How do you get inspired?
Through living. Katie [a Naturopath who practices at I Am Balanced] walking into your store [I Am Balanced] wearing a L’aura the label garment, and you [Jacki] asking to stock them, inspired me. I said yes before thinking about how. To me inspiration is the opposite of thinking. It’s accepting that I don’t know how it is all going to happen but taking the leap anyway.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you were doing before this?
Ever since I was a young girl all I wanted was to be an actress. I made that decision at a tough time and having that dream to focus on, got me through it. I clung to the same dream for many years. However, life had another plan for me, and after getting to the bottom of ongoing issues, I discovered I could heal others. It made so much sense when I looked back on my whole life, but I took a while to accept it. My partner Jimmy had a similar experience years earlier. There’s a lot more to it, which I can go into another time! A few years ago we created L’aura Healing together www.laurahealing.com. We work with people all over the world and are currently in the process of building a healing centre in Bali, where anyone can stay as long as they need for their individual healing.
Tell us about the birth of your business.
We launched our boutique in November 2019. The main reason we started L’aura the Label was to create another source of income to build the healing centre.
We are complete newbies to the world of sales and fashion. We both had a behind-the-scenes insight to the industry before stepping into it. I was a freelance photographer for years, and my auntie was an established NZ designer, who I worked for during fashion shows. I also did packaging and stocktake for a few brands. Jimmy has a background in graphic design, and his auntie happens to be one of the top fashion designers and teachers in Indonesia and offered to help us. We kept meeting people who own online labels, and with our combination of skills over the years, somehow beginning this, felt very possible.
The last few years for me have been spent between NZ and Bali. On one of those stints in Bali, we searched for, and found our dressmaker. With Ibu Ketut, it honesty doesn’t feel like work! She has a home studio, and Jimmy’s place is just around the corner from it. She used to lend me her push bike when I was going there a lot in the sampling stage. I haven’t been in Bali for a whole year, so we’ve had to adjust our process significantly. All communication is done via WhatsApp. You’d be amazed at what we have managed to create via txting!
I still work other jobs while laying the foundations for this label. Recently more orders have been popping in which we are so grateful for! Maybe the birthing phase is nearly over?!
Are there any values or ideas that you will always base your business decisions on?
All our garments blend our love of the EAST and WEST.
COMFORT - basic garments, for life.
ART - hand-painted garments and Indonesian batik.
ETHICAL, SLOW - we keep a very small stock on hand, make-to-order or even tailor-make.
ECO-FRIENDLY - natural fibres, no plastic in the production. Many of the smaller garments use up fabric cuts from the larger ones so non goes wasted.
SPECIAL - something you will keep and love your whole life! We recently added my analogue photographs to a collection on the site, which are custom printed for you. We also have a cleaned stone collection (energetically cleaned by Jimmy and I). When the stone arrives in your hands, we connect it to you. Later we will do the same with jewellery.
What do you love most about your products? And what’s your favourite product. Pick one!
THE KIMONO. I live in mine! Only when I walk out the door do I put proper clothes on! The cut is modelled off my mum’s mustard kimono from the 80s that I inherited (stole). The base is one-size and unisex and a really soft cotton. It comes plain in a range of colours and can even be hand-painted on the back. This is the L’aura the Label signature garment.
What are your personality traits that have helped you with your successes?
Willingness to ‘give it go’. Even if it doesn’t work out the way I want, to say I tried - is worth everything.
Having a reason behind doing it that’s way bigger than myself.
Building a healing centre for many people to come and stay for their individual healing.
Keeping our dressmaker and her team working.
Providing a service or product that are special and useful to you.
Seeing each purchase lead to those things, is what keeps me wanting to grow this label!
Being ok in the unknown, and navigating life.
When I was at acting school, after every scene we would be prompted to ask ourselves ‘what worked’ ‘what didn’t’ ‘why’. Over time, I can see that’s engrained in my life. DO - REFLECT (without beating myself up) - LEARN FROM - DO AGAIN DIFFERENTLY.
To me inspiration is the opposite of thinking. It’s accepting that I don’t know how it is all going to happen but taking the leap anyway.
Have there been unexpected life or business lessons since this journey started? Please share!
This was never my life plan - to be a healer, to own a label, to build a healing center. Letting go of the way I wanted my life to look, and accepting & being who really I am - that has been the biggest lesson. Which could only be understood by living it, and I am so glad I took that leap a few years ago.
Every day that I think ‘what the hell am i doing?’, I just stick with it. I overcome my own limits, for the purpose of others.
Teamwork. I’m oddly organised and can manage a lot at once. Jimmy is very action based, and has to focus one thing through to the end. We have had to work out where our strengths are, and leave each other to it. We give each other full freedom to learn our weakness’s on our own.
In the end, it’s not about business at all, it’s about life.
What are some things that you do to take care of yourself?
I say thank you everyday for the breath in my lungs.
I have very full days at the moment (working a lot while in the building phase), yet I feel comfortable deep inside no matter what. That is something I searched for my whole life.
I talk to Jimmy everyday. He is the one I want to share everything with!
Sleep in’s, warm drinks, a massage, movie nights, picnic’s at home, hiking, days with no plan or agenda - just seeing what I feel like doing.
Morning or evening walks on the farm.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself and your business?
Thank you so much for choosing L'aura. Please tell us what garments or items you want and we will make it happen! In the works currently, are pj’s and T-shirts!
We are also working on a custom Indonesian Antique database / online store. Stay tuned for that.
For questions about the healing work - you can find us here www.laurahealing.com.