We caught up with the team at Zeenya and asked them a few questions about the business – what it stands for – how it has grown and what the future holds
Tell us about Zeenya Clothing We create limited edition activewear that will take you anywhere, our motto is Embracing Life Through Colour!
Where is the business based
The beautiful Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Who are the main people involved
Zeenya is owned and operated by Chloe Wickman and Sarah Mortimer. We have Alison as our distribution manager and Annie the office dog. With our clothing made both here in New Zealand and in Brazil, we also have teams working for us to produce our clothing.
When did you decide to start your own business?
Zeenya will have her 5th birthday this year which is incredibly exciting. After we travelled together to Brazil for a friends wedding, we fell in love with their incredibly colourful lifestyle and attitude towards wearing colour. Returning home, we found that colour was almost non-existent in New Zealand activewear and we saw an opportunity to get more people feeling good just by putting on a pair of leggings.
Tell us about Zeenya in a bit more detail – what are you – what do you do We’re an online clothing company and we travel the country attending events over the summer, going on adventures and hanging out with other active women. We believe that colour makes people happy. We use an incredibly soft fabric that’s strong wearing and we pride ourselves in the comfort of our clothing. We aim to bring women together in search of their goals. We’ve created an epic community of women online who share their stories and connect with each other through our socials and VIP group, Zeenya’s Activewear Anonymous. A great place for colour addicts to hang out and support each other. There’s even a 12 step guide in place, just for fun of course.
What makes Zeenya different?
Made right here in New Zealand, our core range of Zeenya leggings and crops are designed with Kiwi women in mind. Our Sport Range is mindfully produced for us in Brazil – targeted for different sports and created with performance at the forefront of the designs.
All our clothing is limited edition (just like us as women) and our clothing should reflect this. Self expression is important, and great activewear is just another way we can do this.Our fabric is called Amini Sol Eco and it’s made using the first biodegradable fabric in the world.
What have been some of your biggest challenges? We started our company from scratch without a lot of knowledge of starting a company and what it takes. We’ve learnt so much on the way, good and bad, about production and supply chain as well as creating a community of women in an online space.
As a female business owner, what have been some obstacles you’ve overcome?
For our company when we initially started we had big challenges getting women to feel comfortable in colour. We’ve been told for so long the black is ‘slimming’ and the truth is a great print smooths out lines, lifts your mood and is often more flattering than block colours. Don’t believe us? Then you should get brave and give it a try!
What’s is the best of running Zeenya? Meeting and connecting with all the incredible women who wear our clothing. We have so much fun when we get together. We also love choosing new prints for the collections and then sitting around naming them.
What is some of the not so good things?
Waiting on customs and shipping! This part is ALWAYS unpredictable. It’s like having to be patient for Christmas when there’s a deadline.
How do you see the company growing?
We want to keep growing our epic community of women. We are looking to expand our international sales and create epic new collections to keep our Zeenya Addicts looking gooooooood!
How have your roles in the company changed and developed?
Our roles in the company have changed and developed as we’ve grown. Initially we both sat over most of the day to day decisions and made most decisions together because we were still learning each others strengths. Now we’ve both diversified in our roles with Chloe taking on the supply chain management and Sarah leading the social media and marketing side. We’ve developed our own strengths and are now smart enough to know when we need help.
Any women want to start their own business, what advice would you give them about starting up?
Do your research and understand how you can test your idea with minimal financial investment, but eventually you just have to jump! Often the best way to test something is just to get in there and do it. Surround yourself with people who can support and inspire you.
If someone wants to get hold of you – what’s the best place to contact you?