Women go crazy for LOCA sportswear
BRISBANE-based Lorna Jane set the benchmark for comfortable, fashionable sportswear for women in a global market worth nearly $300 billion.
But now a Sunshine Coast designer and ironwoman is aiming to grab her slice of the lucrative fashion pie.
Amy Nurthen, 22, is the creator and owner of LOCA Sportswear.
She says "every woman has a little Loca in her", so her streetwear-inspired fitness label aims to be both affordable and comfortable for women.
"I've always wanted to do something along these lines," she said.
"I've grown up doing every sport possible, and knowing it helps so much if you feel good and comfortable in what you race and train in. Loca is Spanish for 'crazy woman', and my mum is Spanish, and we thought every female has a little loca in her."
When Amy made her business move into the personally designed fitnesswear market, she had no idea she was venturing into a multi-multi-billion-dollar industry.
Lorna Jane was ranked 26th on the 2014 BRW Rich Women List, with a self-made net worth of $50 million.
"Lorna Jane is a company that has hit the highest of highs in the women's sportswear world," Amy said.
"I have some big goals to not only ship world-wide but also to develop an international company. Locally, I have received support from Arena 13 - a shop in Cotton Tree which now stocks LOCA.
"I was over the moon to get the chance to be stocked in a shop, and was happy to see the hard work paying off. It's only early days now, but I can't wait for the future and to see where LOCA stands against the big world-wide companies."
LOCA has been marketed locally through athletes, surfers, and her fellow Nutri-Grain Ironwomen, as well as the "LOCA Team", which is a group of individuals promoting the brand in their chosen sports through word of mouth and social media.
"It's made me mature in the business side of things, and realising progress and time management," Amy said. "You have to work really hard to be successful in whatever you do."
The next step in the industry for LOCA Sportswear is Amy's new winter range, as well as a goal to have LOCA products manufactured in Australia, as opposed to overseas, where they are currently made.
"We have future goals of not only producing sportswear but to begin 'LOCA training' such as personal and group sessions," Amy said. "We want woman feeling good about themselves and being happy for who they are."