Interview with Owner & Designer, Hayley McNeil
Photos by Jo Bevis
When did you launch DS Flex and why?
DS Flex was first developed as an active wear line stemming from Dancesole, a very successful dancewear and costume range owned by my sister. The dream was to design a fitness wear line for women which was stylish and more importantly affordable. We officially launched DS Flex in mid January 2015 at Sorrento Surf Club and have been over whelmed with the huge response and positive feedback since.
Tell us about your background?
I grew up leading a very active lifestyle starting with dancing from a young age then onto triathlons in my late teens. I loved a challenge and found the three disciplines that triathlons offered to be the greatest challenge of all. I excelled in running and always went with the motto ‘why walk somewhere when I could run’. I competed in elite triathlons for several years from short course to the Busselton half ironman. During this busy time I competed in the Rottnest Channel swim, adventure races and anything active. As my life progressed, I married and had two children, and moved to a whole new stage of business. Two years ago my family was lucky enough to have the opportunity to move to the amazing location of Dunsborough.
This is where my love of group fitness classes began and with two children was much more convenient with the offer of a crèche. Who knows where our life will lead us next but as long as I have my family and running shoes I know it will be fantastic.
Describe your average day...
My day generally starts with the early morning sounds of my daughter’s foot steps running down the hallway asking “is it time to get up yet?’.
Once out of bed the first thing I do is check through my daily planner made the previous night as a reminder of what emails/orders and must do’s I have planned for the day. In between making breakfast, dressing the kids and adjudicating their first world problems I sneak a quick check and post on my DS Flex Instagram and Facebook page.
Depending on the kids schedules I leave my husband in charge and head out in the fresh air for a run. I love this time as my best ideas are thought of when my mind is clear and I am running.
The rest of my day usually involves a group fitness class at the Dunsborough gym trialling new apparel then onto the usual Mum duties. I love my busy life, never a dull moment between looking after my kids, household chores and fitting in time to run my business. After a couple hours at night spent on my computer and planning/prepping orders I am in bed fast asleep ready to go again the next day.
How do your products differ from other active wear brands?
With a large number of active wear brands already on the market I knew I had to have a point of difference to stand out from the crowd. One of the most of important and prominent factors in everyone's life is MONEY and I decided that my low price and high quality was how I was going to offer an alternative to the majority of the competition.
What is your most popular style/item?
Each season DS Flex looks forward to releasing a new style/pattern and our first range, Lexi has been a huge hit. We can’t wait for our next range featuring in this months issue...SEE IT HERE...the Misty tights and Leo tights. Already in high demand these tights will be available to purchase from April.
Where can we buy DS Flex?
DS Flex offers consumers the flexibility of being able to purchase from the online store which can be found at www.dsflex.com.au. I host several Pop ups shops all over Perth and upcoming event locations are listed on my website under store locations.
South west place to run/hike?
I love to run along the Meelup Trail past beautiful beaches with amazing rocks and coastline views
My favourite beach would have to be Point Picquet. I love the crystal clear water, white sand and the amazing rock formations but most of all the seclusion with 8 times out of 10 my family and I have the beach to ourselves.