While chic minimalism may abound at her Dubai Hills Estate home, Lyndsay Doran’s life and career is anything but understated. We go behind the scenes with the successful fitness entrepreneur
When Lyndsay Doran relocated from her hometown of Dundeein Scotland to the UAE as an ambitious 21-year-old, it’s safe to say the world washer oyster. Pursuing a career in aviation with Emirates, she happily lived the high life while soaking in everything that the sunny shores of Dubai had to offer. It wasn’t long until she discovered a newfound love of fitness, however, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Flying was never a forever career for me,” Lyndsay tells MOJEH. “It was great to travel the world as part of my job and experience different cultures, but it is very hard on your body and after five years I was ready to move on to something new.” Having spotted a gap in the market for activewear that combined both the right fit and fabric, Lyndsay decided to do something about it. In 2019, her luxury fitness brand L’Couture was born.
These lightbulb moments are common for the entrepreneur, who began tailoring the leggings in her closet until she had done enough research to figure out how she could start out on her own. “My vision was to make clothes for myself, and I still have that mentality today,” she says. “I am the customer, so everything we produce is based on what I would wear to and from the gym. I think it helps massively to have someone inside your design team who is trialling the product for months before it gets signed off.”
A quick peruse of her Instagram and it’s easy to see she’s most certainly not overselling her passion. In one post you’ll find her training on holiday in the Maldives, in another she’s enjoying a morning of yoga on the beach in Dubai. In the next she’s hip-thrusting almost 200kg in the gym. It hardly comes as a surprise that fitness is a huge part of Lyndsay’s life, and she’s passionate about training five times a week to keep on top of both her physical and mental health. “If I’ve got a really busy schedule and I can’t make my sessions, I’ll make up my activity with a game of Padel. I just took it up recently and I’m loving it,” she tells us.“It’s a really challenging workout.”
Whether you already know L’Couture or this is the first you’ve heard of it (get out from under your rock), the brand has seen incredible growth since its inception. Originally launched as an online business, it now boasts a whopping 97.6k Instagram followers at the time of writing, with Lyndsay designing and creating activewear for women of all body shapes. The brand’s sizing goes up to XXL, and special alteration tweaks are available in store. “We pride ourselves on our fit, and the feedback from our customers is that they keep coming back because they love it,” she enthuses. You’ll find her designs at L’Couture’s flagship store on Al Wasl Road— “opening this store was the proudest moment of my career and we pulled it off within just 12 weeks,” says Lyndsay — as well as the JBR store and online, where you can even enjoy same day delivery.
Lyndsay’s brand isn’t the only thing that has grown exponentially over the years— in 2021, she welcomed her three children Tommy, Mason and Amelia. “I’m incredibly fortunate to have three beautiful, healthy babies,” she gushes. “I’ve been very open about my journey, which started with IVF but unfortunately was unsuccessful. We got our happy ending though, after many years of disappointment, with the help of our amazing carriers.”It’s with these three beautiful children and her husband that Lyndsay shares her home in Dubai Hills Estate, with the family moving in just last year. “We love it here,” she explains. “There’s so much for the children to do, with plenty of parks and activities in the area. It’s a really great place for families.”
Minimalist and inviting are the words the creative uses when asked to describe her home’s design aesthetic, and it’s clear to see she’s nailed it with plenty of earth tones and marble accents. “I love neutrals and a minimalistic feel, but I also love to feel super homely and cosy in the evenings. I even recently added afire place to our living room, though we live in the middle of a desert.”With a stunning outdoor area, three social hubs inside and an envy-inducing kitchen, it’s a great home for socialising, but the true inspirations behind the aesthetics of the villa are the couple’s children, with family living Lyndsay’s key focus: “I love our outhouse. We have a large TV in there so we can watch the babies’ favourite shows all together while looking out on to the swimming pool and greenery. We designed the house around the children and added in a beautiful playroom for them. It’s there where I spend most of my time, as well as in the kitchen drinking coffee!”
To launch a small business is incredibly difficult, and while there are more female-owned businesses in the Middle East than ever before — great news thanks to the general increased profits, more diverse workforces and commitment to work-life balance — Lyndsay is all too aware of the greater challenges they face. As such, she is committed to supporting other female-founded brands, championing both the innovative products and the inspiring entrepreneurs behind them. “I love to support other female-founded brands and I actively seek them out while exploring more about their founder and their journey,” she enthuses. “I’m a huge fan of YouTube and podcasts, so you’ll regularly find me listening to or watching clips of other female founders and their success stories, I find it so inspiring. I am a total girls’ girl and am always there to support and be the biggest cheerleader for my friends and team.”
So what’s next in the pipeline for Lyndsay? “My husband gave me a great piece of advice years ago when I started out, which was to always set a target and once you hit it, set another one. Always strive for more. I still think like that to this day.” With four new stores set to open across the UAE before October and many more to come in 2024, it’s clear to see that’s one motto she most definitely lives by. Shop L’Couture here and follow Lyndsay on Instagram here