Jane Lu is the CEO of the incredibly successful online store, Showpo (it’s got 1.5million Insta followers and 1.2million Facebook fans and is quite simply, mega). She started Showpo after she left her job in corporate finance to focus on her side hustle with a business partner, but that partner didn’t want to continue their business and shut it down. So Jane found herself out of a job in the middle of the GFC in 2008.
“I basically had no choice, I had to start a new business,” she says. And so Showpo was born.
Jane says she didn’t want to tell her parents that she’d quit her job, “so for six months I would get up every morning and pretend to go to the office in a suit. I had to get an early bus to the city with my mum! I worked out of the state library for a while and I got a receptionist job to make some money, but then I started the online store and things grew from there.”
“My day to day can be anything from lots of meetings, working with the team, lots of PR like this interview, I’m also very involved with the creative content and the business strategy. While the product team is the biggest team in the company, I have an amazing head of product - Amber - and she does such a great job I don’t need to get too involved. I’m more on the marketing and operations side of things.”
My health philosophy is around numbers, I get dexa scans which measure things like your body fat percentage and how much muscle you have. I like things to be measureable even in my health! At Showpo we have a lot of KPIs because I like working to goals and know that I’m ticking things off. I used to be fairly unhealthy but I’ve started working out more and eating a bit better.
My weekly workout routine is basically F45. I like someone yelling at me over loud music! If I have to motivate myself on the treadmill or something I just won’t do it. On a good week I’ll go three to four times. Over the past year my workouts have been very festival focused - in the leadup to Coachella I got festival fit! But now it’s lapsed.
I never eat breakfast, I just have coffee as I’m not fully awake enough to eat. Lunch is a sandwich or a salad if I’m trying to be good. But we get sent a lot of sweets at work and we have a lot of birthdays as well. The temptations are getting more frequent. If I go home for dinner I eat so much because my mum puts on a big feast. Usually though my fiance and I get Uber Eats. I don’t have a sweet tooth so don’t really eat chocolate or icecream after dinner but I love sauce - it’s my vice, I put it on everything. If I get a Big Mac I get it with extra sauce and then I’ll get the Big Mac sauce on the side too. I love it.
We had a mindfulness program at Showpo and a guy came in who taught us how to meditate, but I fell asleep. I think what keeps me mentally healthy is that I have really good people in my life to talk to and that keeps me sane. I surround myself with more sane people than I am to help me out!
My beauty routine is fairly basic. When I was 27, my general manager Alex took me to Priceline and taught me what to do with foundation and concealer - before that I would only put on mascara and lipgloss!
Every day I use different brands so I feel like I’m diversifying and always surprising my skin. I’ll go to Mecca and just take whatever is recommended. Moisturising is the one thing I do every day because I have dry skin. And I realised six months ago that I’ve been putting my eye cream on the wrong part of my eye. I’m a work in progress when it comes to beauty.
Now that I’ve coloured my hair with balayage it’s so hard to maintain and I didn’t know you shouldn’t use the purple shampoo every time, so that made my hair super dry. Now that I go to the gym a lot more, I have to wash it more frequently so it just means I have to do it more often. I used to go to the hairdressers to do it, which cost a lot and it’s time consuming. So I learnt how to curl my hair on my own - I use a wand without a clip so it’s really easy - I told you, I’m a novice!
I try to be conscious of unnecessary plastics in my life - I don’t use straws, I’ll take my own tote bags to the shops and my own water bottle everywhere, making small lifestyle changes.
Our approach for Showpo is to always be improving. We have an annual sample sale with 100% of the proceeds donated to The Hunger Project, and have since raised over $100,000. We’re on the verge of rolling out a wider strategy for this space which we’re really excited about.
My superpower? Oh I know! I don’t really need a lot of sleep. I’ve done a lot because I have so much time to fit in! I stay up late and wake up when I need to, and I’m never really tired. I’m not a natural early riser, but when I go to bed late I don’t need to sleep in.
Photos: Chris Mohen
Interview: Nedahl Stelio