Claire is the founder of Lazy Flora and until she was 18, she lived in the country. Her parents were avid gardeners, and were keen to share their passion with their kids. They encouraged Claire and her sister to choose and plant seeds in their own little patch of garden.
After she left home, she lived exclusively in city flats with no outdoor space, but always craved her own little outdoor area where she could have a few choice plants. Finally, in 2014, she moved to an apartment with an amazing balcony. She could finally have my outdoor oasis!
And yet, once she got there, she realises how difficult it was to find the right plants for a balcony. She didn’t have a car, so getting to and from a garden centre was a challenge. There had to be a way to solve this problem for so many people and in February 2017, Lazy Flora was born.
Why is it important for you to include exercise in your busy schedule?
For me, doing exercise is like pressing a ‘reset’ button on any negative thoughts, self-doubt, or stress I am experiencing. I can go into a workout feeling completely strung out, and afterwards feel completely calm and better able to focus.
My business, Lazy Flora, is a beautiful plant subscription service. It’s a business I set up because I had a strong sense that there was more to life than sitting in a cubicle from 9-5 for the rest of my life. There’s a very strong link between wellbeing and the products we offer, so I supposed it’s quite natural that someone who runs a business with such a strong emphasis on that would also prioritise exercise.
What does your exercise routine involve?
My exercise routine always involves pretty intense cardio, because that’s what clears my head more than anything. At the moment, I’m doing CrossFit three times a week, spin once a week and yoga once a week. I also swim or run on my days off, depending on my mood.
Do you think that exercise has played a role in your success?
There’s no question in my mind that, without exercise, I would have – in some way – caved to the mental pressures that running a business involves. I would have listened to the self-doubt, and those thoughts telling me that I’m destined to fail, and I would have made poorer decisions as a result.
When I was younger, I ran quite a few long-distance races, and that taught me a huge amount about grit. It helped me develop the ability to Just. Keep. Going, no matter how slowly you go, or how far behind everyone else you feel you are. I come back to this mantra all the time, in all areas of life, because there are days when you just have to keep things moving forward, even if all your instincts are screaming at you to stop. The feelings of doubt will pass, and you’ll have achieved so much more than you thought possible.
The great thing about being in the gym and lifting weights is that you’re constantly improving, constantly achieving goals that earlier seemed impossible, and that directly translates to new situations in business too.
When and where do you like to work out (morning/night – home/gym/outdoors)
My schedule has almost always dictated that I work out in the afternoon, after work. Earlier this year, I joined a new gym and started working out at 7am, and for a good couple of months I couldn’t work out why I was dreading every workout, and even skipping some, when ordinarily I love them. On a hunch, I switched my workouts back to the afternoon, and instantly my mojo returned. I was excited to be in the gym, I looked forward to the classes, and my strength and fitness made a sudden and noticeable improvement. Despite being what I would consider a ‘morning person’, apparently I work out at my best from around lunchtime to late afternoon.
Has exercise/fitness always been a part of your life?
Yes, with perhaps the exception of the first year of university! I was a gymnast as a child, and did netball and athletics at secondary school. I started running in my second year of university, mainly because it was cheap! Distance running got me through the stress of starting a career in my early twenties, and I started lifting weights about eight years ago.
Who is your role model?
So many! Some people who spring to mind right now: Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx), Serena Williams, Sheryl Sandberg, the adventurer Anna McNuff, Michelle Obama, my business coach Hanneke Antonelli, and lots of my entrepreneurial friends who inspire me every day! But first and foremost, my Dad, who has one of the best strategic minds of anyone I’ve ever met, and is a bit of a plant whisperer.
What is your favourite fitness quote?
‘Take pride in how far you have come, and have faith in how far you can go.’
I’m not sure who said it, but it speaks to me and I have it pinned above my desk. It applies to so many aspects of life.
To find out more about Claire and Lazy Flora click here