Virgin StartUp of the week: ZAAZEE


We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson? This week, Deborah Todd, founder of ZAAZEE tells us about her sportswear brand.

Richard B in lift

Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does

ZAAZEE is a brand new women’s gymwear brand. We have launched it online with an initial collection of leggings, tops, bra tops and accessories in a fabulous material called Supplex from INVISTA. For technical geeks, that’s pretty interesting. It means it’s good stuff. It’s not cheap thin fabric, it’s not throwaway fast fashion, it’s thick, enduring and very exciting, it’s great for cooler climates, like the UK. It hugs your body, it’s breathable and most importantly it’s a fantastic material to perform in.


Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?

ZAAZEE is an online business and actually based in Manchester (A city with the best sports facilities in the World for an urban area with less than one million population)

As a business I’m constantly on the go and getting out there, I love travelling and meeting new people and going to gyms is fantastic to meet customers and show them ZAAZEE. Plus I love working out, so I’m often found putting the fabric gear to good use.

Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?

We want to get under the skin of fitness enthusiasts and people who use the gyms and train regularly. We are doing lots of pop-ups across the UK and spreading the word about the quality of ZAAZEE using trainers and serious gym goers as advocates. We want to start with our core range and grow this collection and develop more interesting garments in more colours, cuts and styles.

Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?

Sportswear is growing at a face pace, there seems to be new brands popping up all the time offering women even greater choice.

Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?

ZAAZEE delivers great quality sporting garments to people who love to workout and who love fitness and sports, we want to have fun while we are doing it. At ZAAZEE we work hard to deliver a fantastic quality product with a good service.

Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?

I’ve always loved working in retail and sports and I felt there was a gap in the market for something even more exciting for women. We are not throw-away fast fashion, we offer quality and being a Manchester brand we feel being in the hub of so many sports, this is the place to do it.

Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?

We have initially received £5,000 but hope to receive more following our sales progress.

Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?

Ensuring we make quality products is the secret and growing our current database of customers.
I want to continue to invest in great fitting garments in a variety of colours.

Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp Mentor?

Philip Trelease

Floor 9 to 10 – What’s your workspace like? (send us a pic from your phone)


Floor 10 to 11 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?

If all goes to plan, we’d like to increase the amount of styles and colours as well as grow our audience. We have huge growth plans, we want to get really involved in sports and encourage our audience to get more active, take part and enjoy doing new stuff.
Wanting to have an office – it’s really hard to differentiate between home and work sometimes, so am really keen to make that happen fast.

Selling globally we have lots of friends around the globe and we’d like ZAAZEE to be in some of the fab cities, San Francisco, Cape Town, Melbourne, Miami, Toronto and of course not forgetting Edinburgh etc.

To find out more about ZAAZEE visit their website, or connect on Twitter and Facebook. ZAAZEE are based in Manchester and worked with our partner BBV to qualify for funding.