We caught up with the lovely Shaleena and Roshni from Bella Kinesis to talk inspiration, workouts, and chocolate!
What’s the idea behind your brand?
Roshni and I created Bella Kinesis because we needed to improve our lifestyles, having struggled with keeping healthy at our previous jobs. We soon realised that most sportswear was designed by people who were already fit for other fit people. We couldn’t identify with any of the existing brands. We wanted to create something with a healthy body image that would encourage other women to get back into fitness and give sport another go. While developing this idea we knew we wanted to give back. We felt that as we are getting stronger we want to somehow transfer that strength over to other women. We decided to work with the Mann Deshi Foundation and for every item we sell we fund a business education for a women in rural India.
Where does the inspiration for your collections come from?
Neither of us had any previous experience in making or designing clothes, so we got our inspiration from the women around us. We surveyed over 100 women to ask them what they wanted from their sportswear and what was factors were most important to them – fit, price, fabric etc. Roshni and I have such different body types so we wanted to create something that flattered us both, but still supported us no matter how vigorous we were working out. Through a lot of trial and error we managed to create our first collection.
What’s next for you?
We’re currently expanding our collection and are hosting a lot of events! We want our customers to get the full Bella Kinesis experience. Our new campaign is called ‘Give it Another Go’. We were never deemed as ‘sporty’ in school but now we both consider ourselves quite athletic. A lot of women get put off sport because of negative experiences during their teen years and we want to fix this. We currently co-host a monthly running club with our ambassador, Carly from Project HB, and we’re also organising a beginners ballet class with another ambassador, Karis Scarlette. As our company grows, we hope to expand our team. We want Bella Kinesis to be more than just a clothing brand. We’re working hard to crate and community of inspired women.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start their own business?
Honestly, just go for it. Making that initial step is the hardest but once things start moving, you’ll never look back. If it’s something you’re passionate about, you’ll want to do it all the time. The circumstances will never be perfect – be it bad timing or financial reasons, but at the end of the day you have to do what makes you happy.
What’s been the high point of your career so far?
Since starting Bella Kinesis we’ve been on our feet and running around non-stop, but there have been so many moments where Roshni and I have looked at each other and said ‘I love my job’. We’ve been featured in The Guardian, Glamour and have just won PEA Award for promoting conscious consumerism, which was an incredible feeling! But we feel most flattered when we get emails from women who love our brand. It’s a great knowing that other people identify with us and want to help spread our message.
How often do you work out / what’s your favourite way to stay in shape?
Shaleena: I’ve recently taken up kickboxing which is amazing, I love to really sweat otherwise it doesn’t feel like a workout to me. I have a trainer that really kicks my butt! I train with him once a week and then do my own workouts in the gym at 3 times a week.
Roshni: Evening yoga classes are my favourite. I enjoy both Vinyasa and Ashtanga practices. Yoga somehow makes me feel relaxed yet energised at the same time. I try and go three times a week.
What’s your top beauty tip?
Our top beauty tip is to keep some days makeup free. It’s a bit easier for us since we work from home but it does wonders for your skin to just leave it clean and moisturised.
Where’s your favourite hangout(s)?
We’re lucky enough to live quite close to our group of girlfriends and our local is a beautiful pub, The Cavendish on New Cavendish Street. It’s great for after work catch-ups and dinners. They have a great selection of drinks and in the summer the outside seating is ideal.
What 5 things could you not live without?!
- Tangle Teezer – we both have seriously bushy, thick hair.
- Chocolate – I love 70% dark chocolate and Roshni survives on a hint of sea salt
- Books - We’re both avid readers and always have a book in hand. We like to alternate between fiction and practical reading.
- Music – We take a lot of road trips to meet our manufacturers and four hours in a car will little or no music can be painful. We’re both tone deaf but indulge in a little karaoke time when we’re alone in the car.
- Chocolate Block – our favourite South African red wine