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The workspace that works for me: Lucas Hugh founder Anjhe Mules

September 28th 2017 / Anna Hunter / 0 comment

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How does a workout wear visionary organise her workspace? From the tabs she has open to clearing the floor for workouts, here’s what goes down in the Lucas Hugh office...

Born in New Zealand, Lucas Hugh creative director and founder Anjhe Mules studied at Massey University Fashion College before moving to New York and finally settling in London. Prior to founding Lucas Hugh - named after Anjhe’s two grandfathers Lucas and Hugh - in 2010, Mules had a successful New Zealand swimwear brand as well training at Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen.

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of technical sportswear design and stretch fabrics, alongside her personal commitment to a high performing body and mind, Lucas Hugh designs express both style and functionality.

Almost a decade on and Mules has stayed true to her strong design ethos producing unparalleled sportswear. Lucas Hugh has redefined performance wear by artfully spinning athletic functionality with refined tailoring that has a distinctly a high fashion look.

Lucas Hugh counts such awesome women as Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lawrence and Ashley Graham as fans of the brand, and one of the most coveted pieces is the Core Performance Legging, which features an elastic-faced waistband, bonded seams, inner-thigh and knee ventilation panels as well as signature reflective triangles for improved visibility.

Anjhe enjoys a range of fitness activities, and always mixes up workout intensity depending on the day and what she has on at work (most recently she’s been focused on calisthenics training and reformer pilates). As an active person as well as a sportswear designer, Anjhe priorities quality construction in athleticwear- it’s attention to detail on this level that enables women to achieve their personal performance goals. Here’s how she attains her own goals on a professional level...

My office

Our office is a studio in West London. We have a growing team, and as such our space continues to evolve to accommodate our growth. I sit with my team in a shared space which we have kept the space minimal in design, allowing the natural light to flow in and reflect off of the white walls and furniture.

There are tropical plants placed throughout the office – a plant for each group of desks – that bring the outdoors in and colour into the space. The colour in our space truly comes from our product, with our seasonal campaign imagery displayed on the walls, as well as the product featured on our mannequins and our sample racks. The scent of the office is light and fresh – we love fresh cut flowers and have them delivered each week. I really enjoy having fresh flowers in my office as it serves the dual function of a space where I can focus as well as host meetings – the door is always open.

What’s on my desk

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As a business owner, my workspace needs to accommodate the array topics that come across my desk from design to finance. My desk needs to function as a place for collaboration as well as focus - particularly when sketching.

My workspace can get busy – but I like to keep it clear to help with organization and to protect all of the materials that cross the desk, whether stationary samples or fabric swatches. By clearing my desk throughout the day I find that I am able to transition faster between tasks and topics, but these are my essentials:

Frends headphones. Music both inspires me and helps concentrate.

My crystals. I have cluster crystals on my desk which are said to foster a sense of unity and help to create a harmonious space.

Water. Clearly it’s an essential to life, but as someone who enjoys working out and living a healthy lifestyle, water is essential.

My sketch pad. It’s important that I always have this close at-hand

Otherwise, a mix of fabric swatches, line plans and usually a cup of lemongrass and ginger tea.

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My lunch hour

Where I eat my lunch varies. I enjoy going out for lunch when I can because it helps me to reset and get some fresh air. I often go to the Electric House on Portobello road to meet with friends or business partners. I mainly enjoy eating fresh ingredients and eat lots of salads, fruit and vegetables, that help fuel me through the day. My husband is an excellent cook, so he often prepares delicious meals for us to bring for lunch.

My bookmarks bar

My bookmarks bar is huge, but unsurprisingly Lucashugh.com is at the top of my list. I am always looking at the site to ensure it is performing as well as it can for our customer.

My bookmark tab also functions as an on-going reading list for fashion as well as news- I currently have Vogue US, UK and France, as well as Business of Fashion and Highsnobiety. I love having quick-access to my favourite fitness studios too, including Heartcore and Barry’s Bootcamp. I often exercise in the morning a few times per week, so it’s handy to book while I’m sat at my desk. I also have direct-links to music on Spotify or SoundCloud.

My screensaver

I always select my favourite image from our seasonal campaign to highlight on my desktop. My current desktop image is from our AW17 collection which includes our Erté design collaboration with Sevenarts Ltd. This collection is particularly special to me as I have long been a fan of Erté’s work. The image features the stand-out ‘Gold Leaf’ print that is embellished with gold transfers - the Lucas Hugh signature white and gold- which emphasizes the opulent feathers inspired by Erté. The image basically represents work that I’m really proud of!

My favourite apps

The Podcast App- I really enjoy listening to interviews with other entrepreneurs, particularly to learn about the ‘tipping point’ for their brand and how they grew their business. I am currently listening to ‘The Glossy Podcast’ and ‘How I Built This’ and usually listen to these at the start of my day.

Everyone on the team also enjoys listening to similar podcasts as well so we are continually sharing recommendations.

My equipment

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As much as we appreciate beautiful stationary, as general policy we minimize printing at the office. Double-sided printing is a must if we are printing. When it comes to sketching I prefer to sketch on paper though.

Office rules and culture

Everyone on the team is so dedicated and passionate about their work and the brand, but I do believe in work-life balance. Every Thursday before the end of day we convert the office space for a Heartcore pilates class. The workout is a fusion of pilates and HIIT and everyone joins in and has a great time. Sometimes the trainer also comes in and we do matwork for an hour at lunchtime, which is a great way to put our product to the test - particularly for size and fit. All of our products are wear-tested by professional athletes during the early development phase to ensure that our products can perform at the highest-level as well.

My ‘work-smarter’ secrets

I have a lot of appointments throughout the day and only get allocated a few hours in-between to work on projects. Knowing this, there is not much time to lose focus. I believe time-management is really important. My email calendar is essential to staying organized and I always schedule working blocks, particularly for sketching.

I try to minimize working long-hours where I can to avoid burnout and to create balance for both myself and my family. When I can I take the opportunity I go for a walk or run either in the morning to start my day or at lunchtime to reenergize. The fresh air really helps to clear your mind and inspire new thoughts and ideas.

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Under my desk

Each member of our team has a workout mat under their desk in preparation for team workouts. I also keep a small stash of toys for my one-year-old daughter if she visits the office.

How I wind down after work

Post-work playtime is one of the highlights of my day. My husband Jason and I make an effort to leave at the same time everyday to maintain a schedule that allows us to spend time with our daughter. After playtime, my husband prepares a delicious dinner for us. The only rule at dinner is not to speak about work. I also love a relaxing bath with essential oils before bed!

My personal work mantra:

“If you are going to achieve excellence in anything, you need competition and a strong focus on improving your own personal best.”

I am so grateful to be surrounded by a growing team that values personal performance as well as the growth of brand. We can’t wait for more women to experience our product and interact with our brand.

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