A premium athleisure brand, which understands that women want to feel confident and beautiful, especially when living a healthy active lifestyle. MOVEPRETTY understands how women don’t just want a pink version of a men’s running vest and their collections are designed with the stylish, dynamic woman in mind, ensuring that each piece allows them to move comfortably when worn, as well as look beautiful. Co-founder of the brand Annelize Kotze shared her journey with the brand, read on for more.
Q. What inspired the start of MOVEPRETTY and how did it come about?
A. When my business partner, Mari Rabie, was studing her MBA overseas, she realized as a professional athlete - that there were so many beautiful active wear brands available to purchase, but these brands weren’t available in SA yet. She then did some research as part of a Retail Project, and this confirmed her observations. There was definitely a gap in the market! So decided to put forces together and start making a few pieces to test the market.
Q. What did you study?
A. I studied Value and Policy Studies a multi-disciplinary degree, which included subjects like Political Science, Economics, Philosophy and French – and thereafter decided to do my Honours Degree in Brand Leadership at Vega, as I knew I wanted to work in a creative field. I then started working in brand management and loved it. I have always loved all things fashion, and made my own clothes since a young age, so I decided to study fashion part time as a hobby and so when Mari and I started chatting, it seemed like a really great idea to combine our talents and the rest is history I guess.
Q. How did you come about the name MOVEPRETTY?
A. It was originally meant to be our slogan! And when we found out our initial brand name was taken (ms.me) – we decided MOVEPRETTY would have to do. It was the best thing that could have happened to us. I truly believe, that some things don’t work out for very good reasons.
Q. What do you believe sets your brand apart and makes it different?
A. We believe that as women, we are capable of making our dreams a reality, and operate our business this way. We aim to inspire women to do their thing, unapologetically so and never back down from a challenge. We hope to not only inspire our supporters, but other business women, entrepreneurs, young girls and women with the same mantra as well. We are proudly South African and we strive to empower the women that wear our prettymoves, but also the women that produce them, through paying fair wages and rates.
Q. What would you say has been your greatest achievement since launching the brand?
A. Catching the eye of other national sports brands and partnering with them on bigger collaborations and contracts.
Q. What was most challenging in starting up the brand? And how did you overcome that?
A. Knowing when to say no to opportunities, and really pushing the limits with regards to production in South Africa.
Q. Which African brand(s) would you want to collaborate with in future?
A. We would LOVE to partner with Tongoro Studio or African Prints in Fashion, but we are passionately African and are always open and keen to discover new brands and working together!
Q. Where would you like to see your brand in 5 or 10years?
A. Available globally, and being known as the premium athleisure brand from Africa.
Q. How do you balance your work and personal life?
A. It is hard to switch off if you love what you do and are so passionate about what you've started and have invested in building, little by little. However, I have learnt that I don't enjoy it as much, if I push too hard and have had to set healthy boundaries. Examples include not reading my emails after 8pm at night and only working in a certain spot in my house if I work over the weekend, so that my happy place is not associated with stress. My home must stay my home and my work space separate. I've also learnt to discipline my thoughts, so that I can be more focused in working more efficiently when I do work. When the lines are blurred, that is when you burn out.
Q. Any words of wisdom for anyone looking to start up their own brand?
A. Take the leap – you have absolutely nothing to lose. If you have enough passion and drive for something, you can make it a reality! Don’t listen to the naysayers.