Lyndsay Doran, founder of luxury activewear brand L’Couture tells us what it takes to launch a successful business in the fitness space.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
Typically, I like to have a slow start, so I wake up, have a coffee in bed and check my emails before starting the day.
What lies at the heart of L’Couture as a brand, the DNA?
L’Couture is built on female empowerment as a foundation, it’s also very much about the community – one where women support women. We want women to feel empowered and confident in their everyday life, no matter what they are doing. And that relates to all aspects of their life.
Have you had any mentors to guide you on the right path since launching the brand?
At the start, it was just me with YouTube as my go-to for everything. This was for the first year of launching the brand. With the support of the community around me and based on how well the products were received, L’Couture started to take off and only then I hired my dream team. They have brought years of knowledge and experience with them, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them.
Do you feel more closely drawn to the creative or commercial side of the business?
I’m definitely more involved in the creative side of product development. Product is ‘my thing’ and the main priority and focus are getting the fit perfect. There is so much work that goes specifically into this feature of the collections, as we pride ourselves in the quality of L’Couture pieces.
Do you design with all body shapes in mind, tell us more?
With female empowerment in mind, it’s a given that we create pieces for every woman, so yes, we do. All collections go through special fittings, and we work with models of all shapes and sizes to ensure the fit is perfect across each range of sizing.
The sports bras are supportive – was it a process to get this accurate?
It was a lengthy and complex process indeed. Our main goal is to ensure the sports bras are supportive for every exercise, and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to get this right. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with this, as I personally test each drop before it’s produced.
Which piece/ set from L’Couture suits, everyone?
The black bra and full-length leggings from our newly launched Elevate collection would be the basic essentials for every girl to have in her closet. The Elevate collection is pieces that are wardrobe staples, that will offer a variety of styling options. Everyone needs a good black sports bra and leggings.
What is your approach to scaling the business?
Head-on. Initially starting online, we have recently launched our first physical boutique store on Al Wasl, which was quite rewarding. For the past year we have been laying the foundations and are now ready to expand globally. This summer we are focusing on two huge market launches for us, which are the USA and UK.
How do you continue to stay ahead of the curve?
We continually research ahead through trend forecasts, but also through our customers -we ask what they want. Customer feedback is crucial for us as we want to give our customers what they want!
What has been the biggest challenge since launching and how did you overcome this?
Having no business experience was the biggest challenge for me. I really had no clue, starting off solo and immersing myself fully into this new venture – I have been involved in the production, design, social media, customer service, stock control, logistics – literally every area of the business. I will forever be grateful for this time as the experience and understanding of how each part of the business runs, is so valuable.
How has social media supported the growth of the brand and which platform has been most valuable?
Social media has been an integral part of the brand since its very launch, specifically Instagram. For us, it’s the most effective way to communicate to our customers and really build the brand community.
What advice would you give your younger self starting out?
Always keep striving for more.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve received?
Set a goal and once you hit it, set another.
When travelling – what do you always pack?
L’Couture activewear, of course, SPF, a sun hat and a bikini.
With summer in the air – where would you like to escape to this season?
Miami. I am heading there in July for L’Couture’s official USA launch. It’s super exciting to escape the Dubai heat and be able to travel again. I would also love to go to Thailand again, as it’s my ultimate travel destination.
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