She’s as fierce as she is fabulous, and as the other half of the SAINT&SUMMER power team, Julia James has made it her mission to bring you the finest darn kicks you’ve ever seen! Mom of boys, wife of former Springbok and woman on fire, Julia is all about inspiration; finding it, being it and bringing it.
Read about her heartfelt answers in our Q&A with the lady in charge!
LIFE BEFORE SAINT&SUMMER. TELL US ABOUT IT…
I grew up in Durban and went to St Mary’s in Kloof for 12 years. I moved to Australia straight after Matric to study Public Relations and when I got home, I studied Graphic Design. I met my husband, Butch, in 2003 and in 2007 we moved to England together. We settled in the most beautiful town of Bath where we spent time travelling and making new friends. But after 4 years we were ready to return home. We moved back to South Africa and settled in JHB for 2 years before coming back to Durban in 2012, 8 months pregnant and so happy to be back where it all began, with family and friends (& sun & sea) around me.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR NEW SEASONS?
Everywhere! We spend countless hours researching styles and looks for our ranges. We find inspiration in the everyday working woman, mom and housewife. We travel Europe looking for trends. We watch the runways, fashion shows and the latest European Vogue. We search the internet; follow bloggers we know and bloggers we don’t. We pay attention to international brands. We find inspiration around us, in the company we keep, people on the street and the amazing multi-cultured diversity of South Africa. I LOVE this part of my job.
YOUR FAVE PAIR FROM THE LATEST SS20 RANGE?
Easy one, the Lavish. I love the platform and the colours are so on trend. White Sneaky at a close second!
HOW MANY PAIRS OF SAINT&SUMMER SHOES DO YOU OWN?
I’ve lost count. My shoe cupboard is embarrassing.
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR BESTIE FOR 5 YEARS?
Working with Rox has been so much fun. We laugh a lot, a hell of a lot. Actually, we kill ourselves laughing. We plan together, learn together, room together, swear together, take risks together, succeed together and fail together. Lots of highs and lots of lows, but in the end, we’re a team and a damn good one. We know we have to make this work, and we do it together, or not at all.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
I love being with my family. They keep me young and I think that’s really important. Things like taking my boys to play soccer or golf or ride bikes and going for milkshakes with them. I definitely won’t say no to an afternoon watching an animated movie eating popcorn from my kiddies combo. My kids are nuts but they’re also the most fun I’ve ever had.
When I’m not with them, I love exercising. Running is one of my true loves. I’m a new Yogi too, so if I’m not on the road, I’m finding my Zen. Reading is another thing that I absolutely adore, but never have the time to do. If I do open up a book, I’m asleep after one page. Travelling with my husband is also one of my all time favourite things to do.
WHAT’S IN YOUR HANDBAG RIGHT NOW?
Right now… laptop, wifi dongle, purse, phone and, of course Labello.
WHO DO YOU SHARE YOUR LIFE WITH?
Butch, my husband of 10 years and best friend for 16. When he’s not travelling for work, he’s on the golf course. I’m kidding. But not really.
Jesse, my eldest son, 7 years old. Sporty as hell, a sensitive soul and the most sincere face you’ve ever seen. Too handsome for words and growing up far too quickly. Lets’ not forget cheeky.
Rex, 4 years old but he’ll tell you he’s 6. He Does.Not.Stop talking and has me in stitches every single day.. He idolises his big brother and is as tough as nails. Naughty as hell but has a face that will melt any heart. Lets’ not forget cheeky.
Frankie, 8 months old. My newest addition and the best little pudding ever. He has completely changed my life and filled my heart. The final piece of our puzzle.
WORK AND MOMMIMG… HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Being a working mom constantly has me on a guilt-trip. I’ve always loved working and SAINT&SUMMER is a job that I love going into the office for. But I do miss out on a lot of things with my boys. Because of this, I have to be strict with my working times and have to work hard at not working at home when I’m with them. As most working moms know, it’s always a challenge to juggle everything. Roxy has a beautiful little family herself and we’re in the same boat and both love our family time… But, our head’s are above water and we’re doing just fine, juggling and all.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
My husband inspires me to be a better person every single day. He works so hard to support our little family and is away from us a lot of the time doing so. He absolutely adores our boys; he lives and breathes for our family. He’s a human machine and he inspires me to conquer anything I put my mind to.
There are many women in my life who inspire me daily: I have a tight knit of friends who I absolutely adore. These woman inspire me to be better in all forms possible.
My best friend and sister - I could not have wished for a better friend, companion and wingman to do life with. When knocked down, she gets back up, stronger and more resilient than before. My sister inspires me to always fight for what I believe in.
My Mum has shown me love like no other. Taught me how to fend for myself, have independence, be a good wife and mostly guided me in my own journey of motherhood. She inspires me to be independent and never give up.
My MIL, Jenny has become one of my best friends over the last 16 years. She is the absolute salt of the earth and will do anything for anyone. One of the kindest woman I know. She inspires me to be a better person.
And of course, Roxy – she has a fire cracker personality, a hard worker, is an incredible mother, a beast of an athlete and my life-long friend of 25 years. She’s tiny but feisty and I’m thankful to always have her in my corner. She’s taught me about discipline, hard work and commitment. No one can accomplish what she does in a day. A multitasking machine who is always willing to take risks. She inspires me to dive deep, take risks and dream bigger.
SAINT&SUMMER IN 3 WORDS?
Fun. Bold. Fearless.
WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Aperol Spritz is my drink of choice.
YOUR SAINT&SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS:
The places it’s taken me and the moments I’ve experienced. I’ve learnt more in 6 years than I could’ve ever imagined. I’ve learnt about giving women a product that they can talk about, that they can make memories in and mostly, make them feel good! Not one highlight, but many.