Justine and our CEO Anna hold a long friendship having met at university during an aerobics class and have been good friends ever since. They share a love of wellness, and both lead busy businesses so know all too well how to try and navigate the work-life-balance!

Justine discusses everything from what La Pochette offers, where she is travelling to this summer and advice on starting a bustling business.

When and how was La Pochette born?
I would often avoid working out during the day, as it meant having to carry a heavy gym bag, as well as a handbag and laptop. Who wants to look like a packhorse on the tube?!? The light bulb moment came when I was in a changing room after a sweaty spin class. I didn’t need a gym bag!! All I needed was a bag to put my clean or sweaty kit in, and a few post class essentials like moisturiser. Everything else was provided. Cleats, towels, hairdryers, deodorant, shampoo, shower gel. Most studios and gyms at the time provided a plastic bag for dirty kit, but I knew this wasn’t the solution, (not only from an environmental point of view, but who wants a plastic bag in their Celine handbag?!?). When I spoke to friends, they agreed that it was a great idea, and requested that if I found one, could I buy one for them too! I went on a search to find a suitable bag and realised it didn’t exist. So, I decided to make one myself and La Pochette was born.

We design bags and accessories for the way people live and move today. During a given day, you could be going to the office, meeting a colleague for a coffee, taking a spinning class, flying to New York on a business trip, taking a dip in the pool, or joining friends for dinner. Combining intelligent design with super functionality, every item is carefully considered to be the best fit for your lifestyle.

Wherever your day takes you, there’s a La Pochette to help you transition seamlessly from one activity to the next.

What is a typical day like for you?
Most mornings I wake up at 6am. I usually spend the first hour with a coffee reading my emails and news articles. Following that, it really depends on what I have on during that day and where I’ll be based.
Some days I could be with the design team discussing product development and looking at samples. Other days could be spent meeting new retailers or potential partners. However, as a small company you must roll up your sleeves and do whatever is required to get the job done.
One of the things I love about being a founder, is meeting other founders. They are so inspiring and supportive, sharing war stories and advice. I try and network as much as possible as life as an entrepreneur can often be a lonely place.
I try and work out most days. This can vary from Reformer Pilates, Spinning, Barre, swimming or even just a walk. It depends on whether I am working in London, or at home in Richmond. I always carry a La Pochette Sweat Bag with me so I can fit in a workout when a space opens up in my day.


A little birdie told us you and Anna, CEO of This Works, have a little history. Can you tell us more? (*relating to how you met)
Yes! We met at university. Believe it or not, it wasn’t at The Student Union, bar, or lecture theatre, but taking various aerobic classes!!! Anna was the star of the class and ended up teaching them. It was the days when step aerobics was huge and doing grapevines and wearing thongs outside leggings was the thing. Thankfully social media didn’t exist, and so there is no photographic evidence. (at least I hope there isn’t)

Where will you be travelling to this summer?
I’m fortunate enough to have a place in The Cotswolds and will spend a lot of time there with friends and family. In addition, I have trips planned to both Greece and Morocco later in the year.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I’m incredibly fortunate in that I love what I do, and the sector that I'm in. It encompasses a lot of the things I am passionate about: fitness, wellness, fashion, and travel. Therefore, they naturally blend into one another. In fact, my best ideas don’t come to me when I’m sat at my desk or in a meeting. It’s when I’m in a spinning class, on a walk, or having dinner with friends.

I treat my social diary, as I do my work diary, and make sure to schedule time with the people I love. It maybe that it’s months away, but if it’s in the diary I will commit to the date.

Do you have any tips on dealing with (a lack of) sleep as a founder?
I try to go to bed at the same time every night during the week. Like a lot of people, I find it easy to fall asleep, but I often wake up during the night. Putting my phone to sleep mode and utilising “downtime” means I can’t check messages or emails. If I wake up, I listen to something on the Calm app which usually gets me back to sleep.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Surround yourself with amazing people.

What are your top 5 travelling essentials?
Of course I take most of the La Pochette products including; a La Pochette Wet Bag – it means I can take that last dip in the pool before catching a flight home, and not have to worry about my wet swimsuit leaking in my suitcase

What are your top 5 travelling essentials?
Of course I take most of the La Pochette products including; a La Pochette Wet Bag – it means I can take that last dip in the pool before catching a flight home, and not have to worry about my wet swimsuit leaking in my suitcase
- Air Pods
- Cashmere wrap
- Lightweight portable charger
- This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray


What is one piece of advice you would give someone wanting to start their own business?
Life as an entrepreneur, can be extremely difficult. There are many highs and a lot of lows. There are times when you will question your sanity, and why you decided to take this path. However, if you are doing something that you are truly passionate about, there can be nothing more rewarding. My advice would be to seek counsel from as many people as possible, and don’t be afraid to ask the “stupid” questions.
Ultimately life is too short, and the only regret are the things we didn’t do.