In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and innovators working on our next generation of new business startups, social enterprises and small businesses.

At a glance

Founder: Nicole Gaviria

Business: Lulah Collective

Founded: 2022

HQ: Canterbury

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

At Lulah Collective we are deeply passionate about designing activewear that celebrates curves and showcases the beauty of plus size bodies. Our dedication to creating the best activewear for all shapes and sizes is unwavering, because I know that when you wear something that truly fits, it’s a game changer.

We are an exclusively plus-size ( NZ14-30) activewear brand committed to promoting body positivity and inclusivity in the fitness industry. Our mission is to empower curvy women to redefine their relationship with their bodies and movement through stylish, functional, comfortable activewear that allows for joyful movement. Our pieces have been meticulously designed for the unique needs of plus size bodies- we have walked the shoes of our customers (or should we say…the leggings), we intimately know their pain points and we’ve successfully addressed them with our functional and beautiful garments.

Alongside creating products that directly address the issues faced by the curve community ( poor fit, quality etc.) , Lulah Collective genuinely celebrates and supports our customers. We are creating a movement. By promoting body positivity and inclusivity, we encourage more women to take part in physical activity and feel good about themselves while doing so.

Our activewear is just the beginning- Lulah Co has exciting plans in the pipeline that will further the positive impact we make in the fitness and fashion spaces for the curve community.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

As a yoga teacher, I know firsthand the struggle of finding comfortable and functional activewear. When I was in my biggest body, I taught a class in a popular activewear brands store. In exchange, they offered me some of their leggings, but, I couldn’t find anything to fit my body and was laughed at by their staff. It was humiliating, but, it was a catalyst for change.

As a therapist, I hear the frustration of my plus size clients who continue to mirror similar struggles with the fitness and fashion industries. Unfortunately, this resonates with women globally.

Only 8% of activewear brands are currently offering plus size in their range. And alongside this, I didn’t see brands that truly represented and celebrated the diversity of plus size bodies, nor did I see a safe and inclusive space for these women to explore movement. As a result, I launched Lulah Co in February 2023.

What programmes, learning or mentoring have been of assistance so far?

  • I recently completed the Electrify Accelerator Program with the Ministry of Awesome. This was a powerful and challenging 12 week program where I was supported by various mentors, coaches and other female founded start-ups to take Lulah Collective to the next stage of growth.
  • I have also completed Blackbird’s Giants program, and Icehouse ventures FirstCut. Both supplied me with further mentoring or resources to explore.
  • I would recommend joining a program such as those above. I am totally new to the world of business, coming from a mental health background. Surrounding myself with people and startups who are walking their talk and are generous in sharing their experiences and tools has meant that I haven’t felt alone on this journey.


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