Australian Merino in Lana Vello

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Lana Vello founder Mikahla Wells in the brand’s Australian Merino wool athleisurewear: versatile and stylish activewear that can also be used for casual, everyday use.

Lana Vello is a new athleisurewear brand launched last year by Mikahla Wells from the Central Wheatbelt of Western Australia. The brand draws its inspiration from regional Australia and Australian Merino wool.

Mikahla Wells grew up on her family’s farm in Wyalkatchem, a small farming community in the Central Wheatbelt of WA. After boarding school in Perth and a degree in Zoology at the University of Western Australia, Mikahla returned to Wyalkatchem for a couple of years before moving to York where her fiancé, Mitchell, farms alongside his father.

The Lana Vello athleisure brand was launched by Mikahla last year after about 18 months of research and development.

“I started Lana Vello as a way to have my own business that, by using Merino wool, connects my interests of health and fitness, farm life and regional Australia – three things that motivate me daily,” Mikahla said.

“Our entire brand and all of its products are inspired by rural Australia and focus on the benefits of Australian Merino wool. The designs are inspired by the beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna found in this unique place in the world. This is our main selling point, as well as highlighting the incredible features of Australian Merino wool.

“I believe we stand out from our competitors also because we really do live and breathe farming and Australian Merino wool. We run a sheep and cropping farm in Western Australia and one day we hope to be able to use the wool from our own sheep to supply the garments for Lana Vello, allowing complete traceability.”

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VERSATILE APPAREL

Mikahla says the brand’s apparel meets the growing trend of consumers seeking garments that are suitable for both fitness and social settings.

“The garments are simple, comfortable and beautiful, can be dressed up or down, are flattering for all sizes, and can be mixed and matched so they are not limiting at all. They suit both hot and cool climates making them appropriate for all-day and year-round wear,” she said.

The brand’s initial range consists of basics: leggings, a tank top and T-shirt – all made with Australian Merino wool blended with the cellulosic fibre TencelTM (made from wood pulp), with only minimal synthetic fibres to create stretch and compression.

“However, I am looking at diversifying into other product areas such as men’s athleisurewear, kids’ garments and even accessories in the future.”

RETAIL AND EDUCATION

Lana Vello is mainly an online business, with product sold through its website (lanavello.com.au) and promoted through its social media channels (Instagram and Facebook).

“We utilise our online and social media platforms to not only help sell our athleisurewear, but also to inspire and motivate people in regional areas to lead a healthy, active lifestyle and to educate our audience about the Australian wool industry and farming practices,” Mikahla said.

“I have also found great value in face-to-face interaction, such as with customers at the Avon Valley Toyota Field Days. I have learnt that despite the price bracket of the garments, people appreciate the value of the product and being able to see and feel the garments themselves.

“I was delighted to win the Wheatbelt Business Network’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in October last year, which helped give me belief in the business. However, I am most proud of the amazing feedback I am receiving from my customers, that they really love the product.”

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