In 2013, Kate Hudson officially put the lithe, tawny, Cali-girl effervescence that is her birthright on the market as the face and cofounder of the American e-commerce label Fabletics, a subscription-based line of workout wear. The results are undeniable: Not only do the brand's 20 to 30 new outfits sell out almost every month, but legions of highly engaged Fab fans also delight in reporting their body-honing progress to the company's role-model-in-chief.
This autumn, Hudson will join Bill Murray as "a pair of oddballs in Afghanistan" in the comedy Rock the Kasbah; she says she's headed to New Orleans to play Jennifer Lee Pryor, one of comedian Richard Pryor's six wives, in Lee Daniels's upcoming biopic; and she'll launch Fly, Fabletics's first stab at day-to-night—er, barre-class-to-bar?—essentials, including the new Julliard jogging pant with a racing stripe. The other moms at drop-off, the actress is happy to report, are already in hot pursuit.
First things first—what Fabletics piece are you most looking forward to?
I'm one of those people who like as little bra as possible. I like them to support and feel like a sports bra, but show a little more skin. We have one coming out that we're calling the Hudson Bralette. I'm very excited about that one.
Now that you're an advice guru, what do you find women ask you most?
"How do you balance your life?" I think it's more about being a mother than anything.
What's your answer?
The most honest answer: I have no idea! But I do think about it every day, and I try to set intentions every day. Your life is always going to fall off-kilter; there are always going to be things that you feel like you're not getting enough of. The greatest thing I've ever done, which I thank my mother for, is meditation.
Do you have a standard ritual?
For me it has been Kundalini. It's an active process. It's breathing; it's sort of igniting prana, which is breath. So if you're feeling anxieties, any kind of frenetic energy, or "Ugh, I've got to get all this done," it actively pushes that and shifts it. When I've done that, I find that I feel very still.
In L.A. there's always a buzzy new class. Do you try them all? Or do you stick with tried and true?
I'll do a barre class, I spin, I box. I like long and lean, and I think that when you work from the core, it lifts everything. The truth is, to me, Pilates actually creates the strongest body. That, hands down, of everything that I've done, builds the most centering strength.
What's L.A.'s best barre class?
There's this place called Barre Belle. The owner, she's pretty amazing. It's a hard class and really good.
If it's hard for you, I can't imagine how average humans get through it.
My thing is, I'm a real believer in not putting pressure on yourself. So if I'm not feeling good, if I do 10 or 15 minutes and I'm exhausted, that's it, I'm done. It sounds crazy, but I just want to get the huge female Kumbaya circle going and breathe with women and go, You know what, guys? It's fine! Let's just connect, take off all the pressures of what society is trying to tell you, and let's just honor ourselves for a second. If you don't feel it, try it tomorrow. That's what I wanted our company to encompass—the enjoyment of these things versus that dread.
Is this the way you've always felt?
I think I've felt it through trial and error. When I had Ryder, I gained all this weight, and then I had to go make a movie. I had to actively say to myself, "Fuck it." If people are going to yell at me to lose 20 more pounds, I'm going to look at it like Charlie Brown's teacher babble, and I'm going to be happy with myself and not let that hurt me.
Has the success of Fabletics given you power in a different way?
I love it because we get to talk about this stuff! We get to talk about building communities of strong women. I look up #Fabletics all the time just to see all the women who are setting goals for themselves: "I'm going to do the splits." And watching them in three months get down to doing the splits. Seeing their joy, being like, "Yesss!"
This article originally appears in the July 2015 issue of US ELLE. From the editors at ELLE.COM.