Jocelyn Maxfield is a 55-year-old mum with two lovely grandchildren and the founder of LaVostra, an online store selling activewear for women with style.
Jocelyn Maxfield main image

We’re talking to people who have made interesting life/work changes and have a positive attitude to mid-life, doing things differently, changing their pace of life, their priorities, reflecting in what’s gone before and the new opportunities and challenges to come.

I used to do this…

My husband Tom and I developed Seaham Hall into the only 5 star hotel in the North East and the Serenity Spa which was awarded Best Spa in the World in 2003. I also opened Serenity in the City spas in Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Now life is about…

Family, keeping fit and active, being happy and of course working on my new venture, LaVostra.

Why and how I made a change…

We sold our businesses 10 years ago and went on a Senior Gap Year that lasted a lot longer than that. 

We travelled a lot but always came back home to the North East to see family and friends. But then I lost my mind and set up LaVostra.

I love working out and keeping fit and I am a dedicated follower of fashion and so LaVostra combines both of these passions. I think that people should always feel comfortable and look great whether they are at the gym, doing a dance class or holding the Lotus position and with LaVostra I want to help people achieve that by offering products from all over the world that aren’t available in the UK. LaVostra activewear can be worn to and from the gym and even on a lunch date. It’s styled for studio to street.

Family is all about…

I come from a large family and because my father was in the military we were stationed in lots of different places and were all sent off to boarding school. Growing up, I never felt I had a base so when I came to the North East over 30 years ago I knew this was where I wanted to stay. I love spending time with all the children and grandchildren and of course my mum, and one of the happiest times is to sit and eat together, so whenever I can we have everyone over for Sunday lunch.

Jocelyn Maxfield inline imageI’m lucky I can…

Work from wherever I am in the world, so long as I have Internet access and my phone. I get ideas from wherever I am and I love observing people and spotting trends.

Day in the life of me…

I always set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier than I need to so that I can get up, feed Tilly, our lovely golden retriever, and then make myself two cups of tea which I then take back to enjoy in bed. If I’m really lucky Tom will bring me tea in bed. I then spend ten minutes or so catching up with what’s going on in the world.

After that I’m ready to take on the world. I always eat breakfast as it’s my favourite meal, then it’s off for a session or a class at the gym. When I get back, depending on the weather, I might start work straight away or take Tilly out for her constitutional.

People talk about a work/life balance and I think it’s really important to get that right. So I might spend a couple of hours working and then break for lunch, get a bit of fresh air and come back refreshed.

Having a dog brings a wonderful discipline so, no matter how bad the weather is, Tilly has to have a walk in the afternoon and because we live in Durham there are so many beautiful places to go.

After that we might cook dinner together and just chat about ‘stuff’. The rule is that after 5pm we can talk about anything other than LaVostra.

The people who are important…

It’s a cliché but it really comes down to family and those friends who you know will always be there when you need them.


Because LaVostra is a new business it’s difficult to switch off but I do recognise that it’s important to do just that.

Sometimes I can become obsessed with work, but luckily Tom always manages to bring me back to earth. It’s funny because this is a complete reversal of how it used to be when we were developing Seaham Hall.


I’m very much a people person and I’ll talk to anyone, even the stranger sitting next to me on the plane. So when I exercise with others it not only makes me work even harder but also makes it more fun. It’s even better if those around me set me a challenge. I always deny that I’m competitive but I do respond to a challenge. So when I first started running I set a target of a half marathon and then went on to a full marathon.   

I’m a list writer and get a real sense of achievement when I can tick things off my to-do list and, while I don’t always achieve my goals, I will always give it my best shot. And as long as I don’t take myself too seriously and can laugh at myself I will be happy.

Anyone that knows me knows that I also love my food. I have never been one to diet and I exercise so that I can eat whatever I want. My guilty pleasures are liquorice fudge and dark chocolate and I have them hidden everywhere!

I’ve got time for…

I love keeping fit. It’s not just the physical exercise that I enjoy – it gives me more energy and lifts my mood. I love CrossFit, barre and even boxing and the people you meet when training really motivate me and challenge me to do more.

I also love reading, and if ever I have a quiet moment I love nothing better than to immerse myself in whatever novel I’m reading.

Things are different because…

They say that with age comes wisdom and as I get older I find I’m able to see things in perspective and to recognise what’s really important in life.

Mid life means to me…

Realising that age is just a number. Even though physically it might seem that everything is going south, if your mind-set tells you that you’re really ten years younger then you will feel it. Health is everything so it’s important to be kind to yourself and have a laugh.  Talking of which, dancing in the kitchen with my husband is a hoot and makes me feel great. Laugh a lot and love a lot.

Here’s to happiness, health, confidence and hot flushes!

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