9 Years, 9 Ye-yah's
Sitting in our first ever week-long pop-up seems like an apt way to celebrate our Birthweek. Seeing beautiful people in real life, surrounded by colour and enjoying the buzz of Auckland city has made the week very special.
Being in a shop for a whole week is completely different to the pack in/pack out rush of being at events. But I must admit, I kinda like it. There’s time and space to talk to people, chat about all things under the sun and share the joy for those new to Zeenya. Even time to write some musing that you're now reading.
I’d love to sit here and tell you all it’s been rainbows and sunshine getting to 9 years but I’m a terrible liar (even over written word). There have been massively challenging times, especially in the last year and half. To go from a growth time, to having issues with production, a global economic downturn, loss of events for longer than anticipated, rising costs and all the overwhelming things outside of my control - I must admit I’ve been pretty close to throwing in the towel a number of times.
But I keep coming back to the Zeenya community and how amazed I constantly am by the women who wear our clothing.
To see them embrace what their bodies can do, push goals, rehab, become mothers, and move with joy leaves me in awe.
"This vision starts with colourful activewear and ends with people living in their fullest expression of themselves."
At the birthday party we hosted earlier this week I mentioned my vision: a world where women embrace themselves, their bodies and who enjoy themselves with the time they have. This vision starts with colourful activewear and ends with people living in their fullest expression of themselves. Not one where we’re forced to hide away or shrink ourselves based on other people’s expectations or assumptions of us. The type of life where dulling down or holding back of our truest selves is no longer an option.
Part of me laughs when I re-read that because it sounds like maybe we can get a discount for group therapy. So many of these restrictions come from things put on us that take time and effort to let go. And even then we may never be truly free, at least not 100% of the time.
But it’s not about aiming for that level of perfection, for always feeling good in our own skin. It’s about starting the process and letting things go. Pushing ourselves outside the standard comfort zone. I can’t imagine staying in my pre-Zeenya comfort zone. What I’ve learned, what I want to learn and how I’ve changed because of this wild ride is invaluable.
Of course there are things I would have done differently, it’s not been perfect by any means. But am I working my way toward to vision? Absolutely.
So what does the next 9 years hold for Zeenya? There are so many things brewing, many of which I can’t tell you about (yet). For now, I’ll just keep you in suspense.
Happy 9th birthday Zeenya, I’m proud of you.
Words from Zeenya's Head of Colour, Chloe Wickman