Every business has its own, unique story.
Small Brands spoke with Dhanya Panikkar, co-owner of Your Island Supply, an activewear brand that wants to vibrantly motivate you to ‘Be Active, Be Relaxed and Be Tropical’.
As avid surfers with a young family, Dhanya and her husband, Duncan, divide their time between the Northern Beaches of Sydney and sub-tropical Queensland. While enjoying the active lifestyle that is a hallmark of both regions, the pair noticed an enticing gap in the activewear market.
Where did the idea for Your Island Supply come from?
The concept behind ‘Your Island Supply’ combines my passion for an active lifestyle with the appeal of the tropics.
I noticed that in gyms, studios and when exercising outdoors, most of the women were wearing plain leggings. While there’s nothing wrong with that, we decided it was time to inject a little more colour into womens’ athleisure wardrobes! We developed a passion for vibrant, tropical-inspired activewear and decided to create performance-driven, luxe leggings that are as functional as they are fashionable.
How did you come up with the name for your business?
We love island living – its simplicity and the abundance of healthy things it can give you. The name ‘Your Island Supply’ is about supplying women with activewear adaptable to all sports and activities, and suitable for all climates. It is also in-keeping with our theme of tropical-inspired designs, alive with colour.
What was your mission at the outset?
Our mission has always been to motivate women of all shapes and sizes to be both active and relaxed while feeling like they are in the tropics. We believe that, with the right design, strong and vibrant colour can flatter and energise any wearer.
Do you provide a range of products?
At the moment we are focusing solely on leggings. But watch this space as we have many more products coming soon.
What is unique about your business?
You won’t see any designs like ours. My husband and I design our leggings from scratch. The prints themselves are unique and exclusive to us. Our prints are designed to fit and flatter all body types. As far as performance, we have ensured that our leggings provide the right amount of support and compression to see you through any activity. Taking you from the school drop off, to a yoga class and to a laid back brunch with ease.
What were your biggest challenges at the beginning?
First, and foremost, was getting the right supplier and the right fabric blend for our products, then testing and trying our products in various activities and climates. The next round of challenges involved making a lot of minor adjustments to the measurements, fit and features to ensure we had a product we were 100% satisfied with. After months of testing and trying fabrics through many activities and climates, we finally developed the perfect blend.
What are your biggest challenges at the moment?
We launched our business in October 2017, and actually sold out of our first collection within two months. We didn’t expect that at all! Because it happened so quickly we were not ready with our next collection. Unfortunately we had a couple of months of no stock to sell while our next collection was being produced.
What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
My main role is to network and market our brand, oversee the day to day management of the business and give important decisions the nod (or not).
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting out, what would it be?
Research, research and more research until you are 100% confident in the product you are producing, and completely believe in the benefit of the brand to your customer.
What do you wish you knew before you embarked on your business journey?
Everything! There is so much to learn in any business and we are always learning and growing.
Who, or what, inspires you?
My husband really does inspire me. Without him, the business would not work. He is also my greatest support when times are tough. He always talks sense…though I would never admit this to him!
What do you consider your biggest weakness?
My impatience. It can lead to irrational decisions and get me into a lot of trouble.
How do you promote your business?
We are big on social media, especially Instagram, and get good engagement with our content. We also have relationships with many yoga and fitness organisations which often feature us in their blogs and articles. Our reach is global, but we find our primary following to be on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and The Sunshine Coast.
And finally, how do you define success?
Success to me is having a happy, supportive family.
You can see more of Dhanya and Duncan’s beautiful range at www.yourislandsupply.com.