I love an inspiring story and this is one of them. I recently photographed the beautiful Jennie Hogg in Positano to celebrate the launch of her cashmere scarf range, Lois Avery.
Jennie followed her heart and left law to do something she loved and that something is a range of beautiful cashmere shawls called Lois Avery.
Here’s a little sneak preview of a some of her pics from Positano.
I will let Jennie tell you the rest!!!
What brought you from a career in law to Lois Avery?
I fell into law for all the wrong reasons many years ago. I stayed in the profession as long as I did as I wasn’t desperately unhappy and I was pretty good at it. However, there was always something that wasn’t quite right and I always felt that whilst I was good enough to be a lawyer, I could do something that I was excellent at and loved. The problem was that it was never clear what this “other” career could be. I can honestly say that I spent 20 years trying to figure it out. I was fascinated by what other people did and I asked a lot of question. In the last 5 years I have spent a lot of time building relationships with women in fashion. I think that ultimately it was seeing some of these women make changes in their lives and become business owners that was the impetus I needed to make this change in my own life.
What did your life used to look like?
I would start the day by getting myself ready for work and our 3 children ready for nursery/school. I then dropped them off on the way to the train station. It often took 2 hours from leaving home in the morning until I arrived at my desk in the City of London. My days were spent advising clients on construction and engineering disputes. I learned an awful lot about rusty pipes, tree roots, and leaking air conditioners. Some days I would end up attending inspections on building sites, and on other days in meetings with a dozen angry people. It’s fair to say that I spent a lot of time daydreaming on the train about a different career!
Why cashmere scarves?
The idea of Lois Avery was a combination of my love of fashion and my love of Italy. Ask anyone that knows me and they will confirm that I talk about Italy, a lot. There is something magical about Italy and so many of those moments when your heart skips a beat, have happened to me in Italy. However, as a mother of 3 young children I didn’t want a career in travel that would take me away from them for long periods of time. One day whilst I was in the bath the idea of creating a collection of dreamy Italian cashmere shawls came to me, and it made sense in a way that none of my early ideas ever had. For years my perfect gift has been a cashmere shawl (this was the gift to our mothers at our wedding) and when I look at my holiday photos, cashmere shawls have always featured so I knew what I wanted. Attending courses at The London College of Fashion and reading lots of Textile Textbooks followed.
Describe what a day in your new life looks like for you?
I already knew that being the Founder of Lois Avery would be my dream job, and it really is. Gone is the commute (although I do get to head off for meetings here there and everywhere). My children get the best of me, not what’s left at the end of the day. The working day is so different – at the moment I have to wear a lot of different hats! The Finance Director, Chief Stylist, Marketing Director and Head Buyer are all me. Dealing with orders is key of course, but there is lots more to be done. One day I might be in a studio in North London styling a product shoot for our cashmere shawls and the next meeting with suppliers in their mills in Italy to discuss developing new products. I spend a lot of time building the connections between Lois Avery and the wider world. The real fun is getting to meet amazing people who write about and photograph clothes so that we can share our mutual love of fashion. And of course Social media is so important to the development of the brand – I fully accept that I am addicted to Instagram.
The funny thing is that there are some similarities to my old job that are positive, and that is the clients. I worked for a lot of lovely people when I was a lawyer, and it was sad to say goodbye to them. However, getting positive comments about Lois Avery products that I have put my heart and soul into developing is so fulfilling that I know that I have made the right choice taking on this big adventure.
I hope you enjoyed this inspiring story and I am sure you will love her beautiful scarves. I am the proud owner of the animal print scarf and have ordered the beautiful grey slate warm and fluffy scarf for hubby for Christmas.
You can have a look at all the cashmere deliciousness HERE
Biggest thanks so Jennie for allowing me to share these pics.