Wait... what? Hamilton? Like, Hamilton New Zealand?
Yes that's right. If we get technical, Zeenya Clothing started in Hamilton. That's where Sarah and I met. We were both working out of Sport Waikato, Sarah in Water Safety and me for Disability Sport. We sat on the same pod, had the odd coffee or lunch together, similar in age and lifestyle we became work friends.
Cue one winters morning. Sarah came into the office and asked me the question that changed my life. "Do you want to come to Brazil with me?" At first I was like ummm maybe. I'd never considered Brazil as a destination and holiday's weren't on the top of my mind at the time. I went home that night and talked to my flatmates and they looked at me like "of course you should go". So I called her up and asked "when are we going?"
Talk about moving your work friendship into real friendship. Having no idea if we shared enough of the same values to travel, we spent a weekend over in Whangamata in the middle of winter to test the waters. Success. We didn't kill each other, both like to be at airports well in advance and even like exploring the same kind of way.
This was all back in 2013. Three weeks travelling about Brazil, attending a friends wedding (FYI if you get invited to a Brazilian wedding, just say yes, you won't regret it), we hiked, saw turtles, shopped and drank caiparinha on the beach. Everyone we met was so welcoming and lovely. I was completely sold on this vibrant and energetic country.
Then came the moment that has inadvertently changed our lives. Sitting in this insane shopping building in Rio while Sarah tried to choose between the green/blue pair of leggings or the blue/green pair. The guy who ran the store even found me a chair to sit on and wait while I staunchly refused to try on coloured leggings but did end up buying some for my Mum.
Eventually FOMO struck and I thought I'm in Brazil, I really should try and get some more colour into my life. So I branched out away from black and brought a grey pair with yellow detail. Now here's the thing about grey, it's not the most forgiving colour when it comes to undy lines, sweat or wobbly bits. Needless to say this pair have barely seen the light of day...
Getting back from Brazil, friends were loving the colours that Sarah had (eventually) chosen. My Mum wore her purple flowered pair all the time and got wonderful compliments.
So we thought to ourselves, we could bring in a few pairs for friends, or give this a real crack and give women more opportunity to embrace life through colour.
And the rest as they say, is history.