We hosted a conversation with the co-founders of Clique Fitness Bex and Carena West, sharing experiences of how they started their own brand and perspectives on fitness, wellbeing and fragrances.
1. Tell me about yourself!
We are Bex and Carena West – sisters and besties who co-founded Clique Fitness. CLIQUE is a size inclusive high-performance compression wear brand for women who want to benefit from compression, whether they’re an athlete or partake in casual fitness. Our tights are renowned for their high waistband and strategically placed seams, keeping you feeling comfortable and confident no matter the activity.
Bex: I’m a dog and plant loving creative living in the city. I really enjoy Sunday markets, painting, interior design and a cocktail now and again. I’m originally from Auckland but our parents and I moved to Bahrain, in the Middle East, when I was 14 and spent my teens and early twenties there. I’m a qualified product designer and practised marketer and enjoyed working in both Bali and Wellington until CLIQUE brought me back to Auckland in 2018.
Carena: I’m a creative designer with a background in garment design. I’m a mother to a 4 month old little girl called Emily and a 2 year old horse called Chunky and we live on a farm in Clevedon. When Bex and my parents moved to Bahrain I stayed in NZ as I had just started university. I’m a pretty busy person, and I’m a bit of a magpie.
2. What made you and Carena West start Clique Fitness? And How?
CLIQUE started when we were both experiencing sub-par activewear and had been struggling to find a solution that was already on the market. Carena came to visit me in Wellington and pitched the idea of high performance compression tights for all women. Athletes, new mums, those who love HIIT training and women who catch up with friends to stroll over coffee. We wanted to create activewear for everyone at every stage. I immediately agreed and moved to Auckland a few months later to start on CLIQUE full time. We take pride in all of the products we design together and ensure that they are the perfect mix of function and fashion with an affordable price tag.
3. With the current Coronavirus pandemic, how do you both like to relieve stress and go about your daily life? Do you have any advice for our readers during this season?
Bex: I’ve been interested in yoga, meditation and pranayama for a few years now, however, when NZ went into lockdown I found myself extremely hesitant to practice any of the things I preached. It’s a turbulent time and so what I found to be the best for me was to accept that it’s OK not to be productive all the time. I gave myself permission to eat lots of nourishing foods and rest, and I found that once I did this, productivity was able to flourish. I spent most of my lockdown alone, but Carena and I talk all day and so being able to communicate with her and Emily was awesome. I’m so thankful for technology!
Carena: I had Emily two weeks before lockdown, so as well as navigating Coronavirus and the effect it had on our business, I was also learning how to be a mum. My approach to stress is to switch off and think about something else for a little bit, usually when my brain is busy doing something else I come up with solutions to any problems I have. It’s quite difficult when something is completely out of your control such as Covid-19, so I just made the most of the time I had with my family, went for walks and brainstormed what Clique’s future might look like.
4. As a young mother, do you prefer to use Natural Perfume or Essential oils? When did you consider changing from synthetic to natural fragrances?
Carena: I have a very strong sense of smell so I enjoy both natural perfume and essential oils, but I have to dial it back a bit when it’s in the house so it doesn’t stress me out! I love a subtle, natural perfume.
5. How does your fragrance affect your performance in fitness and wellbeing or everyday life?
Bex: A scent can change my mood and affect my mental performance for sure. A scent I love for my every day is Mandarin – it’s light and has an energy about it that makes me feel incredibly productive.
Carena: When I’m wearing scent I usually have something to accomplish, as it makes me feel more confident and feels much more “put together” when I’m wearing a scent. Around the house, I enjoy Lemon, peppermint and tuberose and I feel they are fresh and lively and lift the mood of the (very small!) space
6. What is your most favourite perfume note to wear in Winter?
Bex: I tend to reach for heavier fragrances in winter – sandalwood is a favourite for me but I would love to come in and learn more about seasonal fragrances
Carena: I’m not a particularly seasonal person when it comes to fragrances, I just tend to wear what makes me feel good at the time!
Bex: When you came to our workshop, you created a fragrance with Clove, Star Anise, Agarwood and Nutmeg – what made you choose these ingredients?
The combination of these ingredients made me feel empowered! The fragrance I created was heavy on the clove and stronger in intensity than I would usually opt for. When we began I didn’t have a scent I was aiming for in mind, so this is really where my nose took me!
Carena: When you came to our workshop, you created a fragrance with Poplar Bud Peru Balsam Rear Clove Bergamot – what made you choose these ingredients?
I didn’t come into Perfume Playground with any expectation- I was actually a bit nervous that my nose might deceive me! I chose the above notes because I feel it made my fragrance full-bodied with a bit of spice. It’s really interesting to see what I liked and what I didn’t and how those notes came together to form the end result, I shouldn’t have been nervous at all!
7. What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining our Club?
Bex: I’d say, if you have a scent in mind then that’s great, but try not to be too rigid. Have a play and see what sticks – I think you’ll be surprised at just how many scents you end up loving, all of them completely different!
Carena: My advice is to go in with no expectations of what you plan to create, and enjoy the ride!
8. Share with us what fragrance you plan to design next with Perfume Playground!
Bex: I would like to try create a light, flowery scent for summer – something light but not too sweet
Carena: My last fragrance was quite heavy and full bodied, so I’d love to try and make something fresh!
10 September. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – SOLD OUT
19 September. Wellington. Wine Sentience. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – SOLD OUT
24 September. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – 1 ticket available
8 October. Auckland. Perfume Playground NZ. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – 1 ticket available
- 17 October. Wellington. Classic Club. Fast-paced and playful – tickets just announced
Click here for more details.