an amazing team in place and I have someone heading up every department so if I need to go home early I can do so guilt free and know it’s in fantastic hands.
And finally, if today was your last day on earth what would be your final meal?
This is going to sound really simple but it would be my mums home baked bread, really, really crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, straight out of the oven and butter. Seriously crunchy, soft, warm, salty, delicious, that's all I would ask for.
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All photos used within this post are Stylerunners and Julie's own personal Instagram photos.