PLUCKED FROM OBSCURITY
Just as I was about to go off to university, at the age of 17, I was model scouted and the path I thought I was on very quickly changed. The lure of the perceived glamour was far more enticing than studying for 4 more years so I jumped right in. But not long after being ‘plucked from obscurity’ I was told that I needed to drop two dress sizes (from a healthy UK size 10). I’d never even considered my weight but I did what any ambitious girl would do and moved into the gym… and straight into another career alongside. Working as a model and Personal Trainer my jobs seemed to perfectly complement each other… but I was FLITTING FROM ONE BODY OBSESSED INDUSTRY TO ANOTHER, something I would only fully appreciate years later.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SPORTLUXE
As a PT and then running coach I spent half my life in fitness wear so I demanded everything from my kit. As a model too I needed clothing that could take me from the gym to castings still looking the part so it was important my outfits were up for the challenge. I wanted my clothes to PERFORM AS HARD AS I DID. I wanted them to feel amazing next to my skin. I wanted to be able to wash them time and time again and not have them fade, sag, pill or fall apart, whilst flattering my body in every way possible. But I’d be damned if I could find anything that delivered. Sportluxe was virtually unheard of at that time so as I saw it I had one choice – CREATE MY OWN.
THOSE CRAZY CURVEBALLS
For some time I’d been flirting with the idea of setting up my own brand, but the ‘how’ was still a big unknown, as were the finances. After a particularly tough period in my life I decided I was going to put all of my arrows into one bow and not only pursue a long-standing dream but one that could make a difference. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t studied fashion nor that thanks to some very tough curve balls I didn’t have a penny to my name either; with a lifetime spent in the fashion and fitness worlds I figured I’d work it out. I quickly learned that if you can be resourceful and creative, ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE. There are many people out there that face far more serious challenges and still manage to achieve their goals. This lesson was to become one of the building blocks of the philosophy behind the brand. Miss Matahari isn’t about accepting life’s obstacles and retreating into your shell; Miss Matahari is about finding ways to bulldoze through them. It’s about having the balls to go out there and actually daring to live your dreams. So I figured this drought period was the best possible time to create something new!
LIVE THE ADVENTURE
Somehow through sheer determination and working around the clock (my insomnia turned out to be my greatest ally) I creatively launched Miss Matahari as a one women team at the end of 2012. Within one month I had a very prestigious store interested in stocking, received lots of great press as well as ‘The Woman to Watch’ award at the local Woman Of The Year awards. I was on my way… or so I thought. That very same month also saw a chance encounter under an umbrella literally change everything… again. So now almost 4 years after the first launch, one wedding, another baby, zero sleep for two years (I can’t credit the insomnia this time!) and another major move later, we’re back again! All I can say is this – life is one crazy adventure and you just have to live it. There are no guarantees but at the same time no rules either. Just because others (or your own fears) don’t believe something is possible, doesn’t make it so. Whilst no-one can say where all this will lead, one thing’s for certain – I’ll never have to look back and wonder ‘what if?’ because I damn well did it. Life’s too short for regrets, so you might as well shoot for your dreams. And who knows, they just might come true! Live the adventure.
Natasha Stuart, Founder.
Natasha has been working in the fitness industry for over 15 years – from Personal Trainer
to running coach; Health & Fitness Assistant Manager to aerobics display team member.
She trained her clients using her own methods which she has adapted and
developed over the years through her own experiences, discoveries and research.
Natasha also continued to work as a professional model right up until 8 months pregnant
with her second child, having featured in many editorials as well as a wide range of
TV commercials, including Neutrogena, O2 and Suzuki.