“I AM so grateful for everything. I am so happy, so lucky. I wake up and say ‘is this my life?’”
Cork-born blogger/influencer and businesswoman Lisa Jordan is reflecting on where she is today. Chatting to her over the phone, hot on the heels from another hugely successful drop of her new clothing range, which sold out in seven minutes, Lisa is celebrating where she is not just in her professional life... but in her personal life.
“I’ve been through hard times in my life, so I feel now I am getting through the good. I have had a difficult early life, and I feel like this is, not my reward, but my place of happiness – my family.
“And I speak not really about being a blogger, my businesses, I mean about meeting my husband (they were married nine years on the day that we spoke), it is the family that I have built – that is what makes me so happy, so positive and so free,” says the mum of three, from Douglas, who grew up on Model Farm Road.
Lisa lost her dad when she was just 15 and her brother also died suddenly when she was in her 20s.
“Half my family is no longer here, it is tough when you are a teenager, and you lose a parent, and then you go into your 20s and lose a brother, it is quite a lot. You are then feeling, what is next? You are on edge, you are waiting. You had the first call when you were a teenager, a shock call. Then you are in your 20s, you are celebrating Christmas, you get another shock call.”
But she said finally ‘happiness is coming back’ into her life.
“There was always a cloud, or worry and sadness. And even though that is still there, I am so happy for what I have now. I have built my own family now – not replaced, nothing replaces, but that sadness and emptiness, your love is given to other areas now.
“You are longing for that love and then you find it – my husband is incredible; he is amazing and then my kids are too.
“I cannot be sad, I cannot be negative, when I have been given such blessings.
“Death takes its toll on people, especially when you experience it when you are young – especially in your teens, those years are very hard, if you are a young child you kind of forget (well, you don’t know) when you are a teenager it is a tough time – to lose a parent. And then to go into adulthood and lose a sibling, it is just a traumatic time of your life.
“And I feel, for me, maybe it is unusual, but when I lost my brother, I grieved my father at the same time – because I feel when I was 15 I didn’t do that. Both deaths hit me very heavily at that time.”
Lisa said it was actually her brother who encouraged her to start her blog.
“He was the one saying ‘you should do it, you should do it’. And I was all embarrassed at the time. I feel like everything happens for a reason. Would I have done that if he hadn’t encouraged it?”
And so ‘Just Jordan’ was founded and currently has 262,000 followers on Insta and 100,000 on Facebook - which helped launch Lisa into the spotlight. She has gone on to launch two successful businesses, Luna by Lisa, (makeup and haircare range) and Edit Row (clothing brand).
Her success hasn’t come easy. It hasn’t fallen in her lap. It’s not been a case of ‘luck’ - but rather lots of hard work, determination and investment of time, money and energy and a clever business acumen.
“I have been in this industry for ten years – five of those I didn’t make a cent, five years, it wasn’t seen as a job, it was ‘what are they doing’, it was nearly laughed at, ‘is this one for real’. That came with a lot of hard work and effort.
“For people like myself, we started as a hobby and as a natural flow of our lives and it just evolved, and I spent years previously to when I started online spending so much of my own money on clothes, make up, all the stuff that I didn’t need, but I had to purchase to have content, and all that investment into myself at the beginning. There is a lot of work, a lot of investment, a lot of time.
“I’m on my phone 24/7. It is a hard job, but like every job, there’s a hard part. What you put in, you get back I always believe. I am ten years now – so, you know, it is a long time.”
Even now, Lisa’s investing in her brands, and with that comes risk all the time.
“You are making business decisions all the time and if they pay off, they pay off.”
HER CLOTHING RANGE
You know you are onto something big when your clothing range sells out in just seven minutes.
Such was the case with Lisa’s new clothing brand, Edit Row – which dropped its latest collection earlier this month.
The brand launched in January, 2023, and its first drop sold out in five hours – a huge success – even though people had warned her it was the worst month to launch in. The second drop sold out in around 45 minute, while the third and most recent drop sold out in just seven minutes.
Lisa said launching a clothing range s something she has always wanted to do, but wasn’t ready for businesswise. She had been ploughing all her time and energy into Luna, her hugely successful makeup brand up to now. Then, last year, she spent time developing the clothing range.
“I kinda left the idea of Edit Row go for some time until I had more experience in the world and more confidence as well, you know.
“So there has always been the dream to do it. And then of course last year I made that plunge and we started working on it and then we launched in January this year, which was a month I was told not to launch in – the worst month you could launch your brand in – lucky we proved everyone wrong and sold out in the night.
“It started off very successful early on, which was great. It has continued that path for the last couple of drops – selling out quicker and quicker each time.
“I’ve had successes in the past and I know because I come with a built-in marketing machine, you know it is going to have that bit of step up – it’s going to have that backing, it will do OK. I always think things are going to do OK. I didn’t imagine it would go that way.
“I thought, look, it’s got a chance... I’ve got a good channel, good supporters, good product, so I can’t see why it wouldn’t do well – but I didn’t expect the speed of it.”
The pressure now is to restock to keep up with demand.
“I have new product coming this week. Then, in the summer I have a couple of mini summer collections – a few dresses, trying to mix it up essentially. I want to have all types of clothing, not just to be boxed into one genre.”
HER BEAUTY BRAND
The success of Edit Row comes hot on the heels of the continuing growth of Lisa’s Luna brand - which is stocked in Dunnes Stores and pharmacies around the country.
“Luna is five years at this stage, and that has been an amazing five years of learning and growth. And obviously there has been a lot of products produced, we are everywhere in the country at this stage – in nearly every Dunnes in the country, in all the pharmacies. It is constantly growing and evolving.
“There is a very good success story in that.... it has so much to come and is doing so well, we are so proud of it.”
Looking to the future, Lisa hopes to launch in the UK. Covid slowed things down a bit – put things back two years. But it’s still on the cards and she is hopeful it will happen in the next 12 months.
As well as juggling two businesses, Lisa is mum to Pearl, aged six, Bowie, aged four, and AJ, aged two almost three. She says they are her main motivation.
“My kids are my driving force, I do what I do for them. I think it was an interview with yourselves and I was asked, where do you see yourself in ten years - I said; ‘With a car full of kids’. I managed to get here – they are the kind of goals I set for myself in life really.
“As much as I am the business person, it is really the family first person. The mother. My kids and me - they are the most important thing to me. So when I work I do like to allow for that, to have them as much as I can. Working from home and being around them is what I love to do.”
Lisa said they are coming out of the baby phase, but there is still lots of minding to do, the house is a noisy one, but as she says: “I’m here beaming, it makes me so happy just thinking about them.””
She added that being at home with kids all day, as a stay at home mum or a mum who works from home, is a tough job, and mums don’t get enough credit.
“But it is most rewarding and we wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Lisa doesn’t post too much content on her social media about her children or family life.
“Not everything has to be online. I don’t even think people care to see that anyway. I am a very open book, but I do keep a little bit private, you do have to keep something for yourselves. So I give a bit, but not everything.”
With two businesses to run and motherhood to juggle too, does she get any downtime?
Lisa said: “I am so lucky because my husband is so supportive and so good with the kids, he is just a brilliant dad. He is nearly like the mother as well, he is so nurturing, he just has that in him. It really helps with me, my working and working online and doing what I do and having the two businesses, so for downtime he loves planning stuff for us, be it the cinema – we are not really a going out couple, we don’t really drink, I don’t drink, he rarely drinks, so we like the cinema - or we might go away.”
She likes to dedicate weekends to family time, doing activities, like going to parks, or farms.
“I try to bring the kids away as much as possible,” adds Lisa.
SUPPORT AT HOME IN CORK
Lisa said Cork people and Irish people have been hugely supportive of her to date.
“The support is phenomenal. It is the one thing that stops me in my tracks and go WOW!”
She loves the messages of support too she gets from people.
“They are genuinely happy for you. And in Cork especially people are so warm.
“I love Cork, I’d never leave it, it is a beautiful place to live, people are lovely, we very much support our own. That is my experience. That I very much have an army behind me.”
When asked about the downside of having such a large social media presence – Lisa said: “It always comes with a bit of negativity.”
“Honestly, for me, if people are not doing/ saying anything negative, or trolling, I must be doing something wrong, because I feel like the more people are against you, means the more success you have.
“That is one thing I learned very early on in my career, someone else in the industry said to me at the time, ‘Well done, you are doing so well – and you haven’t made it until you get trolls’. And I went, ‘Oh, I don’t have any of those’ - that was back in 2014 - ‘what are they?’ I didn’t get it and then I slowly started to get it.”
Lisa feels that such bad behaviour by others is “validation for doing well”.
“If someone comes after you – is negative to you - it is validation that they want what you have – or they are jealous of what you have. It is a downside for some people but not for me. I have a thick skin though. I have a very thick skin, it takes a lot to rattle me.”
Lisa believes that new laws which will stop trolling will halt the behaviour.
“I also feel as our children get older, social media will be a better place, more protected.”
WORDS OF ADVICE TO OTHERS
“I‘ve really worked so hard to get where I am. No one can say that I haven’t. That is the thing, I haven’t just rocked out, I’m here...
“There have been failures, there is always failures. There are things that didn’t come to fruition. There are things that might not be as successful. Success does not come without it’s sorrow or failures.
“My advice is – if you want to do something, and it is in your head, do it.
“It is a great saying - ‘I would have rather tried and failed than not tried at all’. And if I hadn’t tried this blog, I wouldn’t know this success. If I tried and it failed , then I would have said, ‘Oh well, it didn’t work’ – because you are at peace then.
“For anyone who is saying they want to start a business – or who has started a business... I want to tell everyone they should try it and they won’t regret it. Because they can look back on it and not end up regretting it.”
Lisa gives a special mention to Ciaran Walsh, her business partner, who has given her huge support over the years.
You can follow Lisa on Instagram @justjordan.ie
Luna by Lisa Jordan on @lunabylisa
Edit Row by Lisa Jordan @editrow