Gina Kuyers, our NJ Mompreneur of the Week, grew up with a love of well-constructed clothing and delicate lingerie but, after buying them, would find the fabrics both uncomfortable and high maintenance. With her years as a psychologist honing problem-solving skills, she knew she could do better. So she set out to go into the design biz, seeking out eco-friendly practices to produce elevated wardrobe staples that would be quality pieces meant to last. Today, Luxeire has button ups, turtlenecks, scoop neck tees, and tanks in sustainable luxury fabrics with 4-way stretch, offering silky soft comfort and easy wash and wear care. And it’s all in the family—Gina brought on her oldest daughter Margot, a graduate of Parsons, as a business partner (she’s also the resident model). We caught up with this Edgewater mom of 4 to find out what makes Luxeire different from other brands, how being a psychologist is helping her build her brand and the riverfront walkway with the most picture-perfect views for miles.
Gina Kuyers, our NJ Mompreneur of the Week and the co-owner of Luxeire, with her business partner and daughter, Margot Adams. Both are wearing their brand’s best-seller, the Classic Button Up.
Tell us a bit about your family and background. My husband, David Adams, and I have been married for 30 years. We have 4 children. Margot, 25, is our oldest and my business partner, followed by Elliot, 23, who works for a law firm in the city and is applying to law schools. Then, there’s Peter, 22, who was adopted from China when he was 6—he just graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology. Our youngest is Gwyneth, 20, who was also adopted from China and is studying at Northeastern University in Boston.
How is Luxeire different from all the other brands that are out there? Our garments are wardrobe staples in luxury functional fabrics that are sourced from Italy and are eco-friendly. The fabrics are sustainable, made from pre and post-consumer waste such as fishing nets and other nylon waste, and easy to care for with wash and wear. They’re great layering pieces but sexy when worn on their own and are classic in styling, so they’ll stand the test of time. They’re flattering, sophisticated, easy to wear, and best of all, they can be worn year-round because they breathe. Though they’re not inexpensive, they’re priced very well for quality pieces that you’ll want to wear forever.
Our NJ Mompreneur of the Week, with her husband of 30 years, David Adams, their children (left to right), Elliot, Gwyneth, Peter, and Margot, and their rescue pups Harvey and Bella.
Does your career background as a psychologist play a role in this business? Absolutely! Having a Ph.D. in psychology and many years of work in the field is helpful in many areas. It helps with customer mindset, working with vendors, and also working with my daughter because we both have high expectations for this and are strong-willed individuals. My prior experience helps us be able to have fun together while we work on a common goal and move it forward, and also transition our relationship to peers and colleagues while still maintaining a healthy mother/daughter relationship. I’ve also learned a lot about myself, like that I can pivot—not everybody can. I’ve also learned that people come with all different areas of expertise and interests, and when you’re putting together your team, it’s essential to have those people around and not micromanage what they do.
Besides you and your daughter, is anyone else in your family involved in your business? To some extent, everyone is involved. My interest lies in design and textiles, and I’m the driver of the ship, while my daughter is our model and also focuses most of her time on our marketing and advertising as well as social media and procurement. My husband, an entrepreneur himself, has stepped up and helped with our books, and because I don’t come from a business background, he’s also helping us organize and scale our business. My other three children, Elliot, Peter, and Gwyneth, step up and get involved with fulfillment when their help is needed, and at times, it really does take a village.
What do the next 12 months hold for you? Right now, it’s business 24/7 because, along with our day-to-day responsibilities, we’re looking into investors. We’re at that point where we’re poised to go big, which requires additional capital and connections. Having game-changers on our team will make all the difference in the world.
What are some of your favorite NJ businesses and family spots? I love Scala Del Nonna in Montclair. The food is excellent. The décor is just right. And the owner knows our names and makes us feel right at home. What could be better? Also, The River Palm Terrace in Edgewater feels like our own personal Cheers. The bartenders make you feel so welcome. And Dot Reeder, a women’s clothing boutique in Montclair, is very special. The owner, Laura, thoughtfully curates what she has in her shop and took us in on consignment early on. It has a community store feel with events, too. We love Edgewater and the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, which is perfect for long walks with our two rescues, Harvey and Bella. Also, my favorite place is Veteran’s Park because I love cities and water. It’s a beautiful walkway that goes for miles, and you can see the city skyline, GW Bridge, water, and barges.
What’s your best piece of advice for a mompreneur just starting? Getting help when you need it from people who aren’t looking to make money off of you is not easy to find, which is why for me, it’s family.