The Kiwi Women Making Waves In The Wellness Industry

In 2020 the wellness industry is booming – from nutritionists to yoga teachers, there’s now a higher demand than ever before for all things health and fitness related, and it’s not just overseas. We had a chat to six New Zealand women who have all taken that big risk of starting their own business to find out what motivates them and why the wellness industry is the industry to be in.


Bridget Paddon Goals, Growth and Fulfillment Coach

Goal Diggers NZ (GDNZ)

What does GDNZ do? “I work with clients throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific. GDNZ empowers its community to live a kickass fulfilling life by living a lifestyle of doing more, seeing more and being more. We also have a clothing line and other lifestyle products branding off from the GDNZ. I travel round New Zealand to meet up with clients and help them meet their goals.”

How did it start? “I was originally a primary school teacher but I’ve always been interested in learning new things so I decided to do a diploma in professional coaching out of interest. One of the papers I did was about setting up your own coaching business and I just thought, ‘why not give it a try?’ and here we are two years later.”

How do you stay motivated? “I set myself goals, I’d say it’s good to look at your why and long-term values. Ticking off a to-do list also helps!”

Goals for 2018? “I’d love to expand my business and get a physical office space.”

Challenges? “Not having someone to tell you you’re doing a good job is a challenge. You don’t have anyone monitoring your work – so you’re kind of just walking around blindfolded and hoping for the best. After having my business for a year I resigned from teaching which was also a bit of a sweaty situation.”

Most rewarding? “Working with the clients and seeing the results, especially the mental changes that happen.”

Advice? “Find your point of difference – it’s an over-saturated market so you need to find something that is unique to you. You need to think about how you can be relatable to your clientbase.”

Balance? “It is hard to find balance – I’m always posting on social media at night and replying to comment and messages etc. I do struggle with working hours but it’s great to be so flexible and I’m very grateful for the freedom I have.”

You can follow Bridget here:






Iyia Liu Wellness entrepreneur

Luxe Fitness and Waist Trainer New Zealand

How was your first business founded? “The first business I founded was Waist Trainer NZ. I was scrolling on Instagram and discovered the waist trainer product, I wanted one myself, bought one, tried it and loved it. So I thought, other girls like me might like it too.”

What do you think the secret to your success is? “Persistence. Growing up, even while at school, I tried to sell many different things for pocket money. I always liked the idea of buying and selling, and thought of it as an almost passive income rather than trading my time for money. I think trying new methods, new business models, new products – everything is a learning curve and eventually you will get it right.”

How important is social media to your business? “My businesses have all been built on social media. Of course I have also tried all forms of traditional marketing, but social is our main focus. “

What’s been the most rewarding part of your journey so far? “Throughout this journey I have met so many amazing and interesting people, been invited to all sorts of events within NZ and overseas to talk about my journey.”

What advice would you give to other wanting to start a business? “I saw this quote once that really stuck with me, “Day one? Or One Day?” – If you have a dream, why not try it out. You may not get it on the first go, my very first business failed, but don’t let that discourage you, everything is a learning curve.”

How do you stay motivated? “Sometimes it can get hard to be motivated when things are going wrong. I think just pushing through, and overcoming the hard parts, you will be rewarded in the end and you just have to remember that.”

What has been the biggest challenges? “I’ve had to make many difficult choices throughout my journey, most recently selling my businesses Waist Trainer and Luxe Fitness, and then starting Bambi Boutique and my Social Media Management business from scratch. There’s always challenges with different businesses, and hurdles you have to overcome.”

What are your goals for 2018? “Currently I am building my dream home, I want to work hard on my new businesses this year and continue to grow as a person and work on my goals and dreams.”

 What’s your go-to lunch spot? “Lately, I’ve been loving this new spot called Major Tom in Albany. It’s the same owners of Winona Forever in Parnell, and their food is just too good!”

You can follow Iyia here:





Coka Klug Yoga instructor


How was your business founded? “YogaTribe was originally born as the Yoga Page of another platform I created six years ago called Tribe of Love, which was a place where people who were creating goodness, products or services that contribute to the wellbeing of different communities could have exposure online. As time passed I started to look at my yoga mat as a canvas where I could create some beauty – after a lot of research for a good idea I realized that there were 1000 beautiful eco-friendly yoga mats in the world and I have decided to stop looking outside for inspiration and I simply close my eyes and went into a meditation stage where I asked myself “what I would love to receive from my yoga mat when I’m practicing every day?”  …this is how our very first mat design was born and I believe that this was the secret of the success and the heart of the whole business.”

Is this the first time either of you have started a business? ‘No, it’s not the first time that I have explored the world of an entrepreneur – I guess I was born with the call of doing my own thing always. When I was very little I would make lemon cakes and sell them to my neighbors – for Christmas, I would make pottery, paint it and sell it to family and friends, poor them they probably feel obligated to buy it! When I was 18 I started my own brand selling bags and accessories and I used to travel all around the world and in each place, I would buy a typical thing from that land and sell it back home and make a profit off the difference. I did this until I was 26 and it allowed me to travel all around the world… I was kind of a “hippie chick” so I was always trying to keep it low key so I didn’t have to stress about accountant and business matters.”

What’s been the most rewarding part of your journey so far? “To learn about my own weaknesses and strengths so far but also to realize who is REAL around you and who is there because you got a business. It’s nice to finally realize what Tribe is about and how society functions. I’m fascinated by the whole social and psychological aspect of running a business.”

What advice would you give to others wanting to start a business? “Close your eyes. Breath deeply. Let go of Fear.”

What have been the biggest challenges? “Being a solo mum in a different country, where connections and bonds are not as strong as back home, learning to do business in a different language was so challenging, all the legal matters and websites, accounting ..oh dear! plus being a yoga teacher and graphic designer at the same time was way too hard. I had to learn in a very painful way that I could no longer do it all. But the hardest lesson for me to learn was to get rid of my own mantra I had put myself unconsciously since I was very young ” I’M A SOLO WARRIOR”…because I’m not and I can’t do this all by myself. I have learned and I’m still learning how to ask for help, delegate and trust in people with good intentions.”

What are your goals for 2018? “2018 is YogaTribe’s year of expansion & growth!!! There is so much on the horizon. We are growing big time, expanding to big countries around the world and creating systems in order for this to happen.”

What’s your go-to lunch spot? “I normally never stop for lunch..big mistake… so now I’m forcing myself to make a nice yummy salad at home… if I have a business meeting I love to go to George cafe, which is my local healthy Cafe at Omanu or grab a smoothie at Vitality Organic down the Mount. Otherwise, I call V on Wheels to deliver a healthy vegan meal to my front door if I think I don’t have much time.”

You can follow Coka here:




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