Kelsey

The Flower Fashionista

Kelsey’s career began with her selling handmade clothing on the internet at the age of 16. Slowly over time this developed into custom bridalwear, and lead to her earning a Bachelor of Fashion from UCOL by the age of 18. “I would sew all my orders on my lunch breaks at Uni,” she remembers.

Being a designer, businesswoman, pattern maker, and seamstress is all in a day’s work for 23 year old Kelsey Genna, work which she says is “honestly my dream job”.

Kelsey GennaHer career has grown “very slowly”, which is something Kelsey is grateful for. “It takes a long time, especially starting young, to really figure out your niche and how you want something to work. Figuring out how to live a really balanced life whilst thriving in your career also took me quite a while.”

Founded in 2012, Kelsey’s bridal label The Flower Bride has been brought to life through floral and nature inspired components. While Kelsey is based in Manawatu, her label is stocked in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchuch and is also established in major centres around the world including Los Angeles, New York and London.

Kelsey has also recently designed and released a new Kelsey Genna activewear range, which she says was inspired by travelling to Indonesia.

I think following your dreams is a beautiful thing but I think it also takes so much more dedication, patience and hard work than anyone realises.

“I spent some time in Bali last year and fell in love with Ubud, a small town up in the forests. It’s a really creative town and there is also a big organic, raw food and yoga culture there. It seems to represent everything I want my activewear brand to be about. I’m spending the next few months based there setting up my activewear line… it’s an inspiring place to be.”

Sold exclusively online, her activewear range incorporates fashion and sport through a variety of unique designs and vibrant printed fabrics.

FAshion in the cityAs well as designing, Kelsey relishes having the opportunity to travel. “I love travelling which is why I’ve tried to incorporate it into my work as much as possible. I find travelling from place to place a little annoying though, which is why I usually try to base myself somewhere for 1­2 months at a time. As long as I keep super organised I find living out of a suitcase really easy.”

This year looks to be a busy one, but Kelsey is excited about the work ahead. “I’m going to be juggling my time between my bridal and activewear, this is my first year working on two big projects. While I am in Bali I will be setting up a base for my activewear and also designing a new bridal collection. I’ll spend a little bit of time tripping around Asia fabric sourcing too, and then I plan to head to New York for the Bridal Market in October.”

It takes a long time, especially starting young, to really figure out your niche and how you want something to work.

While this year is well planned out, Kelsey doesn’t have many solid plans for the future. “Life is ever changing and I’m happy to just see where it takes me. I’m just happy to keep slowly growing. As much as I love my job it is just one part of my life.”

“I think following your dreams is a beautiful thing but I think it also takes so much more dedication, patience and hard work than anyone realises.”

Snippets-1

Snippets from Issue 6

GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY

MTB K LoopIn the past decade Arapuke Forest Park has been swamped with the sweat of bikers chipping away dirt for the park’s trail development.

The Manawatu Mountain Bike Club has been working with the Palmerston North City Council to develop a network of mountain bike trails called the K-Loop at the Kahuterawa Outdoor Recreational Area. “Our goal is to create some reasonable off-road riding opportunities around Manawatu, where there has traditionally been only a few,” says club representative Bill Russell.

Today the park has fifteen kilometres of bike tracks catering to all experience levels. Beginners get to enjoy a relaxed ride while advanced mountain bikers can pursue the downhill runs with thrilling jumps and drops. “On a good ride I should feel scared somewhere along the journey,” says club member Russell Brebner.

The tracks have been made possible because of the persistence and hard work of club members. “Lots of man and woman labour is required to turn the trails into something that’s fun and ride-able,” says Russell. The club organises occasional working bees to really crack into the project, and receives support from the Palmerston North City Council, Trail Fund NZ, Horizons Regional Council, Ground Effect and the Eastern and Central Community Trust.

Owing to forest harvesting, access to the park has been limited recently to weekends and trail development has been delayed. “The great news is that the loggers should be out of there by the end of April,” says Bill. “Next season onwards is going to be really exciting because we’re going to have a much bigger playground to do the design.” It’s anticipated that when the trail building is complete twenty-five kilometres of trails will be available to enthusiasts.

Arapuke Forest Park isn’t just full of the daredevils you’d imagine. “We’re building something that caters to everyone from six-year-olds to the advanced riders at the other end of the spectrum,” Russell explains. “In the past three years I’ve seen people I never thought I’d see riding on that hill, from families to groups of ladies.”

Park access is through Kahuterawa Road (advanced trails) or Scotts Road.

FREE TO ALL BOOK LOVERS

Little LibraryThere has been a new feature added to the Rose Garden at Palmerston North’s Victoria Esplanade. In memory of book lover Joyce Scott, her friends and family have erected a Little Free Library. Joyce, who passed away last year, wanted everyone to know the joy that comes from getting lost in a good book.

The Little Free Library is a box full of books where everyone is welcome to pick up a book and bring back another. This library is currently one of only four in New Zealand and is a part of a global initiative, with libraries around the world all registered and tracked at www.littlefreelibrary.org

Alida Parker, a friend of Joyce, recalls how often they would talk of setting up a Little Free Library near Joyce’s home. The Esplanade became home to the Little Free Library as it was a special place for Joyce. “She loved to be surrounded by the roses and sometimes we would both take a book down and enjoy the place and the sun.”

The City Council installed the Little Free Library in the Rose Garden, and the family have plans to install another on Massey University campus. “We are extending the Little Free Library to other parts of New Zealand, that’s the beauty of it.”

CRACKERS ABOUT CHEESE

Cheeeeeeese!!!In the hustle and bustle of the Feilding Farmers’ Market, award-winning cheese-maker Adrian Walcroft can be found at the Cartwheel Creamery stall.

Adrian has an impressive resume, having been awarded the title of Champion Home Crafted Cheese-maker at the 2012 New Zealand Cuisine Champions of Cheese awards. His Pohangina Blue cheese was also a winner, earning gold at the event. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as animated as he was with the success of those awards,” Adrian’s wife Jill explains. “They’re very justly deserved.”

The couple started producing their artisan goods for market in September last year. To pick their favourite cheese is like “choosing a favourite child!”. A popular choice is the aptly named Coppermine, a washed-rind cheese with coppery tones, named after the creek running through the Ruahines. “It’s really tasty and we’re enjoying people discovering it and liking it as much as we do.”

The Walcrofts are excited about making their gold-winning blue cheese for customers once a culturing room is available. “It might be our new favourite!” Plum and quince pastes derived from their Pohangina Valley orchard are also soon to accompany their goods at the market, enriching the cheese tasting experience.

Tastings at the gate on Sundays 1-4pm. www.creamery.co.nz