Stalked: Katarina Rayburn, Yoga Teacher and Founder, Wild & Rayburn Retreats

8 December 2016

I discovered the lovely Katarina on instagram when I was looking for the yoga retreat with a difference and that is when I stumbled across 'Wild & Rayburn' founded by Katarina and a friend, they offer fantastic yoga tuition in stunning locations. Then I got rather hooked on Katarina herself, her instagram profile is definitely one to follow -there's no doubt she is a truly inspirational yogi!

Another reason I had to stalk this lovely lady is because as you will discover, she has done and achieved something which many of only wish we could have the guts to do, her story is one to inspire all of us to jump into unknown terrority and do something we love in life!

How did you get into yoga and decide to forge a career in it? 

I got into yoga by being taken to a power yoga class by a friend, i'd dabbled in a bit of yoga whilst at drama school but never got into it until I went to this Power yoga class. The dynamic style of practice really got me hooked. I went from practicing once a week, to getting a yoga studio membership and practicing 5 times a week. I then went to India travelling for a few months and tried many styles of yoga and by the time I returned the idea of doing a teacher training came about. It came at the perfect time in my life when acting work had started to slow down my love for yoga just got more and more. The following year I went back to India and did my first yoga teacher training and since then I've been back to do 3 more.

What do you love about your job and what's next in your yogi journey?

I love that fact that I can make a difference to people's lives with yoga, whether its just giving them an hour of solace away from their every day stresses or whether its introducing them to a completely new way of life. I also love the fact that I can travel around the world with yoga, hosting retreats or attending different trainings. It's a very liberating career and you meet the most amazing people! My next plan is to open a yoga studio and cafe with my friend Mim, who took me to that first power yoga class.

Where do you love to stretch, shop, and eat in London? 

My favourite yoga studios to practice in are Yogarise in Peckham which is where I had my first yoga membership and Indaba in Marylebone. My favourite yoga brands are Reebok and sweaty betty. I'm vegetarian so I love going to any of the Mildred's restaurants, Wild Food Cafe in covent garden and Albion Counter cafe in Shoreditch has a great Salad bar at lunchtime.

How would you recover after a more dynamic yoga session?

After a dynamic yoga session I recover by taking a nice long savasana and refuelling on my favourite food and if I really feel like I've been working my body hard for while I'll treat myself to a massage.

Five items you can't live without?

I couldn't live without my bike, my yoga mat, my passport, nuts in all their forms (coconuts, butters, milks...) and dark chocolate!

Staked: Luciana Scarabello, Creative Director. Track & Bliss

22 November 2016

 I stumbled across Track & Bliss on instagram a while back and have been counting down the days until this very cool American activewear brand comes over to the UK market. This day is nearly upon us with the brand being stocked via the online multibrand Matches  in December. I caught up with the creative director Luciana to find out more about the story behind the brand and what inspires them to create such stunning silhouettes.

Why did you decide to start Track and Bliss and what do you love about you job? 

Before I started Track & Bliss I used to own a dress line for 7 years. At that time I participated in a reality show in the USA called Fashion Star. The objective of the show was to find the next big name in fashion and the winner was guaranteed a contract with retailers: Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's and H&M. This was a dream for me to have such a wonderful opportunity! I ended up putting so much pressure on myself though that I started experiencing a lot of anxiety which lead to constant panic attacks. At that point I decided to step back and focus on myself and getting better. I started practicing yoga, going to the gym, eating healthy, and breathing into each moment. In this process I fell in love with this new lifestyle change that brought me back stability, hope and peace within. 

Being a creative person I couldn't help to notice that a lot of activewear available was lacking some form of special element. Everyone looked the same and I felt that something was missing. I started getting ideas of a more fashion-forward approach  that would still offer functionality in the workout space but look chic, cool and on point to wear in any other space. I developed a small capsule collection consisting of only 7 pieces and launched a Kickstarter campaign to test the product and raise capital for this new endeavour. 

What inspires your designs and what's your ethos behind the brand?

I am constantly looking at what is happening in the world. I get inspired by the trends, colour stories and novelties in high fashion and try to translate that into activewear.  I look at for all sorts of fabrics and find ways to make them work for activewear. The key for me is to try to stay as far away from everything I see in the activewear space in order to create something that is different and unique. 

Describe a day in the life of Luciana ?

Since I wear so many different hats in my business my usual day changes constantly based on what is urgent at the moment. 
For instance my usual day right before presenting a new collection to the buyer is pretty intense. Wake up at 6 A.M and design, create patterns and samples till I get the style where it needs to be. I finish this process around 2 A.M. Wake up the next day and do it all over again. This is crunch time for me and I try to not get distracted from anything except getting the collection ready. 
I also travel a lot to the manufacturing sites to make sure that the production is on point. I might spend anywhere from 1 week to 1 month there to go over details, explain and show sewing technique or specification that the product needs. I learned that communication is key and one can never assume that people are going to understand our standards because they are evident to us. It is crucial to get your point of view across loud and clear to avoid quality problems in production.

On a regular basis I also have to attend to clients, sales, logistics and PR and pay close attention to all these different aspects of the business that require attention. 

Where do you sweat and what's your favourite form of fitness?

I try to get a workout in 3-4 times a week. I cant workout by myself and I really like group fitness classes! I'm a member at Equinox and my favourite classes there are Barre and Dance. I also do Pilates, Bootcamp and weight training. The key for me is to mix up my workouts to keep it interesting. I really enjoy my time working out and I think that is the most important thing, to find an activity you love that keeps you coming back to the gym.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a brand? 

I think the smartest advice I can give to someone wanting to start a brand is first and foremost to have a clear picture of what their brand will be and what its going to stand for. Start small and set achievable goals that take your business further. At this point you will learn a lot of what works, what doesn't work and learn from your mistakes. Anything is achievable but it takes a lot of hard work and determination and having a lot of guts to fight through the challenges. 
Since I was a little girls my father used to always say to me: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". I guess that phrase really sums it up.

Five items you can't live without? 

1- Track & Bliss Leggings
2- My cellphone
3- Music
4- Coffe
5- Sewing machines!

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