When activewear brand Terez’s founder Zara Terez Tisch launched her fashion business, she did so with the intention of spreading joy and positivity.
From metallic leopard print to emojis and paint splatter patterns, her eye-catching designs are renowned for having the ‘fun factor’.
But founding a multi-million dollar fashion brand isn’t something Zara had initially set out to do. In fact, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a promising career in marketing in New York City.
However, as a teenager, she suffered two devastating tragedies – first her high school boyfriend drowned trying to save a friend, then her college boyfriend passed away unexpectedly.
She was looking for anotaher outlet for her grief when she stumbled across what would later become Terez, which is actually her middle name and it’s very close to her heart as it was created by her mother as a combination of her two grandmothers’ names.
In 2008, Zara was in a leather handbag store in the West Village looking for a mat for a vitrine display cabinet when she spotted a sign that said ‘customize your own leather handbag’ and had the idea of launching her own line of affordable handbags.
But with a desire to spread positivity and to set her apart from others, she wanted these bags to have a colorful lining inside – so that the owner could feel joy every time they opened their purse.
She was just 22 when she launched the business, right around the same time as the financial crisis, and had some initial success before deciding to create a line of cosmetic pouches.
The ‘scuba bags’, as they were known, proved more popular – with the likes of Nieman Marcus and Urban Outfitters desperate to stock her range – and it was from here that Zara had her lightbulb moment… she would use the brilliant and striking fabrics from inside her bags and turn them into leggings.
Initially, they launched in 2012 as a children’s range, with the galaxy print design garnering somewhat of a cult following for young girls, before moving into women’s activewear.
Since then, Terez has gone from six original patterns to over 1,500 prints available in anything from sweatshirts to bike shorts and has collaborated with celebrities, brands, and influencers alike.
Zara, who was has been named to Forbes 30 Under 30, told the magazine she measures the brand’s success based on their work uplifting their community.
She said: “Terez is about radiating positivity. When someone is happy because they feel confident wearing a pair of our leggings it’s infectious. When someone sees them smiling or notices the design they start smiling too and it starts a chain reaction.”
As the company grew, Zara started looking for other ways to make Terez customers feel good – and that’s when she came across Givz.
Givz can be incorporated into any Shopify store to make it easy for merchants to set up charitable donations connected to purchases.
It allows Terez to highlight charities they feel are doing important work, but it also means that their customers can choose the ones they care about too.
Morgan Spindler, who is the marketing manager at Terez, told us: “We are using Givz to entice customers to spend at least $200 to donate $25 to a charity of their choice.
“We highlight three charities a month and update the charities based on holidays throughout the year.”
Among the campaigns to be chosen by Terez have included Black History Month in February, which offered customers the opportunity to have a direct donation to the Loveland Foundation, a wonderful organization that offers a safe space, healing, and opportunities for Black women and girls.
“Since launching Givz on our site, we have donated approximately $6,000 on behalf of customers making purchases.”
Terez also incorporates Givz into their marketing and has found that being transparent about the causes they give back to has had a positive impact.
Morgan said: “We banner Givz across some of our marketing emails, as well as on our organic social media platforms.
“We’ve heard very positive feedback from our customers and have also noticed that it’s improved our average order value.”
So, it seems being generous really does pay off for Terez. Well done guys!
Morgan's Top 3 Marketing Tips She'd Tell Her Young Self
1. Step Back
Always take a step back and think as if you are the customer who hasn’t seen your brand before
2. Be Consistent
Make sure your marketing plan is an omnipresent part of the business and aligns across all channels
3. Test, Test, and Test Again!
Keep testing and analyzing the data