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Inspiring confidence: in conversation with Lara Mead.

Welcome to our Inspiring Confidence series, where we delve into personal interviews with influential Varley women. By focusing on instilling quiet confidence, we uncover their unique journeys, experiences, and insights, celebrating the remarkable perspectives of women who inspire us.

Inspiring confidence: in conversation with Lara Mead.

For the first edition of this series, we sat down with Lara Mead, our co-founder and Chief Creative Officer (CCO), to discuss her Varley journey, her unique personal style, and the inspirations that fuel her creativity.

Q: Can you share the story behind your journey as co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Varley?

My journey as the co-founder and CCO of Varley started back in 2010 when I was training for the London Marathon. That's where I met Ben, who would later become my husband and co-founder. We hit it off right away because of our mutual love for sports. Five years later, we founded Varley, bringing together our shared passions and interests to create a brand that centred around quality, community, and timeless designs.

"Our idea was simple – combine the things we love
and build a life around it; the reality was anything but."

Q: What are some of your early inspirations?

My father played a significant role in shaping who I am today. As a professional footballer, he instilled in me a love for an active lifestyle from a young age. Growing up in Cumbria, near the Lake District, I developed a deep connection with nature and an appreciation for its calming atmosphere. Running with my dad was a cherished part of my childhood, and it fostered a lifelong passion for staying active and embracing the outdoors. His influence continues to inspire me to pursue my goals with dedication and resilience.

I also had a fascination with fashion from a young age and I remember buying Vogue every month. The combination of my love for an active lifestyle and my fascination with fashion set the foundation for my journey and the creation of Varley.

Q: What has it been like building a brand with your husband?

Building Varley alongside my husband has been an incredible experience. We share a common vision and complement each other's strengths. It has allowed us to merge our creative minds, making Varley a true reflection of our combined passions. Working together has been a true testament to the power of collaboration, and it has enabled us to create something truly special that we are both incredibly proud of.

Q: What is the best advice you have been given, either professionally or personally?

One of the best pieces of advice I've received came from my father-in-law, Peter Mead, who wrote a book called "When in Doubt be Nice". It's a philosophy I strive to embody not only in my personal life but also in the way we run Varley. This advice reminds me to approach every situation with kindness and empathy, especially in challenging moments. Creating a positive and inclusive work environment at Varley has been essential, and this advice has played a significant role in fostering that culture.



Q: What is your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement to date has been my marriage to Ben, and the loving family we have built together. Nothing is more important than that. While building Varley has been a remarkable journey, my family remains the cornerstone of my life and my most cherished accomplishment.



Q: What’s one thing in your day you can’t miss?

Starting the day with a cup of coffee is something I can't miss. It's that ritual that sets the tone for the day and gives me a moment of calm and reflection.

Q: How would you define your personal style?

My personal style can be described as a blend of contemporary fashion and effortless elegance. I gravitate towards versatile pieces that transcend seasons and trends, creating a timeless wardrobe. Whether it's classic knitwear or a well-tailored outerwear piece, I seek comfort without compromising on style.

"I gravitate towards versatile pieces that transcend seasons and trends, creating a timeless wardrobe."

Q: Which upcoming project are you most excited about?

One project that I'm particularly excited about is the opening of our retail store. It's an extension of our brand's aim to instil quiet confidence. Curating the art, approving, and advising on the interiors has been incredibly exciting and fulfilling. It's an opportunity to create an immersive space that aligns with the Varley experience, where women can feel empowered and confident.

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