Vera Yan

Vera Yan

Co-Founder / Nimble Activewear

Fashion

Getting a sweat up in Nimble Activewear feels glamorous. And it’s not only glamorous for the occasional F45 and yoga devout like me – It’s also the favoured “go to” brand for so many of the world’s most dedicated fitness enthusiasts and influencers.

For Bondi-based label Nimble Activewear, running a business is a case of combining friendship, passion, and community.

And yes…  I could scream with excitement to bring to you this double #careerstory, of Vera and Katia; Co-Owners, Besties and  (let’s be honest) total babes.

The ethos of Nimble Activewear is everything, and so are both their journies from school, Uni, work and beyond.  Ahhhh, you so have to read this goodies.  

Today we are starting with the gorgeous Vera.

Vera’s #careerstory starts in Melbourne, where she attended both High School and University. Yep, she was a smart cookie. After Year 12, Vera launched into a career in the fast-paced world of finance. But, what happened next is the juicy part.

Girls, get ready, as this could be our most favourite #careerstory yet!

Hi Vera, I am so happy that you could join us today. Can you start by telling us where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are and the career that you are in today?

I was born in Beijing and moved to Melbourne with my parents when I was 4 years old. As an only child with Chinese migrant parents, I definitely was a bit of a cotton wool child growing up and spent many hours at piano or ballet lessons! We also spoke Mandarin at home – I didn’t appreciate it at the time but am now incredibly grateful for this skill – it has been so great to have Mandarin as a second language and it has helped immensely in establishing relationships and communicating effectively with our offshore manufacturing partners.

Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?

I went to high school at Methodist Ladies’ College in Kew (Melbourne) – it was a pretty big school which meant that there was such a diverse range of people in our year. I loved it there and especially so as this was where I met Katia in Year 8. Absolutely – our school played a huge part in equipping us with the tools to becoming strong & ambitious once we ventured out into the real world.

Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.

During high school, I was lucky enough to complete work experience with a good friend’s dad who was a barrister – at this stage, I was very interested in pursuing a career as a lawyer so it was a fantastic way to get a first-hand experience at what this would really be like.

I would highly recommend pursuing work experience/internships during high school if there is something you are interested in – it really is the best way to get a feel for what a career in that industry could be like.

Yep, I love the power of internships as well. Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? 

I went to Melbourne University and studied a combined Bachelor of Commerce + Bachelor of Law. At the end of high school, I had decided that I either wanted a career in finance or in law, hence the choice of degree! I chose a combined degree as I wanted something additional to offer prospective employers – I had previously had some exposure to the legal profession which I had found fascinating and thought that it would be empowering to actually have an understanding of the Australian legal system.

Love your thinking Vera. Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.

During the last year of my uni degree, I moved up to Sydney for 3 months to undertake an investment banking internship with Macquarie Bank. This was so much fun! It was the first time that I had lived away from my parents and despite working really hard, it was also so great to meet new friends from all around Australia. After that, I was offered a graduate position and moved up to Sydney after uni. After a couple of years, I decided to make the switch back into law and worked at Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills. Looking back I am so grateful for my time working in both law and finance – both equipped me with different skill sets that have come in really useful for Nimble Activewear.

Laura in Nimble Activewear

How did you get the job that you are in now?

I guess Katia and I created it.

What is the hardest part of owning a business ? 

As a startup, all of us in the business are required to wear many hats and take on any tasks that are thrown at us. Although this is part of what makes coming to work every day really exciting, at times this can also make you feel incredibly overwhelmed.

Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?

I would have to say, my parents! They are the most tenacious and optimistic people I know – two traits that I hope have rubbed off on me somewhat

What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?

For girls that are interested in starting their own business, I think it is critical to go out there and get some work experience and industry exposure to learn from others more experienced than yourself before you venture out on your own.

List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?

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