Welcome to YANA™: The Blog
In this three-part blog, we’re going to tell you more about YANA, right from our inception, through our development and finally to our launch.
We want to be really transparent about how we set the business up, sharing with you the highs, lows, successes and even failures. We want to show you that you can take an idea and turn it into a business if you plan well, dedicate some time to it and are willing to make a few sacrifices along the way.
Part 1. YANA™: The Inception
We have to cast our minds back to the summer of 2016; Charlotte and I were both having a well-deserved break in Ibiza. We were laid on our sun beds and I was reading Women’s Health magazine, looking at all the super fit featured women in their bikini’s and we were talking about how we’d love to design our own swimwear brand. We toyed with the idea over the next few days and when we returned from our holiday, life took over again and we didn’t get chance to do anything else with it.
Fast forward a year later to 2017, by this time Charlotte had been working away in Hull and I had moved down to London after graduating to join a graduate programme. We’d spent the past few years purchasing dilapidated properties at auction and renovating them (another passion of ours, but a blog for another day) so had been rather preoccupied to think about anything else.
From being really young, we’ve both had an entrepreneurial spirit and we both knew that we wanted to develop a business and make something of our own one day. We both attended university, which further fed our passion to create our own business. Charlotte’s degree was in Fashion Marketing and for her final collection for Graduate Fashion Week she created a vintage lingerie brand called ‘Vintage Rose’ and was subsequently named one of Italian Vogues top 10 designers to watch. My degree was in Business Leadership and Corporate Management and during one of our modules we were able to set up our own business in aid of charity and I choose to set up a sweet delivery business with my team.
At the end of 2017, we started writing a business plan for a women’s activewear brand and so the foundations for YANA were sewn.
Over the course of 2018, we worked on our business plan, researching the market and competitors, understanding what women want when it comes to activewear. Despite having a good idea of what our target market wants, as essentially, we are our target market. We ensured we consulted women of all ages, sizes, backgrounds and sporting preferences to understand what they actually wanted from activewear, which then enabled us to develop a brand identity and start designing our products. By mid 2018, we had a very detailed business plan which set out a lot of our aims for the brand, but we were still missing a crucial part: a name.
We were conscious that when creating a new line of women’s activewear, we must give the brand depth and develop something that was of genuine use and support to women; it was clear there was a real gap in the market for something like this. We realised we couldn’t choose a name until we had developed a brand identity and set out what our goals for it were. We knew we wanted to develop high quality, fashionable activewear, but we also wanted to create a platform for women to support one another by sharing goals, struggles and anything and everything else.
There have been some incredible women throughout history. Women who have trail-blazed their way, making changes for the better for women across the world. When researching and delving into the history books, one group that particularly stood out for us were the Amazons.
The Amazons were an ancient tribe, tightly knit and ready for battle should anyone threaten them. The Amazonian Women inspired us as they supported each other with their sister-hood approach, looking after one-another. This resonated so strongly with us; we’re two sisters who look after each other no matter what. In a time where women are threatened by access to equal job opportunities and pay, sexism, racism and countless other issues, we can see how important it is for us all to support one another, wherever and whenever we can.
After we’d developed the brand goals and where we wanted to take the business, we still needed to find a name. We brainstormed for months, always coming up against one obstacle or another.
Finally, towards the end of 2018, we sat putting letters together and wrote down 'YANA'. All of a sudden, we had a name we loved and our activewear brand was born…
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” - Greg S. Reid.
Find out more about YANA in Part 2 - The Development.
Thanks for reading!
Love, YANA x