Dear Passionate Creatives,
Typically, when we’re in the midst of being curious to start something new, often it’s our self-talk that gets in the way from us starting. Amongst other things, some of the greatest ways we talk ourselves out of it, is by convincing ourselves we don’t have the expertise, knowledge or skill level to do something.
When I first connected with Jamie from boutique fashion label Luxmii, I made certain assumptions. I assumed she’d had a background in fashion, that she had all the right contacts, that she’d had past experience in the industry and made the decision to finally launch on her own.
None of that was true.
Jamie’s decision to pursue her passion, was because an idea inspired her. It gripped her so much, and her belief in it was so vivid, that the desire and yearning to inch towards it had too great a pull.
When we give our passions the space, it means they then have the opportunity to reveal just what they have in store. The direction they might like us to take. The experiences that are waiting for us to dive into, behind that closed door. When we allow curiosity to take the lead, it means possibility actually has a chance to show us WHAT ELSE is out there. And in Jamie’s case, it meant launching a global fashion label, with a core that is driven with ethical and sustainable values, and a heart that pulses to inspire beauty in women and the narrative of the brand which follows zero conventional rules…
Tell me a little about Luxmii, what inspired you to start such a unique linen clothing brand?
Living in Europe, you’d see so many women wearing beautiful linen as soon as the summer season started. Spending those summer months on the Mediterranean coastline, I was inspired by all the independent and family owned, artisan made, linen clothing boutiques found on the coast towns of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. I was obsessed with wearing linen in the summer as it was the only thing that kept me cool. It also looks so effortless, yet chic, and I love how linen gives you an excuse to not iron, as the creases are what gives it so much character.
Anyway I noticed that a lot of these stores and designers were expensive and I wanted to create linen clothing at a more accessible price point without compromising on quality.
One thing led to another and I found some amazing partners in Greece and Italy that believed in my vision and that’s how Luxmii started.
I wanted to bring that back home to Australia where I saw the demand for linen growing and I saw the need for elevated basic designs for everyday women that wanted to be comfortable yet look good, wearing high quality European linen at affordable prices. Australia is my biggest market and now I split my time between Europe and Australia. I’m very lucky to have two homes.
Disclosure: I’m not from a fashion or design background. Actually very far removed from it but if you’re determined to make something work, nothing is impossible.
You’re very particular about the fabrics you source and who you work with. Your range is created with beautiful cottons and linens sourced directly from Greece and Italy. The workmanship of your pieces, speaks volumes to the care and love you put into your range. How has this become instrumental to the success of the brand and your strong following of influential clients?
We have a huge customer retention rate, which simply means that we have a large number of return customers. We have many women that love one style and buy it in every colour or order an entire collection as they appreciate the thought we put into designing pieces that are genuinely wearable and comfortable for everyday.
I also put a lot of emphasis on quality, and finding the right fabrics to work with is crucial. We produce with Oeko-tex, certified European fabrics for all designs. We also use plant-dyes to colour some of our more natural toned styles and some are made from organic cotton/line mixes.
We also work with small family-run factories and artisans all over the place who understand our brand and what we want for the people who wear it. Our producer in Greece for instance is like family and every time we visit, it’s like catching up with an old friend. This type of partnership is how I build Luxmii.
From concept, to design, the stages of putting a range together would mean there’s a series of ebbs and flows with the creative process. How do your ideas emerge, and as a creative, what’s this process like?
To be honest, there really isn’t one! As I don’t come from a design or textile background I don’t have a specific process. We don’t follow seasons or a fashion calendar. We produce new collections and come out with new deigns irrespective of seasons or trends as we want to make clothes that women can wear for years to come and not just for today.
We produce based on what our customers literally tell us. I am very analytical in my approach and make decisions based on what’s working. For me it’s about speaking directly with the women that wear Luxmii. We do more of what people love and less of what doesn’t work. I like to keep things simple.
Who have been some of the most inspirational mentors in your life and how have they shaped this journey in pursuing your love for fashion and design?
I wouldn’t say I love fashion and design, but more a love for beautiful aesthetics that are practical. I love finding solutions in a creative process and feel that I get that with Luxmii as there’s so much more to the equation than creating collections.
I think there’s more work that goes into running a business, from operations to marketing and selling over designing clothes. And I feel it gets even more challenging, especially for a sustainable brand like Luxmii to balance the ethical aspects with the profit-making aspects, as at the end of the day, the business has to make money in order to keep going otherwise I wouldn’t be able to continue. My mentor is and always will be my mother. Her guidance and experience is why I continue to push myself to do better and build something that will last.
When it comes to quality, you are completely uncompromising. In a world dominated by fast fashion, artisan pieces stand apart. What role does educating your clients play, and can you speak to the success you’ve achieved as a result of refusing to take short-cuts and building trust with your community?
It’s so tempting to take shortcuts, but shortcuts today always leads to shortcomings tomorrow…
At some point it catches up, so although everything we do takes more time, it saves us so much time and hassle later on as we have built a strong relationship based on trust with every aspect of the business from our fabric suppliers and producers to our customers. Finding the perfect partners and building those relationships take time! Because of this, our return rates are well below the industry standard and customer retention rate is well above it.
From influencers, to the likes of both young and mature women, Luxmii is a fan to many across the world. You ship worldwide. Tell me about the importance of your relationship with community and what this has most taught you about running your own business?
To be honest, we don’t regularly collaborate with influencers but i’d like to do more this year in order to reach places that Luxmii isn’t selling to, yet I believe would do phenomenally, such as the UAE.
On the occasion we partner with influencers, age and location is irrelevant since our customers come from diverse backgrounds and range from anywhere between 25 and 65 years old.
The women we do end up partnering with, is rarely a one-off thing and we usually collaborate time and time again with them and through that, a friendship outside the brand usually develops. We work with influencers that believe in what Luxmii stands for and genuinely want to wear the clothes and share it with their friends and family. That kind of community is how we grow the brand.
The minute I land on your site, or look at your stunning account on social media, I am instantly transported to the Mediterranean. I imagine basking in that sunshine and swanning around barefoot across cobblestone streets in your stunning flowing dresses, kaftan tops and long, loose pants. The Mediterranean is as much a part of the identity of your brand, as the pieces themselves. Tell me about your love affair with the Mediterranean and the role it played in bringing Luxmii to life.
The Mediterranean heavily influences Luxmii designs especially when it comes to choosing colours and prints. I think by spending so much time there, you subconsciously get influenced by what’s around you. The designs are also very much influenced by the Mediterranean aesthetic. I think there’s a lot of similarities between the Mediterranean and the Australian coastline and that’s really clear when I see a woman living on the Sunshine Coast, order the exact same outfit as the woman living on the Algarve.
I was very lucky to recently receive one of your stunning linen tops. The minute I pulled it out of the tissue wrapping, there were certain things that instantly struck me: the beautiful butter- like softness of the linen, the attention to shape and cut that I often observe with European designs and how they ensure the fit will compliment and enhance a woman’s figure, even the feel of the beautiful textured paper of the brands swing-tag. You have a stunning range of timeless pieces. What are some of your favourite Luxmii essentials?
Ahhh…This is what I live for haha. Just as much as I get excited receiving constructive feedback, as it’s the only way I continue to develop and improve Luxmii (we’re far from perfect but we can only try to get there), I love hearing positive ones like this. It makes me realise that although everyday is a challenge, we’re heading in the right direction.
I’m a sucker for uniforms and when I find that perfect shirt, I will buy it in all the colours plus extra back-ups so I’d have to say my favourite pieces would to be the Il Ragazzo Shirt and Piega Trousers as I literally wear them everyday. I even wear them during the European Winters by layering with cashmere, wool or vegan leather.
I have also noticed that with women leading extremely chaotic and busy lives, they are also drawn towards simple uniform-like outfits that are just so easy to throw on but still look good and we have lots of customers who fit that profile so I’m planning to bring out more styles that align with this lifestyle in the next collection.
Jamie, we are so lucky to have your talent, passion and craftsmanship in our world. Clothing has the power to transform us, and you’ve certainly managed to weave this transformational magic through the inspiring world of Luxmii. What’s been the biggest lesson in all of this for you?
Patience is everything.
Do what makes you happy and the rest will naturally fall into place…So cheesy I know but honestly they have been the two biggest wake-up calls for me hahaha…
When we tune into our ideas, they are often a gateway where inspiration, creativity and connecting with your true potential resides. Often our answers come from the most unexpected sources. And NOT knowing can truly be an advantage, as it allows us to look at the world and opportunities through a completely unconventional lens. We are awake, instead, to ways of doing things that have not been pre-programmed in us. And by taking that approach, we can pursue our passions void of any rigid constraints.
To find more beauty and inspiration with the stunning Luxmii range you can view the full collection, or place an order through the website. Click HERE