BEAUTY TALK: JULIE & SALI STEVANJA

Posted in Interviews on January 26, 2015 by


Gone are the days of daggy workout wear.

In just two years, Stylerunner has helped pave the “normcore” way and is now the world’s leading online destination for fashionable fitness labels.

But like most good start-ups, it didn’t happen just with sheer luck.

It all began with Adelaide-born twin sisters – Julie and Sali Stevanja – working long 18-hour days on their laptops, with a whole lot of gusto. “We saw a gap in the market for beautifully curated active wear,” says Julie Stevanja, one of Stylerunner’s co-founders. “Once [my sister] Sali and I committed to creating Stylerunner, we launched it just three months later in October of 2012.”

Fast forward to present day and the Stylerunner Sydney office now sees a team of 21 passionate employees – with that number expected to quickly rise to 50 by end of this year!

Hot on the heels of announcing their global partnership with Lululemon Athletica (yes, it’s a world first!), we caught up with the incredibly humble and hard-working duo to talk beauty, health and fitness…

When Stylerunner launched, how many brands did you have on the site?

Julie: “We launched with 11 brands in October 2012.”

How many many brands do you have now?

Julie: “We now have 49 brands online including the brand new adidas sports line, adidas StellaSport. We’re launching Olympia later this month as well as an exclusive range from Finders Keepers X Fit.”

What do you put down as the reason(s) for your quick-growing success?

Sali: “The ability to be nimble has allowed us to edit, change or improve our service, offering and experience. We’re learning as we go, but we’re so closely connected to our customers and their wants and needs, which has allowed us to deliver the very best we possibly can. Social media has also been a contributing factor to our success – we hit the market at the right time and generated an organic following of customers and fans who genuinely love and believe in the brand as much as we do.”

It’s a new year: do either of you have any 2015 goals or resolutions?

Julie: “My new year’s resolution is mix up my workouts. I have my go-tos, like pilates reformer and boxing, but next year I’d like to try different things like dance, martial arts, maybe even rock climbing! On the professional side of things, I want to spend more time planning at the beginning of every week and the beginning of every day: “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. It’s just too important to skip, even when I’m busy!”

Sali: “My new year’s resolution is to practice living more in the moment of NOW. Being the co-founder of Stylerunner means I’m often tied to my phone – be it emails, checking out instagram, responding and interacting with our amazing customer base – however sometimes I’m so tied up in Stylerunner, I forget to be present and in the moment.”

What do you hope 2015 will bring you both on a personal and business level?

Julie: “Professionally, I hope 2015 will bring more routine and more opportunities to learn and grow as a business owner. Personally, I hope it will bring more balance and I’ll be able to spend more downtime with my husband. A holiday somewhere tropical would be nice too!”

Sali: “Professionally, I hope we continue to grow our presence in the market along with continuing to build our our amazing team. I’m looking forward to working with incredible strategic partners (watch this space!) and taking things to the next level. Personally I’m hoping to travel to places both my fiancé and I have never been to before including Tuscany and Copenhagen – along with spending a lot of quality time with my son (who turned 10 on Australia Day!). Playing sideline soccer mum is one of my favourite things in the world.”

Let’s talk beauty! What are your daily go-to beauty products for an every day look?

Julie:NARS Bronzer in Laguna, Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener and Bobbi Brown Brow Pencil.”

Sali: “I start my day with La Prairie Foam Cleanser then follow with La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil before moisturising with their Anti-Aging Day Cream. It’s expensive but my skin thanks me for it. I love ModelCo Daily Face SPF50+, Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and YSL Touche Éclat.”

What is your signature evening beauty look?

Julie: “I try to book a spray tan in advance for a special night and I swap out my bronzer for NARS The Multiple in Orgasm. I like to add a soft pink shimmer shadow to the corner of my eyes as it really opens them up and layer on ModelCo FibreLash Brush On False Lashes.”

Sali: “I don’t really change my day look at night. I am a less is more kind of girl but I generally strengthen my mascara and add liner to my top lash line.”

What is your favourite hair product?

Julie: “I love shu uemura Volume Maker.”

Sali:Damage Manager by Kevin Murphy.”

What is your favourite fragrance?

Julie:Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.”

Sali:Stella by Stella McCartney.”

What is your favourite foundation?

Julie:MAC Face and Body Foundation.”

Sali: “Same. Combined with YSL Touch Éclat. It’s a must for brightening my skin after a few too many late nights in the office.”

What is your favourite mascara?

Julie:ModelCo FibreLash Brush On False Lashes.”

Sali:YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils.”

What is your favourite lip colour?

Sali:Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in #05. It’s such a fun, bright colour.”

Julie:BECCA Cheek and Lip Tint in Grapefruit.”

What are your must-have travel beauty essentials?

Julie:People for Plants Face Oil and MD Formulations Face & Body Scrub.”

Sali:Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream and Swisse Ultiboost Magnesium Tablets.”

Who is your ultimate style icon?

Julie: “I love Olivia Palermo.”

Sali: “Nicole Richie.”

Who are your favourite designers?

Julie: “Camilla & Marc, Willow and Stella McCartney.”

Sali: “Acne, Givenchy and Alexander Wang.”

What was your most recent fashion purchase?

Julie: “A Stella McCartney bomber and the Dior Mise En Dior Tribal Earrings I had been lusting over for a while.”

Sali: “A Chanel wallet, Balenciaga heels and Acne Pistol Boots – all of which I bought on my last overseas trip.”

What fashion item are you currently lusting after?

Julie: “A Chanel Boy Bag in a new colour.”

Sali: “A Chloe satchel bag to replace the one that was recently stolen (from Luna Park!).”

What is your go-to outfit for working out?

Julie: “It depends on the workout. I prefer full-length tights and a form fitted tank for yoga or pilates. If the weather is warmer or I’m about to do a high intensity workout like spin or running, I prefer shorts in cool fabrics with a supportive crop and light tank. For Bikram, all modesty goes out the window and it’s shorts and a crop top – the tinier the better!”

Sali: “Black on black (always), an oversized, low cut singlet and 7/8 capris.”

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Julie: “Anywhere there is a pristine beach and azure water!”

Sali: “New York or Vietnam – totally different experiences!”

What is your favourite flower?

Julie: “Cymidium orchids.”

Sali: “Ranunculus.”

What is your favourite place on earth?

Julie: “Hong Kong is one of my favourite cities.”

Sali: “On the soccer sidelines watching my son!”

Your signature meal is?

Julie: “Salt-baked snapper.”

Sali: “I actually trained as a chef once upon a time! I make the best spag bol – the trick is a mix of pork and veal mince and a drizzle of truffle oil.”


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