Lara runs the well-loved clothing and footwear brand St. Agni alongside her partner Matt. Originally from Tasmania, Lara has chosen to set up her home and business in thriving Byron Bay, where the landscape is lush, the weather is pleasant all year round and local population numbers are soaring. We visited Lara in her bright and spacious home, just weeks before she gave birth to their son, Jude.
Can you share with us a bit about your journey to building your brand, St. Agni?
St. Agni evolved from a longing to create our own business. When we first started it we had no idea what we were doing… I have always been quite spontaneous and a bit of an improviser – we just jumped in, hoped for success and gave it a go.
We started off with a tiny collection and built it up gradually. I would say that the journey has been shaped by a combination of a lot of hard work as well as some good luck.
I have always been quite spontaneous and a bit of an improviser – we just jumped in, hoped for success and gave it a go.
What are some of the resources that you look to when beginning work on a new collections?
I’m constantly taking pictures and screenshots of buildings, people, colours, textures and shapes. When I sit down and start thinking about a new collection, those pictures are the first that I look to. All the pictures are the start of the story my subconscious has chosen for the new collection, they help to encapsulate the overall vision.
What are some of the things that bring you the most joy in your line of work?
I love creating things, I love that the possibilities are endless and the feeling of freedom that it brings.
I’m also really lucky to work with such a beautiful team – it’s a luxury to be surrounded by the people you choose.
You work with a small leather factory in Indonesia to craft your shoes, what can you share with us about this relationship (or the process)?
We work with a very small factory, when we begun working with them the factory only consisted of three craftsmen. As our business has grown this has given them the opportunity to grow with us enabling them to employ over thirty craftsmen. We often say that meeting each other was fate.
The artisans we work with are the foundation of our business, we work closely with them from the design stage to the finished product. As our relationship has developed through work and friendship, we have developed a mutual respect with an understanding for each other and the product we wish to create.
What are some of the things that you love about the area in which you live?
Byron is such a magical place to live. I love that you can go as fast or as slow as you like here.. you never feel like you’re being pushed along and you can really just move at your own pace. We are so lucky to live near some of the most beautiful beaches and be a part of such a unique coastal community.
I love that you can go as fast or as slow as you like here.. you never feel like you’re being pushed along and you can really just move at your own pace.
What can you share with us about your upbringing? How do you think it has shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in Tasmania. My parents, sister and I lived in a beautiful federation style home, nestled in a valley, beside a creek beneath Mt. Wellington. My dad is really creative – growing up, I always thought he was capable of making anything himself.
My mum is an incredibly driven person and has an admirable amount of strength – both are inspirations to me in my personal life and also in business.
Can you tell us how you met your partner, Matt?
Matt’s originally from the UK, we met 9 years ago when he was travelling in Tasmania. In retrospect, the timing was perfect. We met at a point in our lives in which our values were aligned and we shared the same goals. After meeting, we lived in the UK for a year and a half before moving back to Australia and settling here in Byron Bay.
Can you tell us about what kind of space you have tried to create at home, what are some of the pieces/objects that are particularly special to you?
We have only just moved into our new home, so at the moment it has the feeling of space and minimalism – which I am really enjoying. I really like the idea of not letting too much into our home and only holding onto the things that really add value to our everyday life. I try to choose pieces for our home that have a story or have beauty in their imperfections.
Our bed is a favourite for me, Matt built it himself with the help of some friends. It’s where our day starts and ends.
Do you have a morning routine?
As soon as I wake up I look forward to snuggling with Matt and our dog Harper. I love waking up earlier than I need to just so that we have that time together to just lie there and be with each other before the day begins.
A bedtime routine?
I wash my face and crawl into bed – I have trouble keeping my eyes open past 10pm.
What are some things that you are looking forward to?
Matt and I are just about to welcome our baby into the world, I’m really looking forward to becoming a mother and slowing down while we get to know each other and bond as a family.
See more from Lara here.