Lisa Jo is a long time JunoActive customer that loves the outdoors and staying active! Our social media manager, Heather, recently sat down to learn more about her Active. Life. Style!
Heather: Hi Lisa Jo! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! We love meeting our customers and learning more about them! To start, can you tell us a little bit about the work you do?
Lisa Jo: I currently care for the elderly but my main career was in early education. I was a school teacher out of college, and then I actually started my own nursery school. When I started having children, I wanted to be with them and teach so I started a nursery school which I had for 20 something years. When I sold that and retired, I was very bored. I visited a friend of mine at her work, caring for an elderly person, and I adored it. So that's what I started doing!
Heather: It sounds like you have a deep love for caring for others! What kinds of struggles, if any, have you experienced as a plus size women finding apparel that suits your body?
Lisa Jo: As a plus sized person I felt limitations in the past. Even finding something functional to go for a bike ride in, something that's not going to get stuck in the pedals was hard to find. Back in the day, I remember as I was getting off my bike while wearing something that was sort of okay, but definitely not made for biking, my skirt got caught on the bike and I tipped over. Having the appropriate apparel is so important because it helps you feel confident when trying new things. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying something if you don't have appropriate things because, certainly give everything a whirl, but when you have the proper attire, it makes all the difference.
Heather: How did you find out about JunoActive and how long have you been a JunoActive customer?
Lisa Jo: I'm not sure, it was really a long time ago, but somehow Junonia, as it was then, came across my plate. It was when you were still a catalog. You know, back then, there wasn't the internet.
Heather: Do you remember the first JunoActive item that you purchased?
Lisa Jo: The very first thing I ordered was a pair of snow pants and a ski jacket. I had three little kids at the time, they're grown adults now, but they were young at the time. It was the first time I got to wear appropriate outerwear and spend time outside with my kids, stay dry and warm, all while looking like everybody else. It was so such a novel concept because prior to that, you know, you'd go to Walmart or someplace and try to find the biggest men's size to cover you up but they just weren't made for us, so it was never right. I was so full of gratitude finding appropriate outerwear made for women like me, that I wanted to leave the owner a message. I called the number from the catalog and Anne, the owner, literally answered the phone when I called! I told her how much I love the outerwear and the apparel and how thankful I was for her vision and her ability to make something in sizes that fit plus size women.
Heather: We love Anne! She was, and continues to be, such a trailblazer, creating high quality plus size activewear to an underserved market! What's your favorite JunoActive item that you own?
Lisa Jo: I lost 100 pounds and I wanted to celebrate by doing something big. I signed myself up for a sprint triathlon; a swim, bike and run and I'm like, "Oh crud, What does one wear to a sprint triathlon when you're this size?". Everybody except for me is a fit athlete of some kind, and the world is their oyster right? So I got right online and looked at the JunoActive website and I found the Aquatard. I swam in it, I biked in it and I ran in it; it served me perfectly. I no longer had any worries about my attire. All I had to worry about was getting through the event. To be able to eliminate, "What do I wear?" was huge. You can't change your clothes in between the swim, bike and run so this suit was perfect for that. It gave me lots of good coverage and it performed, and it did what it's supposed to do. I didn't have to worry that the legs were going to ride up or that my shoulders were going to stretch and fall off. It gave me incredible confidence.
Heather: Wow! Congratulations completing that event! It sounds amazing! What are some of your other favorite ways to stay active?
Lisa Jo: I would say anything outside. I don't really like going to the gym because I don't love being indoors. I love winter sports and summer sports and I love to try new activities. I recently tried kayaking for the first time and I had so much fun! I played sports all through college, hockey and lacrosse. I’ve found my favorite activities were always with a group of people, because then it makes it even more fun.
Heather: I love your active spirit! You live in Connecticut. Do you have a favorite local spot to get outdoors and be active?
Lisa Jo: I feel very fortunate to live in an area where I can be boating, fishing skiing, snowmobiling. Actually, one of the reasons we bought our home was because it is right on the snowmobile trail. Back to the snow pants and the snow jacket from JunoActive! I still use them! I just hop on the snowmobile and I don't have to worry about being cold in the zero degree weather with the wind whipping. They have held up so beautifully and, I mean, I am tough on my clothes and they're still perfect!
Heather: Are there any words you live your life by that you'd like to share?
Lisa Jo: You know, when you're on an airplane and that the stewardess says put your own oxygen mask on first? That used to seem really selfish to me. I never understood that and I'd think, "Why would I put my oxygen mask on prior to my child's?". But after living through this pandemic and being a caregiver my whole life, I have learned that you really should put your oxygen mask on first so you can be the best you can be for everybody else. If you're going to be your best, you have to invest in yourself first, and I get that now. Invest in yourself and put your own mask on first, then you can be the best you can be for whoever or whatever is important to you.
Heather: I love that! I think that we're getting into more of a climate of self care, where it's okay to say, "I'm going to take some time for myself so I can be the best that I can be!". Is there any advice that you give to people who are plus size that may be struggling to find the confidence to be active, or to try new things?
Lisa Jo: I've been there so I know how people might feel. I was very active when I was younger, and then I struggled to be active after a significant weight gain. I mean, even just a walk to the mailbox was a tremendous effort. My advice is just start however you can.
Heather: Lisa Jo, I want to thank you so much for taking the time for chatting with me today! It is always so much fun to hear learn more about our customers and their Active. Life. Style!
Lisa Jo: Thank you! I was happy to do this because I want everyone to experience the comfort and the ease of what I've been able to experience since I've been a JunoActive customer!