Well…in all fairness, ALL WOMEN are nominated and celebrated annually on March 8th which is International Women’s Day. BUT, every year I call out the women who are currently inspiring me, blowing my mind in real time and motivating me to be better. Thank you to adidas for sponsoring this feature on Mizzfit.com and being a leader in the movement to empower girls and women across the globe. These are the women that ignite the unstoppable feminine power inside of me.
My girlfriends Niki Cheng and Pettie TekYe Chong are sisters. Can you tell? Their energy as individual women is infectious and their warmth together as sisters is so admirable. This is why I love being around them!
When the 3 of us are together, we’re literally an ideas factory and have worked collaboratively to help each others businesses succeed. Niki & Pettie are always up for joining forces, like we did here for this adidas 3-stripes shoot.
I met Niki Cheng (in the blue adidas 3-Stripes Shorts on right) after hearing her speak on a Female Entrepreneurship panel in Manhattan. There were a lot of heavy hitters at this panel, including Randi Zuckerberg. Listening to Niki tell her story about how she made it in the United States after immigrating from Malaysia and opening up luxury furniture stores was really inspiring to me. My mother also immigrated to the US at a similar age to Niki and was also an ambitious entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to chat with Niki after the panel and learn more about her. She had also mentioned during the panel that she’s a fitness fanatic and does yoga every day. I mean, I was SOLD. I needed to befriend this incredible woman STAT (as the Millenials say).
From that day on, Niki became a real friend in more ways that I can even begin to describe here. We practiced yoga together, went to events together and shared all kinds of personal contacts and resources to help grow our businesses. Then one day, I met her sister, Pettie (pictured in the orange shorts). Niki pulled me aside at an event she had invited me to at her Calligaris furniture store in Soho and said, “I have to introduce you to my sister. She’s starting a bodysuit line and I know you love bodysuits.”
Literally “bodysuits” was all she needed to say to me. I live in bodysuits. They’re a staple piece for every outfit I wear. I’m obsessed with them…I can’t have enough of them. And sure enough, Pettie was in the midst of launching not one but two bodysuit apparel collections called Body Suits Me and Wantsuit. Pettie and I immediately bonded over our shared love of bodysuits but also our shared positions in life of being self-employed business women. The friendship grew from there…
Fast forward to TODAY, Niki and Pettie are like sisters to ME! We love to help one another. No questions asked. Furthering each other’s businesses to bring about new fruitful opportunities is our priority. I believe I can speak for them in saying we realize the importance of understanding each other’s goals but also boosting each other up in healthy ways. This includes showing up for each other, breaking a sweat together, and ALWAYS keeping our environment and company 100% positive.
I have noticed that I’m closest to the friends that I share fitness with, whether it’s a cardio walk or intense HIIT class. The commonality of wellness and physical exertion seems to bring us closer together. Sometimes when you sweat together with friends it’s almost like you’ve cried together—it can be extremely bonding.
In a place like New York City, downtime is important too. With all the events we attend and networking we do, sometimes you only end up seeing your friends “out” and not in a more intimate setting where you can really catch up on each other’s lives. This is far too often the case in my friendships. I’m drawn to how Niki and Pettie convert their friends to family status, and invite you to their home and small get-togethers. Sometimes you just need to sit on the floor, eat Asian chips (even if you're not sure what's in them) and laugh together. By the way, these last 3 shots weren’t staged. They’re candids taken by photographer Alla Ready after our shoot. But I wanted to share them because they’re the real deal.
What drives these 2 ladies as businesswomen? When I asked Niki she said: “I have the opportunity to be help people furnish their beautiful homes, and I specifically like to help women find their true potential. This could happen through interior decorating or just being in the presence of other accomplished women. That’s why I love planning events that bring women together to create a powerful force.” Niki is offering a special 25% discount on all full price products during IWD weekend at her Calligaris stores to celebrate this special day. Use code IWDbianca.
Pettie also answered my question and shared the following: “I created a brand that specializes in the most essential garment for every woman, the bodysuit. Being a badass woman comes from feeling sexy in your skin and confident in the clothes you use to express yourself. I like being a part of this special day!” And to commemorate it, she’s offering a discount of 25% off and free shipping at BodySuitsMe.com with code BiancaJ25.
During New York Fashion Week ss2020, Pettie debuted her line of bodysuits on gender-fluid models of varying body types and skin colors. “It was empowering to watch different kinds of women modeling my designs and inspiring my customer base which I envision to be eclectic and diverse.”
Niki, Pettie and I are all wearing the adidas 3-Stripes Shorts in Bluebird, Scarlet and Flash Orange. It’s a really cute and colorful retro style short that we paired with matching white bodysuit from Pettie’s Body Suits Me. The sporty and flirty look is completed with Solid Crew Socks that hit just below the knee. (I especially love this sock style in the highlighter yellow and orange 3-stripes.) When I was planning this shoot, I wanted to showcase the casual yet silly vibe that defines my friendship with these two amazing ladies…and I think I nailed it.
March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD) around the world. I’ll be celebrating it all week on my social media pages at @BiancaJade @Mizzfit.Bianca.Jade and @Mizzfit, highlighting extraordinary woman. Adidas will be doing the same through their She Breaks Barriers initiative. If you’re a coach, trainer, mentor or somehow connected to youth education and sport, definitely check out the curriculum and take the free course courtesy of adidas.
Please leave your comments, questions and support for IWD below! Thank you for the read :) XO, Bianca Jade