Wanderlust or Bust

Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo 2017

If I were a hitchhiker trying to get to Taupo last weekend, that's what I would have put on my sign. Wanderlust or bust. If we only went to one festival a year, it would be that one. It is without a doubt my favourite event of the calendar.

Want to know why? Well, one woman came up to me (it was her first time at the festival) and said "this is where all the nice people hang out". Yep. She's not wrong there. It's rare to interact with the general public in such an open-hearted and non-expectational way. Almost everyone there makes eye contact, gives a smile if they have one and will stop and acknowledge you as a person (not just a stall holder) on their way to their next class. The number of genuine 'good morning' wishes makes every day start positively.

For me, I regularly work day to day by myself in our office where I don't really speak to many people. So getting out of the office and meeting festival goers was a real buzz. I'm sure I got way too excited at times, but I really do love hearing people's stories about what classes they've gone to, where they live and what they do when they're not Wanderlusting.

I loved that we had a chill out zone for anyone to stop and chat next to our stand. We attracted friends, new friends, shade seekers, didgeridoo players and beanbag borrowers. But the best thing of all was the genuine conversations which came out of it. Seriously laughed so hard with the ladies from Wellington (Love, Life and Laughter) who came back and modelled their new outfits for us. Their approach to wellness was so refreshing, so thank you ladies for stopping by and sharing your joy with us.

To the ladies who had never worn leggings before and got your first pair from us. Massive respect and gratitude to you. You inspired me to try new things during the festival, including some aerial yoga (I'm not one for being comfortable upside down) but I gave it a shot. And I actually enjoyed it.

For those women who came past and asked about our sizing, thank you for telling us you want our clothing in bright prints in all sizes. We can't wait to bring in leggings that fit you. Watch our Autumn Collection with anticipation, we will be offering bigger sizes.

Last year I learned not to drink coffee before 10am (your body has a natural rhythm that lowers around that time) and to hug more often.

This year I learned the value of connection. The ability to share our Zeenya Intention Tree and part of our Zeenya story with those who had time to chat. Connections with real women so that we could learn more about what people are into, whats important in their lives and it really opened my eyes to what our company can achieve alongside good people who care about where their clothing is made and what it's made from. From a business perspective we met amazing stall holders and teachers who inspired us to stick it to the big companies and keep dreaming big ourselves.

Thank you to all the women who came back each day or every other day to share their festival experience with us. I don't want to name names but you know who you are :) your support means so much to Sarah and I. Honestly, I'm lost for words.

Not into yoga? Don't care. You need this festival. If nothing it'll make you feel like you're acknowledged like a real human. With a heart, mind and body of your own.

So from a non-yogi's point of view I'd suggest these things before going to your first Wanderlust Festival
1. Be prepared to hug a lot. Strangers. Friends. Teachers. Students. In Groups as well.
2. Be open-hearted. You'll get the most out of the festival if you breathe, open your eyes and see what is right in front of you
3. Laugh. Don't take it all too seriously, play is important too.
4. Stay on site or as close by as possible, it just makes getting to the music and up for your first class much easier
5. Listen to others. Accept their point of view even if it doesn't align with yours. The more accepting we can be of others the higher we set out intentions and bring love to the world.

There is nothing more that I'd love than to continue working on Zeenya, to keep striving to be better and bring great product to New Zealand that we can ALL feel good in, and feel good about. So here is my ask of you. Please help us. Help us by sharing our story with your friends and family, follow us on social media, sign up to our newsletter and encourage others to do the same. We love being a small company with the ability to create change and positively impact the lives of others but we need your support.

Together we can share the message of equality and sustainability in the fashion industry. Don't ever be shy about getting in touch - chloe@zeenya.co.nz or 027 4265942

Can't wait to see you at the next Wanderlust, 108 in Auckland.

Chloe (a.k.a. Ugly Footed Cinderella)

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