How to Hustle your way to your own Brand: The Vegan Fashionista

If any fashion graduates are looking for an inspirational story about hustling your way to launching your own brand, this is it.

Suzie is the designer and creator behind Velvet Heartbeat, your go-to New Zealand brand for vegan handbags made from deadstock and offcuts.

We’d describe Suzie’s style as chic noir with a dash of sass. She’s kind-hearted but staunchly bad-ass when it comes to the values behind her brand. 


Suzie studied at New Zealand Fashion Tech, then spent a few years interning for free with high-profile New Zealand brands to build up her experience and contacts. She also secured paid work as a machinist and assisting a jeweler. 

One day Suzie’s hustling paid off. She got a call to work as a costume machinist for a film production, where she got to hone her skills under the best artists in the country. She then worked for a high-end New Zealand bridal company. 


All this hustling led Suzie to pick up valuable skills, including her ability to work with leather on the TV show The Shannara Chronicles. She was then in the perfect place to create her own range of bags using vegan textiles. Velvet Heartbeat was always the one.

 Suzie reminds and inspires us to question everything and shop accordingly. Small easy increments to make positive change is more achievable than changing your life overnight.

Thank you Suzie for sharing your story with us. 

- The Good Blog