Today I am talking to Marayna who is the owner and heart and soul of Kenzie Collective.
Hi Marayna! Thank you so much for joining me on the blog today! Now due to our love of bright colours you and I found each other quite early on through Instagram! For those who don’t know you or your label can you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Hey, Alana! Thank you so much for inviting me. Yes, we stumbled across each other oh so long ago. I can still remember the mirrored Unicorn badge that you purchased from me, when I was only selling on Facebook. Oh gosh, how time flies! A little about me, well….I am a Primary school teacher who went on maternity leave at the end of 2013 and has never returned! Let’s just say, things have gotten a little crazy since then. I am a mother to a beautiful little 2 year old, named Mackenzie and I am also the proud wife to my husband Drew, who serves in the Australia Defence Force. Due to the nature of Drew’s profession, we move around a bit but that doesn’t phase me at all. Life’s too short to be boring and stay in one place.
Where and how did the ‘Kenzie Collective’ journey begin?
I have always been a lover of colour, quirkiness and handmade! Always one to search that little bit longer to find the perfect accessory item to set me apart from the crowd. Not one to follow trends, or be told what I can/can’t wear, I felt the creative urgency and desire to do things a little ‘differently’. I have always ‘wanted’ to run my own business but at the time, teaching consumed so much of not only my life but my creativity and drive, as well. Once I went on maternity leave, I had all of this ‘time’ (huh, what mother says that!) to devote to my #1 passion and that is how it all begun.
How has your business evolved over time?
My business started as ‘Kenzie’ where I sold my own accessories (earrings, dangles, necklaces and rings) both online and at markets, in my home town of Townsville. When we moved to Toowoomba in 2014, things took a huge turn. I decided to branch out and start stocking other Australian labels. At first, I introduced the labels slowly, starting with about 6 designers. After attending my first few markets in Toowoomba, and selling online via my website, things grew quite rapidly. Now, we stock over 30 Australian designed labels, all of which I personally love, admire and wear/use ALL the time. Our business has recently undergone a huge re-brand where our name evolved to ‘Kenzie Collective’. A great representation of all the amazing labels we stock. The online store has grown from strength to strength and I currently attend roughly 3-4 markets/month within the Towoomba region.
One of things I love most about your online store kenziecollective.com is that it is a one stop shop for fashion and homewares. What has been the response to your fantastic concept?
The response has been extremely positive. I think the one factor that sets us apart from the rest is the fact that we have always stayed true to our love of colour, patterns, uniqueness, diversity and individuality. We love to stand out from the crowd and encourage our customers to do so, as well. One thing I like about shopping is being able to do it in the 1 spot. Now that Mackenzie is 2, shopping online is an absolute godsend! That’s where I do pretty much all of my shopping. I like to think that ‘Kenzie Collective’ is a place where you can come to purchase a variety of different accessories and homewares without having to worry about paying a ridiculous amount for postage. Don’t we just cringe at postage charges? I do! It’s also a place where you don’t have to worry about fashion rules. If you want to wear spots and stripes, wear spots and stripes! If you want to wear a statement neck piece with statement dangles, DO IT! No one is stopping you. Actually, we strongly encourage it!
You also sell regularly at markets too! Do you find it is a great way to connect with local customers?
My market customers know that I love a chat! I love talking about each and every label that I stock. I love talking about each labels journey, who they are, where they are from, how they started. It is something that is really important to me. Don’t get me wrong, having a 2 year old and a husband who is away a lot, things get tough! That is why I made a promise to myself to put 110% into every single event. It’s time away from my family but it is time for me to do what I love to do!
Where do your creative business ideas come from?
You know what, they come from the inspiration of so many wonderful things! I am the type of person who always needs to carry a pen and paper. It is not uncommon for me to come up with an idea, whilst walking down aisle 4 of Coles. I am so very fortunate to be surrounded by a fabulous and positive group of people. Whether it be family, childhood friends or friends from the wonderful land of Instagram, positivity is something that I hold close to me. I also try to keep an open mind. Not every idea is going to work. Geez, at least half of them fail but, it is what you do after those failures that the most important factor.
You sometimes make custom orders and collaborate with people too. What’s been the most fun project you’ve been asked to do?
Oh gosh, Liona from ‘Poesie Handmade’ and I have been Instagram buddies for soooo long and have had the opportunity to work with each other on a number of occasions. We have been secretly working on our next collaboration for about 3 months (she is going to kill me for talking about this!) and we are so excited to share it with everyone. When you collaborate with people who know, admire and look up to, everything falls together so easily. That what I love about collaborations.
How would you describe your style and what has been the biggest influence?
You seriously need to ask my husband that question. He pretty much looks at my outfit every single day, with a raised eye brow and says ‘Marayna, really? Does that go?’ My response, ‘Who cares? I don’t!’. If I am confident in wearing an outifit, I will wear it. Most of the time I am dressed head to toe in colour, prints, patterns however, on so many occasions you will find me dressed all in black wearing the biggest accessory collection in the world! My wardrobe is full of Gorman, Country Road, Obus, Sportsgirl, Bonds and ASOS. I also have a very healthy slogan tee collection. Let’s just say, my staple ripped jeans + slogan tees + Converse, get a good work out!
Describe a typical ‘Kenzie’ work day?
Each day is so different. My work day revolves around Mackenzie’s routine. She is my number #1 priority and work comes a very healthy #2. Let’s just say, when she is asleep, I work like an absolute CRAZY woman! I am the world’s biggest multi-takser. I also have the world’s most understanding husband. He has taken on the role of ‘Senior Gluer’ and spends his nights, tucked away, gluing 100’s of earrings, all without complaining. I am very lucky to have what I have and I thank my lucky stars every single day! ‘Kenzie Collective’ is a family affair (which is why I refer to the business as ‘us’) and that’s why I feel so passionately about it. It’s my life!
You can find more Kenzie Collective at the following links!
Online shop: kenziecollective.com
Facebook: Kenzie Collective
Marayna is one of my favourite colour loving and bold fashion accessory makers. She certainly provides me with plenty of inspiration. Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and hopefully it has given you some creative inspiration too!