Photo Credit: Mark Cranitch
While working at Harper’s Bazaar in their advertising sales team sounds like a dream to some, it started to wear Lucy Cottee down. So one day she decided enough with what she calls the “9-5 grind” and moved to Bali. Taking her savings with her she planned on only staying six months. Three years later she was still in paradise and starting her own clothing company, LJC Designs.
Inspired by the vibrancy and comfort of Bali, she wanted to start her own clothing line that elevated the bohemian look. Bohemian luxury as she says. While Bali is no longer her home year-round, she does “get the best of both worlds” as she travels back and forth from there to Brisbane because while Brisbane is where she started, Bali is where her second chapter started to take shape.
Kendra: LJC Designs are all about vibrant hues and one of a kind fabrics. Where do many of the fabrics come from?
Lucy Cottee: Most of our linen comes from Jakarta but we do have a few prints that are handmade here in Bali. Local artisans hand stamp the prints onto our handmade chiffon blend fabric.
Kendra: Many of your designs have a wonderful leisure quality to them. Do you find that people are happier in clothes they can truly feel and look comfortable in?
Lucy Cottee: Absolutely, who doesn’t love wearing a free-flowing linen dress on a hot summer’s day!
Kendra: You’ve mentioned your brand is a bohemian luxury. How would you describe that to someone who gives you a blank stare when mentioning it?
Lucy Cottee: It’s a combination of the appreciation for high-quality fabrics and finishes and the love of free-flowing comfortable clothing.
Kendra: Thinking of where you are now and where you started, what has been three major lessons you’ve learned about owning your own business, fashion, and customers?
Lucy Cottee: It takes time to build a business and a lot of trial and error, be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them, and appreciate your hard working staff.
I would not be where I am without my fabulously hardworking, passionate team. I have had the same team from the day I started the business. Plus a few amazing additions as the business grew!
Kendra: What’s next for LJC Designs in the coming months?
Lucy Cottee: We are shooting a new summer collection at the moment! We will also be looking at adding a few autumn/winter staples to the collection over the next couple of months!