If you follow Mammaprada on Instagram you’ll know I’m a huge fan of the beautiful Italian cashmere scarves of Lois Avery. I accidentally have… cough, 3! Whenever I have a birthday or something coming up it’s the perfect gift to tell my Husband about. The colours are exceptional and their names pretty wonderful as well. I am the proud owner of a Rose’, Verde and Blackberry.
I’ve met some of the most inspiring people in the last 3 years that I’ve been using Instagram and one of them is Jennie, the Founder of Lois Avery.
She has the most dreamy, Italian feed, plenty of travel inspiration, shots of her super soft scarves and she shares her very personal journey of creating this amazing brand around her 3 children.
I invited Jennie to talk to us about launching her own business and how she gets her inspiration around the chaos of motherhood!
Where did the idea for your lovely brand begin?
The idea for Lois Avery is inspired by my love of Italy and my love of fashion, specifically fashion accessories. The name ‘Lois Avery’ represents the past and the future. The past—my grandmother, Margaret Lois, and the future—my daughter’s middle name, Avery.
What has been the hardest part of setting up on your own?
The hardest part is learning to embrace risk and uncertainty. Throughout my legal career (I worked as a lawyer for 13 years), I always had a security and knew exactly how much money would be deposited into my bank account on pay day. It’s not like that with your own business! The first couple of years in business are tough and you have to rely upon your passion and a belief to make it through those early days.
Did you need to retrain and invest in yourself?
I didn’t formally retrain, but there were a lot of skills that I needed to learn to make my business work. Since I conceived the idea for Lois Avery in 2015, I have attended short courses on all aspects of running a fashion business from textiles to marketing to styling, I’ve read a pile of business books, and I’m always listening to business podcasts.
Tell us what makes your product so incredible?
First, the quality. I source the finest cashmere in Italy, exclusively from family owned mills with hundreds of years of experience in textiles. It is so important to me that our cashmere is the best.
Secondly, the styles. I follow my instincts and select colours and textures that I love and know our customers will love too. .
How do you get inspired to create new products?
I’ve always been inspired by the past. By Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, and Hitchcock movies. I often ask myself “Would Grace Kelly have worn this?” If the answer is “no” then it’s not right for Lois Avery. I’m also inspired by the Italian lifestyle.
I’m quite conservative in my approach to creating The Collection. I know that our customers love classic styles and muted colours. I’m always looking to add to that colour spectrum.
How much love and emotion go into the making of each product?
Feelings and emotion are at the heart of Lois Avery. When I look at colour swatches and samples I need to feel something. If I don’t get that feeling of excitement in my chest, then it's not good enough for Lois Avery. I remember the first time I saw the samples for our Sea colour. My heart just about leapt out of my chest. I saw my husband and my children's eyes in that colour and I knew it was right. It's been our best seller other than grey!