Are you grabbing that same pair of faded black yoga pants, sweatshirt, and sneakers, throwing your hair into a ponytail, and calling it a day? COVID has made many of us lose accountability for getting dressed and our own self-care, causing rippling effects in other parts of our life too. A story Alison Lumbatis, founder of Outfit Formulas knows too well.
If you’ve ever struggled with self-doubt, life circumstances you can’t control, or simply not wanting to get dressed in the morning, then this episode is a MUST-listen today.
When I had the idea for this podcast I knew immediately that @alisonlumbatis had to be one of my first guests. Episode 03: From a Baby at 19 to Mom in Yoga Pants to a Multimillion $ Business with Outfit Formulas Founder Alison Lumbatis is now available!
Tune in as this entrepreneur, best-selling author, and empowerment influencer shares how she built her multi-million dollar business guiding women to style confidence. But only after Alison took her own steps towards wellness after burnout, an autoimmune wake-up call, and losing herself in work as a mother of two young children.
Make sure you listen to the end to hear how the worst advice Alison ever received turned out to be the BEST advice she ever received. It’s SO good.
“It is a daily discipline to overcome those self-limiting thoughts. And I think the biggest key to this is just taking action. Saying, okay, I hear this chatter over here, but I’m gonna go ahead and take action anyway. I don’t have to know everything. I don’t have to have all the answers.”Alison Lumbatis
- The inspiring story of how Alison overcame self-limiting beliefs to build an online empire
- How Alison grew Outfit Formulas to over 150,000 members worldwide
- How decision fatigue led to the birth of capsule wardrobes
- How getting dressed affects your health on a daily basis
- What Alison calls “meal planning for your closet,”
- Finding your pace, slowing down, and learning to honor your body’s signals
- Overcoming self-limiting thoughts and taking action
- Listen on Apple Podcasts
- Listen on Spotify
- Or, click play on the embedded player below:
Alison Is Giving Listeners of The Elizabeth Rider Show 1 Month Free to Outfit Formulas
Alison is generously giving listeners of The Elizabeth Rider Show 1 month free to OutfitFormulas! Get endless outfit ideas, including seasonal trend updates. It’s everything you need to finally love your closet. Our All Access Pass is the ultimate membership! Style hundreds of outfits with our easy-to-follow guides and join thousands of women on a journey to style confidence.
- Code: ELIZABETHRIDER
- Product: All Access Pass Monthly Subscription
- Discount: First month FREE
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Transcript: Episode 03: From a Baby at 19 to Mom in Yoga Pants to a Multimillion $ Business with Outfit Formulas Founder Alison Lumbatis
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Elizabeth Rider (00:02):
Welcome to the Elizabeth Rider Show, where we talk about optimizing health, personal evolution, and defining what true wellness means to you. I’m your host, Elizabeth Ryder. I’m a certified health coach, longtime blogger, and author of the Health Habit. On this podcast, we dive deep into all things health and wellbeing, from physical and mental health, spirituality, relationships, lifestyle choices, and personal growth. Each week I bring you inspiring interviews with guests and thought leaders, as well as solo episodes where I share my own experiences and insights. My mission is to give you practical insights, inspiring stories, and transformative tools that can help you unlock your full potential and create a life you truly love. I hope this podcast serves as a valuable resource to develop your sustainable habits, mindful living, and an overall state of health and happiness. Let’s dive in. Welcome Alison, to this show everyone. Allison Lumbatis is founder of Outfit Formulas, author of the book with the same name Outfit Formulas. A wildly successful entrepreneur will talk about that and a good friend of mine. So Allison, welcome to the show.
Alison Lumbatis (01:06):
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
Elizabeth Rider (01:08):
I am so thrilled for you to be here. A lot of what we do here on the Elizabeth Writer’s Show is talking about optimal wellbeing and how our health is affected through all different aspects of our life. And you have had an incredible life. You’ve overcome incredible challenges. I think I’ve said about a lot of my guests, we see these very successful women that look like they have perfect lives, and they’ve never had to overcome anything. Everything was handed to them on a silver platter. And when you get to know them, you realize that wow, there’s some stuff there that people really had to overcome. I love your story and I am just really excited to share you with my audience today. I always start with my guests. I wanna know, because it’s different for everyone and I love hearing this. What does wellness mean to you?
Alison Lumbatis (01:53):
Hmm. Such a good question. I feel like the past three years I’ve had to really just focus on my wellness more than I ever have in my life. Switching gears into being an entrepreneur, I’m already a type A personality and I was willing to work to burn myself out regularly. And I had a real wake up
But really just finding out what is my pace, and really truly embracing that and learning how to slow down and honor the things that my body’s telling me instead of just shutting those signals down all the time.
Elizabeth Rider (03:10):
Oh, I love that. I think so much in wellness. We think about adding things in and a lot of times it’s about slowing down or taking things out.
Alison Lumbatis (03:17):
Elizabeth Rider (03:18):
Yeah. So you have this incredible business outfit formulas, and just for context for everyone watching and listening, I want everyone to know you’ve had over, is it a hundred thousand members go through your membership?
Alison Lumbatis (03:31):
Yes, we have. I wanna say that number’s getting closer to 150,000. Now we need to go through and and do a recount, but it’s, it’s been incredible.
Elizabeth Rider (03:39):
That is incredible. So outfit formulas essentially teaches, and we’ll go through this of why this is because I think the story of why this was created is so incredibly profound when we think about, well, it’s just outfits, it’s getting dressed, and when you told me more about the background of it, but essentially it’s wardrobe, capsule, wardrobes, and then seasonal wardrobes of how to put outfits together. Is that a good way to explain it?
Alison Lumbatis (04:00):
Absolutely. It’s like meal planning for your closet, basically.
Elizabeth Rider (04:02):
I love that. Okay, so we’ll get to that in a moment, but I wanna back up even further because you told me a story once that I was like, wow, so many people need to hear this because when I look at your life today, you and your husband are this gorgeous couple. You just bought a beautiful dream home. You have this incredible business, you have these gorgeous children, and it’s like, you know, like I said before, we see these women and we’re like, wow, she’s never overcome anything. So back us up to college. You are, I think 18 or 19 and you, you find something out in your life and you’re, it was very unexpected. Can you walk us through that?
Alison Lumbatis (04:36):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, it is easy to look at where we’re at today and not understand the journey that’s gotten us there and backing it up even further than that. I was raised in a very small town of about 80 people where people just didn’t go to college. I mean, it was in rural Pennsylvania. I had around 80 people in my graduating class of high school, just a super small town and, you know, just very limited perspective. Neither one of my parents had gone to college and I was the first person in my family to go. So, wow. That alone just felt like such a significant accomplishment of really just kind of like breaking that ceiling of what I thought was possible at that point in my life. And actually my senior year in college, I found out I was pregnant. Mm-Hmm.
We broke up and then I found out about two weeks later that I was expecting a baby. Wow. and, you know, it was just a very confusing time. I, I was so close to that finish line and I almost felt like this was that block that was gonna get in the way of me breaking through that ceiling of being that first person to graduate college in my family. And it was really a decision point there of do I stay in school and keep going with this knowing the obstacles that lie ahead, or do I quit now when I’m so close to the finish line and I’ll forget. I talked to one of my mentors, Dr. Ziney, who was one of my psychology professors at the time, and I walked into her office and I just had such massive respect for her, and this was such a difficult conversation. I felt like I was one of like the star students in her class and in a leadership role within Psychia, which was the National Honor Society and psychology. And she was the head of that, and I had to go in and tell her that I was pregnant. So I walk in her office and I sit down. I still remember what I was wearing that day.
Elizabeth Rider (06:27):
What were you wearing? What were you wearing? I
Alison Lumbatis (06:28):
Was wearing a purple guest sweatshirt. Oh yeah, this was the nineties, right? Of course. Yeah.
Elizabeth Rider (06:35):
I see it. I see
Alison Lumbatis (06:35):
It. And, and like a pair of boyfriend kind of jeans. Yeah. So anyway, I sit down and I start telling her this story and this look of disappointment comes across her face and I’m like, oh gosh, she’s the last person on earth I wanna disappoint. And then she goes, oh, well, and starts like just, that’s just move on. Like, okay, this is what’s happening, everything’s gonna be fine. I found out a few years after that that after that conversation, she went around to the psychology department, which was my major, and spoke with all of my professors, told them what was going on. And throughout that semester, I just had this massive amount of support surrounding me throughout, you know, every one of my classes. And I had all of these professors that were cheering me on and helping me through these really difficult days because the dad was kind of checked out at that point.
He was a college student too, and I didn’t really have that support. I was going to school away from home. I didn’t really have the family support. And a lot of my friends at that time really kind of turned their backs on me because college is all about, you know, going out, being able to go out and party and have all the fun things. And I wasn’t doing any of that stuff anymore. I was staying in and just really focusing on getting through this semester and getting through the pregnancy on my own. So it was a very lonely time in life, but also I can look back now and see how the support and the people who did come around me at that point were so pivotal to me having my son Devin over Christmas break. I went back to school two weeks later. Wow.
My mom stayed with me there. I wasn’t able to enroll him in daycare yet, so she stayed until he was old enough to go and, you know, dropping him off at the campus daycare, Dr. Ziney allowed me to bring him to class when he was a little infant, and we would sit in the back of the room. Wow. but it, it was, it was a hard time. And, you know, there were, there were difficult multiple years after that as a single mom that, that were really, really hard too. But I did end up graduating in, in August. I just took a few extra months to finish up my classes. That diploma right there,
Elizabeth Rider (08:39):
That is so incredible. What kudos to your professor because so many people in that position would not have had the support and the fact that this person decided to rally around you for the support, that’s a, that’s an incredible story.
Alison Lumbatis (08:53):
That’s huge. Yes.
Elizabeth Rider (08:54):
So you move to from Pennsylvania to Texas, is that right?
Alison Lumbatis (09:00):
I did, yes.
Elizabeth Rider (09:01):
You settle in Texas, and this is kind of where I had picked up on the story. You didn’t tell me that story, you know, till I’d known you for a little while and, and it was really in our conversations about growing this phenomenal business that you’ve grown. So tell us, walk us through like your years later, you’ve got two small kids, and then what happens? Why, why getting dressed? Like, how did you get the idea for this business about getting dressed?
Alison Lumbatis (09:23):
Yes. Yes. So backing it up to the story about moving to Texas, I moved here with $50 in my checking account and a six month old baby. Wow.
So it was kind of one of those sinkful moments. Wow. Yeah. In, in life. And you know, I had my sister here to help support me and get me through that transition until I started working. But my husband and I got married when Devin, my oldest was two years old. And shortly thereafter, Aubrey, our middle daughter, came along. And so I had two, two kids under five at the time. And I really just started to kind of lose myself in everything. Right. I think a lot of women can relate to that whenever you’ve got your little kids. And I had a career at the time, I was working as an engineer in telecommunications and running international networks, honestly. Wow. I was managing international networks. It was, it was a very challenging job. And I was working over 40 hours a week and then coming home and having two little kids, and Craig was traveling a lot at the time.
He had just started into his career. So he was going overseas for like six to eight weeks at a time. And I just remember those days of feeling like I was surviving, honestly, just getting through the day, crashing at night. Yeah. Waking up the next day, starting it all over again. Really just losing that focus on I’m myself in so many ways, you know, not really caring as much about my appearance. I felt like I had clothes sort of figured out at that point because I was working in a corporate office and I had my corporate clothes in my closet. Yes. But, you know, anything on the weekends or the school activities or anything that I did with the kids beyond that, I had no clue what style was supposed to look like. I had one of those kind of like juicy couture sweatsuits, remember those
Elizabeth Rider (11:11):
Absolutely. I just, I wanna see, I wanna see a video like, or a photo montage of like, of, there’s like the purple gas with the, the boyfriend James, which is back in style by the way, that like sweatshirt and jeans lick is so back in sell, you know, that obviously. And then like fast forwarding, like the, the juicy couture
Alison Lumbatis (11:29):
Wasn’t, it wasn’t the juicy brand, but it was kind of like the knockoff, like
Elizabeth Rider (11:32):
The vere jumpsuit Yeah. Thing.
Alison Lumbatis (11:35):
Yeah. So I would flare
Elizabeth Rider (11:36):
Alison Lumbatis (11:36):
Like the weekend attire,
Elizabeth Rider (11:38):
Alison Lumbatis (11:39):
So yes. So I completely kind of lost my sense of self somewhere in there, in those, in those parenting days. But really get your pretty on and outfit formulas did not start until probably around 10 years after that. And that’s when I started working from home. And that was really kind of like that catalyst for change of, oh, I really do need to rebuild my wardrobe because this uniform that worked for the corporate life is not working now at all for my new work at home lifestyle.
Elizabeth Rider (12:09):
Right. Was there like a moment, so you’ve had, I think you’d had your third baby at that point. You have three kids, is that right? Was there a moment or like a, a time where you realized you’re like, wow, this just isn’t working for me anymore?
Alison Lumbatis (12:21):
I think so. Yeah. So I remember shortly after I started working from home, walking into my closet and needing to find just something that looked cute and presentable to where I don’t even remember where I was going. Probably like a p t a meeting or something like that. It was after school and I was just throwing on every single day I would throw in this stretched out pair of faded black yoga pants. Right. A whatever sweatshirt was clean at the moment, or it didn’t even need to be clean.
Right. so, you know, this went on for about six months until I really just started to notice all of these ripple effects. I couldn’t put my finger on what had changed. So I knew I wasn’t working in the office anymore. I’m not getting up as early because I don’t have to get ready for work. So I’m rolling outta bed, I’m throwing on the yoga pants, I’m getting the kids out the door. I’m rushing back to get back to my desk to get on my calls or to dive into email or whatever. And I’m not ever taking this time for myself anymore. So really what happened was I lost accountability for getting dressed and I lost accountability for a lot of other things too, like working out mm-hmm.
Elizabeth Rider (13:52):
Alison Lumbatis (13:53):
Figure out what that looked like. Yeah. Yeah.
Elizabeth Rider (13:56):
And all people, and I said
Alison Lumbatis (13:57):
That one night and I said, what changed? I stopped getting dressed, I stopped getting ready in the morning so I can build that into my day. Again, I have control over my schedule and my calendar, and that’s what I did. I wrote out
Elizabeth Rider (14:41):
Alison Lumbatis (14:42):
And I said, what? Like, is there something wrong? And she said, you look pretty today. Oh. And it was just such a turning point because I realized I wasn’t just affecting how I was feeling about myself. It, it was affecting, you know, everything in my sphere of influence mm-hmm.
Elizabeth Rider (15:31):
Alison Lumbatis (16:29):
Yeah. I love that. It’s so true. I’m the same way. I have to have shoes on. My off outfit has to be finished out with shoes. Yes.
Elizabeth Rider (16:35):
So you start this blog, it becomes popular. And then where’s the idea for the capsule wardrobes and the membership? How does that come about? Because 150,000 people buying a capsule wardrobe and then a seasonal wardrobe, like you said, meal planning for clothes membership Yes. Is a lot of people, and there’s so many more obviously that will continue to come to you when, you know, you can Google capsule wardrobe and find some information on that. What was the idea, and in your view, when you put it together, what was, you know, the big aha for women being like, yes, I need this.
Alison Lumbatis (17:10):
Yeah. So I realized that decision fatigue is really something that we all deal with, right? We make what, 35,000 decisions every single day. And walking into your closet and seeing a lot of clothes in there just leads to decision fatigue if you don’t know how to pair them up. Yes. And the reality is that we, most of us have more clothes than we realize, and those clothes are a lot more functional than we realize too. We just don’t know how to pair them up. Right. Right. It’s like having all the ingredients for a, a beautiful meal, but no recipe.
Elizabeth Rider (17:40):
This is me. I want everyone to know this is me. It’s the Taylor Swift song. It’s like, hi, what’s it? How’s it go? It’s me. I’m the problem. It’s me. What you just is every day, every day when I, except for I do have your capsule wardrobe, and I have put my outfits together and I rely on those, but outside of that, I just, I’m like, I don’t sweat. Help
Alison Lumbatis (18:00):
Elizabeth Rider (19:43):
Gate. Wow. Wow.
Alison Lumbatis (19:44):
So I knew that this was something that women were really just needing that hand holding in and that advice and someone telling them exactly what to go out and buy and really show them how to shop with a purpose. Because most of us walk into the store just like we walk into the grocery store hungry, we don’t know what we’re buying. We just get a bunch of stuff and throw it in the cart, and we’re not sure that it’s even going to go together. Like, can we create something from this? It’s the same thing with shopping for clothing. You go out and you just see things and start randomly grabbing them. And I used to shop this way too. I was leave worse shop, or I would just get things off the clearance rack or whatever, just kind of appealed to me. Or bring it home and realize, oh wait, no, I already have 15 striped shirts.
I didn’t need a 16th. Right, right.
Elizabeth Rider (21:10):
Oh my God, I love that. We often forget, you know, if we wanna look at our optimal wellbeing and our holistic health, that the way we spend our money hugely influences our health, because it takes money from something else that we could be spending or another piece of our life. And sometimes, especially I think when it comes to clothing, like you said, if you have 15 striped shirts, do you really need a 16th one? And it really helps you. Your capsule wardrobe, like really helps people say, where am I going to spend my money? And I love to, so everyone knows this. Allison always recommends like, there are some pieces, like for black jeans, she’ll go from everything from like maybe Walmart or Target, or all the way up to maybe a Nordstrom or, you know, something else. So there’s a whole gamut for whatever fits your lifestyle, whatever is for you. It doesn’t have to be, oh no, now I have to go spend, you know, my entire paycheck on a new wardrobe. Exactly.
Alison Lumbatis (22:01):
Yes. I wanted it to be budget conscious and work for everybody. Like that was the point whenever I set out to create the first capsule wardrobe, is that it needs to work for everyone. And some women go to thrift stores and buy all their pieces. Other women save up their money and wanna buy, you know, one really good investment item per season. Mm-Hmm.
Elizabeth Rider (22:38):
What was the biggest self-limiting belief that you had to get over to scale this to such a big membership? Because it’s ama, I mean, 500 joining on the first day, that’s incredible and such a cool thing to happen. But going from 500 to even 10,000 to a hundred thousand, those are very different things.
Alison Lumbatis (22:57):
Elizabeth Rider (22:58):
What was a self-limiting belief, or what was something that you had to overcome in order to scale to such a big level?
Alison Lumbatis (23:03):
I think it’s, you know, imposter syndrome has been there since day one. Honestly, it was there when I was a quote influencer. I never felt comfortable in that space. I, I still don’t consider myself an influencer in the traditional sense. And then whenever I shifted gears into being an entrepreneur, that when it, that was when it really kicked in, you know, I started telling myself all these things, like, you don’t know anything about business. You don’t know anything about budgets. You don’t know anything about hiring. You know, there were all of these obstacles to overcome, and most days we’re now, you know, in, in the custom app development space. And I feel like I’m drinking from fire hose every single day. Yeah. And so it is a daily discipline to overcome those thoughts. And I think that the biggest key to this is just taking the action mm-hmm.
Elizabeth Rider (24:42):
Yeah. Well, no, I mean, like in your, your town in Texas, like what if someone saw the founder of Outfit Formulas out without an outfit?
Alison Lumbatis (24:51):
Oh, they do, trust me.
Elizabeth Rider (24:52):
Oh, they do
Alison Lumbatis (24:54):
Run into women in Target before with their shopping lists in hand from outfit formulas, and I’m always like, every single time it happens, I’ve either just come from the gym or I’m just like a hot mess. Let’s just put it that way. Yeah. I just know that I’m, it, that’s just the way it’s gonna work.
Elizabeth Rider (25:09):
Yep. Yep. The one the time you’re like, oh, I’m just gonna run into Target. Oh, no. Yeah. I tell people, you know, I’ve been a recipe writer and a health coach for a long time. You might see me out eating enchiladas. I don’t know. I live the 80 20 lifestyle. It’s, it’s gonna happen.
Alison Lumbatis (25:40):
I think back to when I first started all of this, and I went out to lunch one day with a blogger who had started at the same time as me. And she, her success just skyrocketed immediately. And I had taken a severance package from my corporate job and was really struggling. I had about three months of severance left in the bank. I wasn’t making any money blogging. And she was basically really blunt with me and said, you are never gonna make it doing this because you’re not selling things to people all the time. And I said, well, I don’t sell things to people all the time because I don’t buy things all the time. That’s just not, that’s not my lifestyle. That’s not me. That’s not who I thought authentically am. And she’s like, well, you’re gonna have to get over that because you can go buy, buy a bunch of stuff at Nordstrom and you can post it all over the place and people will use your affiliate links and they’ll buy the stuff, and then you just take it all back.
Oh my. And I just knew in my heart like, that was not gonna work for me. And, and she wasn’t wrong. Right? It wasn’t, I wouldn’t say it was bad advice at all. She was not wrong because that business model was never going to work for me. And to this day, it still doesn’t. But I would also say that was good advice because that was the thing that made me realize that staying authentic and true to who I am, the people who needed me most would find me. Yeah. And it’s still that way, you know, the more authentic you show up online as yourself, you will naturally attract to you the people that you are best able to serve. So I have to say that the worst advice ended up kind of being the best advice and working out for me in so many ways. And I never would’ve created the Outfit formulas program if I had just followed that traditional influencer model of, of affiliate sales.
Elizabeth Rider (27:25):
I love it. It’s perfect. It’s perfect. Allison, where can everyone find you?
Alison Lumbatis (27:30):
They can find me personally online at AllisonLumbatis.com, and they can find out more at outfitformulas.com.
Elizabeth Rider (27:36):
Amazing. We’ll have everything in the show notes. I adore you. I think you’re phenomenal. I can’t wait to keep watching you grow. Thank you so much for being here.
Alison Lumbatis (27:43):
Thank you so much.
Elizabeth Rider (27:45):
Thank you so much for joining me on today’s episode of the Elizabeth Rider Show. I hope you caught something today that helped you uplevel your mind, body, and or health. If you want more episodes, insider notes, recipes and resources, then make sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter over at elizabethrider.com/list. Or simply go to the website and hit the subscribe button and enter your email address. You can also download a free recipe guide, a meal plan, or the top 10 Micro Habits guide while you’re there. And if you are a person who likes to share things and make sure you share the show with a friend. And if you really like the show, I would be so grateful for a five-star review in the podcast app. Thanks for being here. I’ll talk to you next time.
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