We caught up with the lovely Jodi Kerschl, founder of Bellum, to discuss the inspiration and motivation behind her activewear brand (our favourite piece is the Run Wild leggings) and find out what her London healthy hotspots are.
What made you decide to set up your own activewear brand?
I’ve always wanted to design my own range of activewear. Sport and fitness has been a big part of my life and a dream of mine was to develop a collection that truly performs, empowers women to achieve their goals, and makes them feel strong and beautiful. I feel extremely fortunate to be in a position to be able to do something I am passionate about – it’s hard work but I have loved every single step of this journey so far.
Tell us more about the name – Bellum – how did you choose it and why?
I chose BELLUM because it holds a strong Latin word meaning ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’. This mind over matter philosophy motivates our Bellum motto to ‘Advance with Inner Strength’.
How would you describe Bellum in 3 words
Strength, femininity and empowerment
What makes Bellum stand out from other fitness brands?
Our statement patterns and smart hidden pockets set us apart for sure. It’s those added details that really make a difference. Our newest collection utilises Italian performance fabrics with UV protection and antibacterial properties so it fuses function and fashion perfectly. Designed by a female athlete, for athletes.
What’s been the most challenging part of it?
Growing a business in a very competitive market is always going to be challenging and trying to come up with new designs and innovative products does stretch your creativity, but I thrive on a challenge! It drives me forward and ultimately, seeing so many strong, beautiful, empowered women wearing my collection is what it’s all about.
How do you decide on the patterns? Do you have a particular type of person in mind when you choose them?
We choose the patterns based on prints that truly make an impact and on-trend colours. Designs that really do shout WOW! Our newest collection, dropping any day now, has been designed around our new Diamond Logo signifying strength, direction and positivity. I’m so excited for this launch.
What’s your favourite piece right now in your range?
A tough choice as I invest so much into each and every piece, but I would have to go with the Run Wild leggings in our current collection! The feedback we have had on these tights is incredible, the fabric feels like a second skin and they sculpt every single curve so look fabulous! And the new collection, soon to drop, well I just can’t choose, the pieces are totally stunning.
How do you deal with difficult days?
I sometimes have to stop and take a deep breath. Go for a walk or lace up for a run to clear my head and to remember just how far I’ve come.
You’ve completed an Ironman – would you ever do another one? And what was the biggest lesson you learnt from it?
I never say never! However, training for an Ironman takes up a lot of time, weekends are pretty much gone and you really need to be disciplined and put in the hours. Running a full-time business while trying to add 12-15 hours of training is exhausting and difficult but not impossible, so I won’t rule anything out.
What do you love most about London’s health & fitness scene?
The London health & fitness has exploded in the past few years and it’s got such a great vibe! I love how motivated and excited people are – it’s so infectious!
We’ve heard you’re a regular runner – where’s your favourite place to run in London?
I love to run in Battersea Park, it really is a beautiful park. Running along the Thames is so special and Richmond Park is also a favourite. There’s nothing more breathtaking than running surrounded by natural beauty and lots of deer watching – just look out for all the cyclists!
When you’re not busy running a busy or pounding the pavements, what do you do to relax?
I walk my dogs, catch up on my favourite shows, cook, spend time with friends and make time for a nice bath soak!
Who is your health & fitness inspiration?
Right now it’s my PR Nicki Petitt, she’s dedicated, super fit and looks incredible!
Tell us something about yourself which people don’t know.
I did Judo for 3 years while in my teens and got to purple belt.
Motto you live by?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
Top health & fitness tip for our readers?
If you’re struggling to get fit or motivated, try incorporating small changes into your fitness for example walk the dog, use stairs instead of the lift or grab a friend and walk/jog to your favourite café for a/ post walk/jog coffee. Have a goal or focus to keep you motivated such as a 5km parkrun or if you’re chasing a PB write up a training plan and stick it on the fridge where you’ll see it, that way it will be in the back of your mind. And of course, treating yourself to the most beautiful workout wear is the best way to motivate a sweat sesh!
Favourite healthy meal?
Salmon with spinach and avocado
Complete this sentence:
“I couldn’t live without… my trainers!’
3 things you’re grateful for today?
My health, my husband and my dogs