After seven years of working for Trelise Cooper, 24-year-old Kayla Jurlina started her own fashion business, Homage. Last year was a whirlwind, so now Jurlina is reclaiming her weekends for pleasure and relaxation. She talks to My family’s Croatian and all of our time is spent at the dining table. Usually I head out to my parents’ place for a Sunday afternoon. They live in Kumeu. I used to go more often but with traffic, it’s so hard getting out. So Sunday is the day for family. My dad is such a big foodie, he’ll have the barbecue on and have ribs or fresh fish cooking, and my brother will come down from up the road and it will be this big family affair. My dad will start pulling out his homemade red wine, so we’re all drinking red wine, and occasionally I’ll stay the night and come back to town early on a Monday. I would never think to go out to dinner at a restaurant on a Sunday night, or make plans to go to a movie. For me, Sunday is this sacred rest time. I never make big plans. Maybe it’s the word; “Sunday” feels relaxing to me. I always have records on. I have a good collection: I play Fleetwood Mac, Gorillaz, James Blake – so good on vinyl.
I ask myself every day, who do I feel like being when I get ready? Do I want to be this boss woman when I go into a meeting? Do I want to be known as this “fashion” girl? I try to dress for every occasion – even if it’s brunch, or going to the pools, or yoga. I feel like, why not? Why not dress up? On the weekend, I’ll throw on a pair of sports tights with a fur coat, with a hoodie underneath. But I’ll still have lipstick on. And sneakers, rather than a heel.
I’ve realised, working on my own, there are times where I’m not communicating with people. I struggle with that – not being able to bounce ideas off someone. I started going for these walks around One Tree Hill. There’s something about being in open space with these trees – it’s so soothing! I go for walks constantly, and I’ll always go on a Sunday, just to get breathing space and clear my head.
Recently I’ve been going to the pools so much. I realised, after leaving Trelise, how important exercise is for you. At the Olympic Pools in Newmarket, they have a spa and a sauna. So, on a Sunday, my boyfriend Andrew and I will go out for lunch with my parents, then go to a 5.30 yoga class and hit the spa afterwards. It’s the most relaxing day.
Last year, I had a hard year. My mum’s cancer came back really bad and we didn’t think she was going to make it until Christmas. So I was trying to juggle that, work, travel. I decided, this year, I’m going to give myself a break. I wanted to do something different. Now, I realise how nice it is to work for yourself. I recently took my mum to a fashion show and we went and had lunch for two hours. I could never have done that before. This is my time to spend with Mum and I’m really appreciating it.
Growing up, I remember my mum picking me up from school wearing big jewellery. I was like, “Mum can you please be like the other mums, this is so embarrassing.” And I always used to wear my grandma’s clip-on earrings. I wanted to do something to pay homage to them. Homage is project-based – it’s not just a jewellery label, it’s a brand and my first collection is jewellery. There’s so much more I want to do.
Kayla Jurlina enjoys injecting glamour into each day.