Just have fun. It is really that simple.
Having spent many years being an athlete, training 7 days a week I have grown to have a love hate relationship with sports wear. Loving the freedom it gives to move, but totally hating how it provokes the need to take one's self too seriously. Following my retirement from chasing races I saw a need for someone to make garments that had all of the practical requirements for hitting the trails, but were much more about having fun in their appearances. Sturdy enough to hit the ground at speed, but nice enough to head out to your favorite cafe. This is the foundation of Yank. This is where it all began.
Then as all good stories go...there have been a few twists to the tail, and a couple of reasonably big ‘bumps’ in the road. Production of garments completely hit the skids with the arrival of the first bundle of joy in our family.. and did not re-commence until our second edition decided he is now ready to have a go at starting pre-school.
It has been a fast and furious journey so far watching our kids grow and learn. Camping all around New Zealand in our caravan for several months at a time. When we are at home in Nelson, we spend a lot of time together as a family out and about riding our bikes, and walking up in the hills. Sharing our love of the outdoors with our kids has been amazing. It has also fanned the flame to pick up where I left off, or better yet, to starting again...but with a renewed vision for what my garments need to be.
Simple. Durable. Practical. Easy to care for. Stylish.
I have put a great deal of time and effort into sourcing the most durable merino technology on the market (which originated right here in New Zealand). I spent 5 months wearing the same shirt every day, washing it only once a fortnight. Doing twice daily school runs and weekly shops on the cargo bike, as well as weekend mountain bike rides. I wanted to know how much a shirt could take.
The first 5 weeks of 2019 was spent with my family in our caravan down near the southern lakes district. We had many highlights while on our trip. But there was one quiet significant highlight for me. My wardrobe for the trip was simple, durable, practical and easy to care for. I could rinse and hang a shirt at night and wear it the next morning when needed. All the practicality of my best merino camping shirts - but with street savvy appearance.
Made in New Zealand has (and will remain) a goal for as long as it is practically possible. I value being able to support local craftsmen and women whose skilled hands are making my ideas come to fruition.
I hope you like the end result ...so far.
Originally from the very small town of Wawpecong, Indiana (USA). Belinda Stuart moved to Nelson, New Zealand in 1997 just after completing a BFA in Fine Arts.
New Zealand is where Belinda discovered her love of the mountains, and trails. She joined a local running club and raced all around the country for more than 10 years. She trained and raced along side some of New Zealand's top athletes, and traveled in World Championship teams representing New Zealand.
Racing is not such a priority these days, but time being out in nature is. Daily life is now filled by keeping up with her family's needs on a cargo bike. Her free time is usually spent somewhere up a hill, on foot or on a mountain bike.