Growing up on Auckland’s North Shore, Iydia Liu attended Kristin School, finished her last two years at Rangitoto College and then went on to study at the University of Auckland. Liu is very creative and said she has always loved fashion. “My childhood was great, both of my parents are really supportive,” explained Liu. “I began selling things online at quite a young age, in particular buying and reselling clothing.” Liu thought it was an excellent way to make money; to list a product, sit around and then it was sold and all she had to do was send it off. At the time, it seemed so much more appealing to her than working a 40-hour week in an office and Liu believes this is why she stuck to it.
Liu’s father was an architect and also loved art. He was the one that got her into art from a young age where she also picked up her love for fashion and clothing. She knew growing up that she was business-minded, but never thought to run her own business. “Throughout school and university, they don’t really give you that as an option. There is no class to take that teaches you how to run a business, only classes that push you towards a certain job, which is a shame really,” she explained.
Liu’s initial plan was to do a Business and Law conjoint at university, but when she discovered the online retailer Nastygal and founder Sophia Amoruso’s story, Liu wanted to be like her. “That’s when I decided I wanted to start my own online clothing retailer.”
Influenced by celebrities, Liu keeps up with the latest style and finds herself inspired by other young people with successful businesses such as Greta Rose Van Riel, Sophia Amoruso, Jane Lu, and Jake Millar.
Jumping into the industry, at first she noticed health and fitness were on the rise on social media. Liu saw other brands from the UK, US and Europe pushing their protein powders and supplements online and thought it was a great idea to bring those products to the New Zealand and Australian market.
Now ten months in, her first product was their protein powder. “Then we added a few more bits and pieces, but we are going to keep it simple and stick to our staple products rather than branching out too much,” Liu added.
Liu starts her days early by going to the gym. Afterwards, she starts work by printing off the brand's orders and throughout the day just co-ordinates with her team to make sure everything is running smoothly. Liu has found that she wears more activewear in winter. "It's just so comfortable," she said.
Liu’s biggest accomplishment has been making international news with her story and said it has been great to get some recognition for her hard work. She also added that getting her business to the point it’s at now at her young age is another accomplishment. “My parents are very business minded, and I’ve always loved to buy and sell things from a young age. I think those combined really gave me the confidence and ability to do what I have done,” she added.
Social media is a huge part of Luxe Fitness. “I’ve tried most forms of marketing,” she said. “But Found that social media is the cheapest for the most amount of conversions, so our work is very social media related.”
Moving forward with the brand, Liu is moving the business into a warehouse and plans to set up an art station in her current office when they move.