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Fashion has always been a passion for Jessica Kruger but from a young age she knew if she would ever venture in the industry she had to make a difference. Luxtra was created initially as a regular accessories brand but this year, Jessica decided to discontinue the use of leather and adopt materials like Piñatex – a.k.a. pineapple leather. The first bag using the material is available now and will soon be followed by card holders and travel pouches. All vegan and super sustainable!
In this interview she talks about her journey from Australia to Paris, the challenges to embody an entrepreneurial mindset and why all you need to start a business is having the guts!
Project M: What motivated you to launch the brand?
Jessica Kruger: Fashion was my first love. No…. My second. When I was 8, I wanted to be a scientist, because my grandfather, a physicist, showed me inspiring experiments. But i also just drew dresses and dresses, and my mum taught me to sew at a young age.
Towards the end of high school, you hear that fashion doesn’t pay. My father is an accountant so money mattered. I pursued architecture and then a regular Arts Degree. I moved from Australia to Paris and along the way eventually made my way back to fashion. But thanks to my upbringing, it had to be from an angle of making fashion better for the planet.
Project M: What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Jessica Kruger: Coming from a modest Australian family, I knew no one in Europe. I have always felt like an outsider, which I know many people also feel. As a young girl, my sister and I were taught not to be opinionated, never to contradict, there was a limit to how many questions we could ask. We were conditioned to be meek and compliant girls.
This has been my biggest challenge: Learning to say what I want in unapologetic language (yet also blending in the politeness I cannot shake off) to get what I want and need. I am learning to be less of a people pleaser. I’m making progress.
Project M: What advice would you share with those thinking about creating a business?
Jessica Kruger: 1. You need to simply *start*. 2. You don’t need industry experience. It could help, of course, but it can also be a strength if you don’t have it. I started a restaurant in central London with no experience. And now with my second business, have created a sustainable fashion brand. I knew nothing about either industry, but just charged right on in.
My advice is to have guts. The way I see it is that life is far too short. Personally I want to make an impact and I never EVER want to think “what if”… so I just get right on and dive in.
Make a plan. Break it down as small as you can, and start with the tiniest baby steps. What is one thing you can do TODAY to get you closer to your dream. TODAY. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not after your next pay cheque.
Now. THERE IS NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT.
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