If you’re any kind of fitness enthusiast or activewear lover, Perth-born label STAX. will need little introduction. The brand, brought to life in 2015, has quickly become one of the most globally recognised athleisure offerings, for serious gym junkies and stylish active staples alike, not to mention having also being spotted on the likes of trendsetters Hailey Bieber, Ashley Graham and Jennifer Lopez (to name a few). Founded by Don Robertson and co-owned by Matilda Murray, the high-quality, limited editions collections are the perfect blend of fitness and fashion, while its size inclusivity is regularly praised. As part of HER BLACK BOOK’s Festival of Her, a shopping event to support female-founded businesses, Murray shares some insight into the STAX. journey so far.

“I kind of ‘fell’ into STAX. My now husband Don, started STAX. in 2015 (80k in debt) and I started dating him shortly after. I was working corporate and was very against leaving my full-time ‘safe’ job to sell tights with my then boyfriend. It’s so funny to look back and say that now, because I realise I fell in love with the brand pretty quickly. I spent all my spare hours (before work, after work, lunch breaks, weekends) working on STAX., and growing the brand. Being a size inclusive brand was something so important to our vision, and creating an affordable luxury that was loved and worn by all walks of life. Everybody wears activewear, so why not bring out the very best version of it!”

“I think we get caught up in comparing people's presented highlight reel to our own behind the scenes and that's a dangerous cycle. STAX. has been around since 2015, and someone recently called us an overnight success — truthfully it’s taken 7 years to be an ‘overnight’ success. There’s a lot of background work you don’t see on social media so never compare. Start small; and stay in your own lane — I think the key is finding a point of difference and running with it. But also being confident enough to change your mind and pivot when things aren’t going as planned.”

“The main sacrifice would be saying goodbye to a ‘knock-off’ time. There’s not really time off when you’re running your own business, which can be quite the adjustment, but at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so lucky that my passion is also my work — of course there are many times I’d love to just ‘switch-off’ (like recently in Paris) but the good always outweighs the bad. If there’s something to be done, you get it done — regardless of the time."

“We're really proud of our inclusivity — we were one of the first activewear brands in Australia to cater for sizes XXS (4-6 Aus) to 4XL (24 -26 Aus). Inclusivity and making sure our brand caters for everybody is so important to STAX. We pride ourselves on being an affordable luxury brand that accommodates to all.”

“I listen to podcasts every morning when getting ready for the day (Mindset Mentor and Diary of a CEO are my two faves. Podcasts put me in a really strong mindset for a productive day. Atomic Habits by James Clear is a book that changed my life, as well as The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.”

“This is something my husband Don taught me. Most decisions don’t need to be made right there and then. Get your facts together first, be in a clear headspace and make a decision logically, not based on whatever emotion you’re feeling at the time (although I am also BIG on listening to what my guts telling me too!).”

“Resilience. I think that’s the number one key to success. Every single day there is a new task or a new challenge and if something doesn’t go to plan I don’t have the luxury of giving up or throwing a tantrum. There is always a lesson to learn and I think that’s what makes the result sweeter, the lessons you’ve learnt along the way.”