TYNA is an activewear brand based in Norfolk, England.
After watching her vibrant mother´s health fail as a result of breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease, TYNA’s founder, Hafee Adekunle, decided that she wanted to create a business that encouraged women, particularly those with health issues, to take care of their overall wellbeing. She thought colourful, energising and inspirational clothing could do just that and so in 2018, TYNA was born.
TYNA activewear is inspired by traditional patterns in a variety of contemporary designs that bring together style, functionality and comfort for the women that wear them. Hafee’s designs mostly reflect her Nigerian heritage and honours African history. TYNA’s goal is to encourage women regardless of race, nationality, size or fitness level to continually look after their health and wellbeing.
TYNA’s sizing starts at XS and goes up to 3XL with plans to further increase their range. The fabrics used have a soft, luxurious feel, are of a high quality and use compression technology to keep the wearer feeling firm. The pieces are opaque, breathable, sweat wicking and especially tailored to embrace our natural curves.
Each pair of leggings has a personality of its own, going from conservative to 100% vibrant. The prints used come in four different styles and give choice to most as clients can identify with one of the four.
We chatted with Hafee to find out a little of the backstory behind TYNA and here are some snippets
“TYNA offers another way of wearing African prints.”
What’s been one main challenge for you as a designer and how did you tackle it?
I’m actually not a designer by profession and understanding how design placement would look on women with different styles and colour preferences is a science in itself! It’s constant research and learning and using the valuable feedback I receive into future collections. This has been instrumental in the concept of having choice for those who buy from us.
A major triumph for you?
The feedback I get from customers keeps me going. There are lots of days where I want to pack it all in, then I get an email or DM from a customer that really encourages me that TYNA is a great brand.
Describe a day for you.
I have a full time job so most of my day is spent on that. I typically work on TYNA a couple of hours after work, on the weekends and during my leave.
Apart from your current clientele, who would you like to see wearing your creations?
A lot of men have been in contact to ask when there will be a men’s line, so that is likely to be the next step.
What's one thing that surprised you along your journey not only as a designer but as someone trying to live out their purpose?
That’s a good question… probably how much hard work it is. I don’t think anything can ever prepare you for that, especially at the beginning.
I have learned however - the hard way I have to add - not to stress out about it. Rome was certainly not built in a day. It’s about learning from the mistakes.
When the days are long and the nights are even longer, what keeps you going?
I ask myself that question countless times because there have been many, many long nights! One thing that my mum always said to me when I was younger is to never quit on something I’ve started. So here I am… still going.
One piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were first starting off on your journey is…
… That this is not an easy path and there’s a lot more to contend with than you realise. But it’s an exciting journey and the challenging times are part of the process.
“‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is a true saying.”
Using African print in fashion in international arenas is on the rise. What’s your take on this?
I love the fact that it celebrates our heritage on a world stage and gets people talking. African and prints from other cultures in general have a story to tell and it’s wonderful to be able to share our heritage. Look at how in Nigerian culture we wear Aso ebi, where friends and family rock up wearing the same fabric for a celebration – this signifies love, unity and an opportunity to bring people together for a shared purpose… we need more of that!
We really love how the designs share our culture, in such a unique way that takes it to a new audience too.
Yes - one of the things that we do is we share a little bit about the print’s
history when we introduce a new collection.
I’ve also had so many customers tell me they’ve struck up conversations with strangers when they’re wearing TYNA, because people come up to them and ask about the prints. Personally, I’m naturally shy but when I wear my TYNA leggings to the gym or to walk my dog, someone almost always stops me to ask about them... and sometimes the dog!
Now for the last and most important question! What’s one thing we should all have in our wardrobe?
Not one, but all the leggings! Seriously though, I would say a sports bra as it’s so important for women to wear a really good one whilst working out. Of course it would be rude not to get the matching TYNA leggings… 😊
“African prints and designs have been around for centuries and it’s wonderful that they are still popular in this modern age. What’s even better is that we are now able to use these designs in different ways – bags, shoes and now fitness wear…”
TYNA also runs a giving campaign where 10% of everything they produce is given to women in need in their Constantly Giving, Constantly Moving campaign.
Anyone (TYNA customer or not) can nominate a woman who has been sick or just gone through a hard time to enter a prize draw to win a TYNA piece. You can do this here: https://www.tyna.co.uk/pages/constantly-giving
For more on TYNA and Hafee, go to: