Hi, I’m Aimee , founder of Trevena and the artist behind our colourful designs. All of our products are conceived on the Gold Coast, Australia (though my paintbrushes travel with me wherever I go), made from sustainable, ethically sourced fabrics and produced by a small family business in Bali, Indonesia.
My love of both movement and creativity started from a young age, so in some ways it is not surprising that I ended up here: running a business which combines my two passions. However, the journey to get here (much like life itself, for many of us) has been peppered with setbacks: from suffering a hip injury in my teens which destroyed my dream of becoming a full-time dancer, to being told by my teachers in high school that my artwork wasn’t good enough. Both of these experiences shattered my self-confidence, but were instrumental, retrospectively, in getting me to where I am today.
After recovering from my hip injury, I found escapism in the fitness industry – a career which suited my need for movement but left me burnt out and stressed. I was travelling regularly and managing health clubs all around the world, but I had no balance in my life and hadn’t picked up a paint brush since high school. It wasn’t until I was introduced to yoga by chance on a visit to India that I experienced a mental shift and realised that something needed to change.
I learnt the art of mandala from a street artist in Rishikesh – another chance encounter that should never have happened – and it was this artform, with its geometric lines and patterns, that first helped me to really understand mindfulness. Picking up a paintbrush again brought a new sense of freedom and wholeness and creating mandala art soon became an outlet for both self-expression and healing. The seed of Trevena the label was planted.
Whilst the seed of a creative business may have been planted in India, it was my beloved second home, Bali, which brought the details to life. Living here for three years gave me wonderful insights into the local culture, and I was keen to give back to a community that had embraced me with such a warm and heartfelt welcome.
My planning and sourcing journey took me through numerous fabric shops and factories, none of which felt quite right, until another (!) chance encounter landed me on the doorstep of a local family sewing business. Despite a language barrier, I knew this was the business I wanted to partner with, and I have never looked back. Today, what started with a few ladies sitting at sewing machines in a living room has grown into a sewing enterprise which employs local community members. It fills me with great pride to know that this community is excited every time they receive a new order from us.
Having travelled the world, I had witnessed incredible beauty of nature but also unbelievable levels of pollution. Even my beloved Bali was rich in culture and rice fields; but filled with plastic pollution. Everywhere I looked, I saw trash. I knew I had to do something.
And so, in an effort to be part of the solution, I made it my mission to not only ethically produce my apparel but also use sustainable fabrics – ones which would perform just as well as any you could pull off the shelf of a standard activewear store. Where I landed was a combination of recycled plastic bottle lycra and biodegradable, natural fibre fabrics (like bamboo, linen and rayon). These fabrics are eco-friendly, long-lasting and feel beautiful to wear. They have become the canvases for my artworks.
These days, I take inspiration from nature, advice from those who love me and pride in seeing women feel special and empowered by wearing my artwork. I am hopeful that my story inspires other women to find balance in their lives; to feel bold and courageous and to treat their life like a work of art and their body like a naked canvas ready for a splash of colour.