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Lara & Matt — St Agni, Founder
Friends & Partners
April 11, 2020

When creative duo Lara & Matt Fells founded St Agni in Byron Bay in 2014, they started with an ethos of simplicity, launching the brand with a collection of three carefully designed bags. We had caught up with Lara to talk about the St Agni journey, where they’ve found the inspiration to shape their brand into what it is today, and how the St Agni family is finding ways to stay creative while working from home. 

How did St Agni Begin? 
My partner and I started St. Agni from square one. We had $3,000, little to no experience and not a lot of free time (due to us both having full time jobs). We had an idea that we wanted to create simple pieces that we felt were difficult to find in the market.

Tell us a little about what influences you.
I am really inspired by architectural design and the power in a curated space to evoke a particular mood. Mid-century design is my favourite and I also love vintage clothing and aesthetics and the romance and timelessness of their design. I’ve also always been inspired by the classic feminine silhouette and really relaxed dressing - these themes provide a constant undercurrent for me at work. Being a very visual person, I am constantly collecting pictures of different things that catch my attention - normally at the start of the season I look back at these images and they tell their own story and this is where the concept for the collection starts.

Tell us a bit about this current collection featured on Incu.com and how you fit into the fabric of the Incu Community?
La Forme was inspired by the earth and its beauty, the natural formations it has created, and the rich colour palette it has to offer. We wanted the collection to feel empowering and strong, while still feeling feminine and soft – trying to find harmony between the two. We have been working with Incu since 2017, the partnership is so special to us, it means so much to be supported by such an iconic Australian retailer.

Like many others, this new transition into working from home has been a challenge for Lara, with a two-year-old son at home. By fitting in work between naps, sneaking into the office every now and again, and readjusting her home workspace, Lara and her family are adjusting to the new normal. 
When we found out we would be working from home we moved our office to the front room in our house, it’s really sunny and has a big window looking out to palm trees. 

I have found myself reassessing everything we do as a business and reflecting on how we want to change and the choices we want to make for the future of our business and our family.

What are your go-to WFH wardrobe pieces? 
I normally dress pretty casual, so not much has changed really - most days I'll be wearing a pair of vintage Levi's and our Arlo Knit.

What’s currently on your list of things to read or watch?
I was given The Testaments book (the second book of the Handmaid’s Tale series) in September last year and I hadn't even picked it up until yesterday, but it's really good so far! We have also been watching The Secrets She Keeps. Its’ an Australian drama on channel 10. It's thrilling - I can't remember the last time a TV show held my attention like this.

What’s your go-to meal right now?
I've been enjoying cooking at home more. My favourite thing to make is slow cooked beef ragu, it's delicious.

What will be your first treat yourself meal after you leave self-isolation? 
I don't even care as long as all my friends are around the table and we have lots of wine.

What have you found yourself drawn to doing during this time? 
I have found myself reassessing everything we do as a business and reflecting on how we want to change and the choices we want to make for the future of our business and our family.

What are some local businesses that you’d love to support? 
Supporting local business at the moment is so important. We are trying to shop locally from the grocers that support local farmers and chefs. Here are some links to my favourite local online stores:

What are you grateful for right now? 
Having this time to pause has made me feel grateful for so many things. I'm grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with my son Jude and for our incredible team at work for all adapting with us through this strange time. Most importantly I'm grateful for our health!

Shop the full St Agni collection here

WORDS BY MARIAH HANNA
IMAGES BY LARA & MATT
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