New Year, New Gear! Our interview with Megan from PoleGearNZ!
Out with the old, in with the new! A new year means new beginnings, and sometimes, a few cheeky purchases of some pole essentials (*cough* grip-aid) to get us through the sticky Summer heat!
We've had a chat with the amazing and inspiring Megan from PoleGearNZ to find out more about what's behind our favourite place to buy pole gear!
So Megan, tell us about PoleGearNZ
PoleGearNZ is a one stop shop for everything you need for your pole life. Heels, grip, knee pads, clothing, training books, everything!
We're also a place of empowerment and self confidence. Our sole aim is to make sure that whether you buy from us online or at a pop up store, the end result is that you feel f#cking fabulous!!!
Our customers know me, they know that PoleGearNZ is not just about selling you something. We are ALWAYS open to questions and to give advice. Even 5 years later, I get excited when a customer buys their first piece or pole wear, or we help someone pop their heels cherry, or even their first bottle of grip!!!
I love it when a customer emails me and is vulnerable in how they are feeling about themselves and taking the next step in the pole wear journey. I actually had an Altitude customer the other day tell me I had ‘Mummed’ her through buying her first pair of Pleasers!!! It is such an honour to be part of these experiences.
I smile from ear to ear when someone walks out of a dressing room when trying on gear at a pop up shop as you can just see the confidence and self love radiating from them. When I get an email from a customer saying how they got their gear and they love it and the experience was amazing, I am so proud it is like my heart is going to burst 💜💜💜 This is our ‘why’, it isn’t my job to sell pole gear - it is my job to make sure our customers feel f#cking fabulous from beginning to end!
What kind of products do you sell?
We have pretty much everything! The Pole Wear Market has grown so much over the past 5 years and not going to lie, 2021 was a super tough year for us. Whilst pole gear is expensive we try to keep the cost as affordable as we can which means, when sales drop, cashflow gets tight and we haven’t be able to keep up with stock ordering as much as we would like. But 2022 is set to be a good year, we have a few new strategies in place to see lots of your favorite brands and maybe a few new ones 😉😍 One of the things we do focus on is stocking quality brands and products. We do like to provide a range of prices to suit every budget, but still maintain a standard so that your pole wear can take a good beating before it needs to be traded in.
We also make sure any packaging it arrives in is recycled at our end and sent to you in recyclable boxes and courier bags. We don’t get many quality complaints but our exchange/returns policy is nice and easy to make sure you have the best possible experience with us every time!
What makes pole wear different to your everyday under wear is it is specifically designed for pole dancers. It is super important to have cuts that allow for main grip points on our tummies, thighs, top of legs, shoulders and so on (not to mention a wider crotch to avoid any "oops" moments!). Materials used for everyday training are generally moisture absorbing or made from lycra that can also be used for swimming, is quick dry and made to move with you.
Brands such as Creatures of XIX, RARR Designs and Cleo the Hurricane do awesome tops that provide support for our ladies with luscious chests (because when you are flipping yourself upside down support is key!) And RARR Designs have a range of bottoms that suit all wants and needs! As the market changes we are seeing more recycled fabric which we are incorporating into our ranges. Brands like Envirogrip and Lunalae have environmentally friendly products made from sustainable materials 🌱
Can you tell us a little about yourself outside of PoleGearNZ?
I live in the Waikato with my husband, two kids and the infamous Lola (our Frenchie!) where I run PoleGearNZ from home. As well as running PoleGearNZ, we have a Bed and Breakfast which is slowly becoming a petting zoo with 2 bunnies, 5 chickens, fish and a beehive! Last year I launched Sole Obsession, PoleGearNZ’s sister website focused on all the Pleaser Shoes goodies so life is pretty busy!
When I’m not at my desk at PoleGearNZ HQ, you will find me generally playing taxi to my kids Bella and Issac, or working on my skills in the pole studio 💪 I also love walking - cranking my music, breathing in the fresh air and hitting the pavement or a bush trail 🍃
I love being around friends and meeting new people. My friends know and love me for my bubbly personality, slight potty mouth, my sense of humour and a hidden talent for making amazing platters and an off the charts Cob Loaf! 🤤
So, what got you into pole dancing?
My youngest, Issac was about 3 and I saw an ad for a studio operating from the Waikato University Gym. I rocked up to see a stunning French girl pulling out a beautifully flat Russian Split - and I seriously decided ‘bugger this, I’m out!’
Thankfully the instructor caught me before I could high tail it out of the studio 😂 After giving it a go I was hooked! The rest is history 💜
And how did that progress into owning PoleGearNZ?
This is the coolest story ever! I was working part time for Plunket and attending my weekly pole classes. Like a big chunk of my customers I had spent a fair amount of time in my long active wear shorts and thought it was time to take the plunge, show a bit more booty and get some actual pole shorts.
PoleGearNZ had been around for about 9 months and was still owned by Kirsty (the creator of PoleGearNZ). I jumped online and purchased a pair Bad Kitty Competition Shorts - Bad Kitty being the OG of Pole Wear. I thought the shorts were a bit small (turns out they weren’t, it was me freaking out the lack of material compared to my normal shorts!) so went to visit PoleGearNZ to exchange them.
Long Story short, Kirsty and I got talking, turns out PoleGearNZ was getting a bit busy for her with their other businesses. I let her know that if she ever wanted to sell up, I would be interested. By the end of the day she had messaged me back and within a couple of months I was the proud new owner of PoleGearNZ!!! Seriously!
In February it will have been 5 years since I took over and I still love my job, business and customers as much today as I did the day I took over 💜💜💜
Lastly, you do some pretty awesome stuff for the pole community, tell us about that?
From the very beginning we always said if you support PoleGearNZ, we will support the Community. We always make sure we sponsor and support as many pole and aerial events as we can - competitions, showcases, studio events, anything!
We are always on the lookout for organizers to support and I always consider anything that comes across my desk. Yes, it gets our name out there but it is more than that. Growing an industry takes time and money and giving back to events through sponsorship and prizes is our way of doing our little bit to help 💜
Underneath that it is a perfect opportunity for us to connect with you! Sponsoring our industry and attending these events give me a chance to meet my customers, learn who they are and share in their stories and experiences. There's really nothing better than coming along to an event and getting a chance to stand around with a wine or get chatting over the pop-up shop!
Outside of our community we do like to give back to charity and allow our customers to help out as well. Our charity of choice at the moment is women's refuge and customers can add a donation onto their order.