Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and the development of YANA?
We were born in North Yorkshire and moved to Newcastle to study. Charlotte lives in Newcastle after moving to the city to study Fashion Marketing at Northumbria University. Sophie graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Business Leadership and Corporate Management, and moved to London to pursue a career in the defence industry. Sophie currently lives down south, but commutes back to Newcastle regularly for business meetings.
We’re both interested in being healthy and keeping fit. We had a vision for setting up our own fashion or clothing business for some time and when we saw a gap in the market, we thought an activewear brand had potential.
We’ve always dreamed of creating our own business, having the freedom to make our own decisions and creating something really special. As we’re both active women and love to live in our activewear, we saw a gap in the market for a premium, British-made brand and decided to develop a fashion line with multi-functional products.
You describe YANA as a tribe. Why is this?
We’re two sisters who look after each other no matter what. We’ve been inspired by strong women in our lives; we love history and when we were researching, we were particularly inspired by the ancient Amazons. The Amazons were a courageous tribe of women warriors who stood together in unity to protect each other. This resonated strongly with us and we wanted to capture a sense of community and develop it within the YANA brand. We want those in the YANA community to be encouraged to push on and achieve their goals every day – of course, with the support of each other.
Your products are made here in the UK. How important is this to you?
Garments are currently made by hand in Jesmond, Newcastle. Our garments are sustainable – using organic cotton/bamboo where possible – and all of our packaging is recyclable. Making our garments in Britain (and on our own doorstep) means we can maintain a low carbon footprint – in a much more sustainable way than if we were to import items from overseas. When we set up YANA, one of the key things for us was ensuring we created an ethical brand that doesn’t contribute to the fast fashion, ‘throwaway society’ we currently live in. We know exactly who makes our garments and as we develop as a business, it’s something that will be key to our values.
Where can fitness fanatics buy your products?
Your target market?
Currently, our customers are women who live an active lifestyle. They are trend-setters who appreciate the finer things in life – with a love of high-quality, British garments. We are creating a supportive community for women to share their hopes, dreams and goals – whilst not having to worry about clothes that will let them down.
What goes on behind the scenes when creating a new collection?
We start with an idea or concept, and from there we create several mood boards. The design development stage allows us to focus on shapes, prints and colourways. We can then begin to work with the manufacturer to sample and produce the garment in the chosen fabric and finish – sourced in the UK.
A day in the life of you…
As we both live in different cities and do different jobs (outside of YANA), we don’t have a typical ‘day in the life of…’ however, when we’re both together for a weekend, we often start Saturday with a HIIT workout, followed by a nice lunch somewhere like the Naked Deli in Heaton or Arlo in Jesmond. We then head home to work on some YANA campaigns, blog posts and admin. Saturday night is either PJs and prosecco at home, or a catch up with friends on the Quayside.
You chose to set up business in the North East. What do you love most about the area?
What’s not to love? Jesmond Dene market on a Saturday and a walk through the park. Brunch with friends at Ernest on a Sunday morning. A cocktail or two in Tiger Hornsby on the Quayside. A good laugh at The Stand Comedy Club. Blowing away the cobwebs with a jog along the stunning Quayside. It’s a great place to live, work and play.
Your luxe things in life?
We both love Tom Ford products, travelling the world and renovating beautiful homes.