We chatted with Innes Heywood, founder of Innes Lauren about the foundation of the company — her purpose for not only herself but her business is to inspire others to pause and breathe, to consume with consideration to the environment, to invest in timeless high-quality pieces and to enjoy all the simple gifts life offers.
Loess: You founded Innes Lauren in 2018 – can you tell us more about the conception of the brand and why you started?
Innes Heywood: Innes Lauren was born from a passion for slow living. I wanted to create a brand synonymous to myself – an ode to my childhood as a little girl running around in a swimsuit in and out of the ocean. It’s a story that ties timeless destinations, travel, patience, growth, and the ocean together. I wanted to create pieces that made women feel stylish, sexy yet supported, like wearing a second layer of skin.
L: How did you find the journey of creating your own business?
IH: It’s definitely a journey that ebbs and flows. Overall it’s incredibly challenging, but I’ve been surprised by how rewarding I have found it at the same time.
L: You proudly talk about the high quality pieces you create – tell us more about the materials you use.
IH: My swim is crafted from 100% recycled textiles, an Italian techno-fabric ECONYL, made from regenerated fishing nets that turn waste problem into fashion solutions. Each piece from our collections is self lined with a second layer of fabric to hold both the wearer and the integrity of the piece.
L: Where are the materials sourced from?
IH: The fabrics I use are sourced from the outskirts of Milan, Italy. The accessories and packaging I use are all locally sourced using sustainable processes.
L: We love that your pieces are made to order — how did you come to this decision?
IH: Yes, they are all made to order. Essentially I want to minimise any waste, so once I collect orders I then send through my order form to my seamstress who starts the production process. During busier times, I do get extra pieces which I know will sell out.
L: What’s the design inspiration behind each collection?
IH: I lean heavily on nostalgia. I think about the places I’ve traveled to, the shapes, colours and details I pull from each place. I am inspired from a good album, a rich conversation, being barefoot on the sand, and other artists’ stories. Also, I design with an ode to Indonesia and to Bali, my childhood home. Growing up so close to nature and the ocean definitely made me appreciate it more.
L: Let’s chat about the day-to-day happenings — what does a day in the life look like for you?
IH: I like to start my day with a surf or a walk along the beach. I also love sitting in a cafe in the early morning, sipping on a coffee while listening to the soft chatter or music around me. I write a list everyday – this helps me visualise what needs to get done. In the afternoon, once the work day is done, an afternoon yoga session or another surf. I love a simple home cooked meal, or a pizza and negroni at my favourite restaurant.
L: How do you manage work life balance?
IH: Work life balance has always been a massive priority for me to make sure I am challenging myself in my business but also in my close relationships and myself. I now listen to what I need and normally keep the balance even.
L: What do you love most about being a business owner?
IH: I love the flexibility of changing and shifting my business to where my life is heading as I evolve and desire new things, I love creating a product that makes women feel something within themselves.
L: We’ve been living vicariously through you the past few months while you’ve been overseas in Europe — is there something new and exciting on the horizon that your audience can expect?
IH: Yes, I spent the months of July, August and September in Europe this year actually on the pursuit of a new base, which naturally led me back home haha. However these months were not only wonderful to take some time for myself and to travel to some of my favourite off the beaten track places, but also to start the design process of my new work. There are definitely some exciting things coming!
L: Since starting Innes Lauren, what are the most important learnings you have had along the way that you would share to anyone wanting to start their own business?
IH: To be truly authentic to you, your values and mission for your business but also yourself personally. To not be too hard on yourself if you aren’t moving at the ever fast pace of the demanding fashion industry.
L: Tell us one thing about yourself that people wouldn’t know?
IH: I speak Spanish fluently!
L: When choosing a perfume, what type of scents are you attracted to?
IH: A balance between feminine and masculine. A base of wood, mostly sandalwood, tobacco or coffee and a top of bergamot or incense. I also love Vetiver. For me, scent is anticipation, scent is longing, scent is the horizon between vision and touch that we can never quite hold.
L: What’s your guilty pleasure?
IH: Sweets, but especially tiramisu. I was in Rome recently for 3 weeks and had a tiramisu everyday from Roscioli’s – It didn’t help that the restaurant was under my apartment where I was staying.
L: We love hearing about businesses who are using their platform for good – tell us some brands you think people need to know about.
IH: Romy Bennie – Naturally dyed garments based in Byron Bay, Australia. La Collection – Modern luxury with responsible manufacturing based in Antwerp, Belgium. Pan Pottery – Clay sourced from 5-20km around his property based in Noosa, Australia
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