Meet Marie-Kristin Krause, founder and designer of Zealous Clothing. I asked her a few questions about herself, the lady behind the brand and what made her start Zealous Clothing.
First a little bit more about yourself.
You grew up in Germany? How did you get in contact with surfing?
I grew up in Hamburg, in the north of Germany, far away from tropical surf spots. But I’ve been snowboarding since I was 10 years old and got in touch with all the big snowboard/surf brands who I also worked for besides school and later University. Their image of traveling and free spirited surfergirls has been etched in my mind and since then I’ve been pursuing this lifestyle. It was my trip to Australia for a school exchange when I was 15 that I actually stood up on a surfboard for the first time in my life.
What's your greatest surfing memory?
Last summer I drove up north to Medewi (Bali) together with my boyfriend. It’s a small and quiet village with a mellow long left hander pointbreak. The waves weren’t too big and therefore superb for log sessions. We stayed for 4 days, shared the waves with no one but us, and surfed endlessly. Once back in Canggu, I didn’t surf for the following weeks because I didn’t want to destroy this almost unreal memory of tropical surf perfection.
Photo by Tom Forward
What or who is your biggest inspiration?
In life, my biggest inspiration is definitely my mum. She’s managing two daughters who decided to live abroad every now and then, a dog, a house and is super successful in her job. Besides all that she always finds time to help me out in the business whenever I need some Mama help. She’s the person who I go to when I need any kind of moral or business advice. Thank you mama!
In surf, my inspirations are lady sliders such as Kelia Moniz and Kassia Meador – always cruising in style.
In work, I don’t have a specific inspiration. I get up every day and try to be the best version of myself and a little bit better than I was yesterday.
Can you tell us a little bit more about Zealous Clothing and surf bikinis..
When did you start your brand and what made you decide to start your own label?
It was not that I planned to start a brand or to become a fashion designer. Ever since I have been doing handicraft – making jewellery, printing my old shirts, sewing and even beading tops and t-shirts by hand. In 2010, just after I finished school, I asked my grandma to teach me how to knit because I wanted to make a beanie for my friend’s birthday. Just for fun I made a little label with Zealous written on, which means to be eager or enthusiastic about something, and sewed it on. At his birthday party I got my first three orders for customised beanies and that’s how Zealous Clothing came to life. Since then many things have changed and my studies of Textile Engineering supplied me with rare know-how, but I always stayed true to myself and design what I want to wear myself.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the design/manufacturing process?
The design process is more like collecting ideas and getting inspired over a period of time. At some point I have to decide which ideas I want to realise and during the sampling process I usually cancel another 1/3 of them. So only the designs which I am 100% sure about, will go into production.
The fabric sourcing, product development, production and quality control takes place in Bali and I can monitor everything quite good. I work together with different manufacturers depending on what products they are spezialised in, and I prefer to work with small family businesses.
The manufacturing process involves a lot of planning up front, regarding fabric pretreatments, dyeing, cutting, sewing, quality control and packing all within the set deadlines. I like to go to the manufacturing places every now and then to check on the progress, quality and happiness of the tailors. When everything is finished, checked and packed, all goods will be shipped to Hamburg.
The very first sketch of the much loved Signature Surfbikini.
What made you decide to move to Bali?
That’s easy to tell – the waves, the production and the palmtrees. And of course the smiles of the Balinese!
Have you had any tough challenges in the process and achievements you’re proud of? People liked to smile at me, at my clothing style and at my way of thinking. But I’m very happy to say that I always followed my heart and still do. If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything you want.
What is in stall for the future of Zealous Clothing?
For the near future I’m planning to extend the existing surfwear range with great new products. For the remote future, I have the vision that Zealous Clothing becomes a brand, that covers all aspects from city life to snowboarding to surf life with products that make a difference in the boardsports industry.
Photo by Bibilissa Photography
Go and check out her versatile mix and match surf bikinis and leggings here.