Some people end up in entrepreneurship. Others, like McKenna Haz, founder of SEAAV, are born for it.
Haz’s passion for entrepreneurship started at a young age when she knew early on that she wanted to become a successful businesswoman, just like her mother.
“It is almost within my DNA,” Haz said, “I was born into entrepreneurship. It’s in my blood.”
Her company, which started as SEAAV Athletics, is a clothing company with a sustainable twist. The company began during Haz’s freshman year at Quinnipiac University when she found inspiration to work on her passion project during her intro to business class. SEAAV, which she calls, “her baby,” is a culmination of her love for the ocean, fitness and fashion.
Growing up in Shawinigan Lake, British Columbia, just a short drive away from the Pacific, Haz’s connection to the ocean runs deep. When she began creating her company, she knew she wanted to be able to give back to the planet– especially the ocean that has been a part of her for her whole life.
“[SEAAV] removes a pound of waste from the ocean with every purchase,” Haz said. “My goal is to remove 1 million bottles of plastic from our shorelines by 2025.”
Along with its mission to clean the oceans, SEAAV stands apart from other athletic wear companies as one with sustainability at its core. Its products feature recycled plastics and responsibly sourced materials for products with a low impact on the environment.
Women Supporting Women
Support is important when creating a company from the ground up, and Haz has found that by surrounding herself with fellow women in business. After founding her business, Haz joined a networking community for women just like herself and it has helped not only her business, but herself to thrive.
“I’ve been able to surround myself with other like-minded women which has been very important and empowering,” Haz said. “I’m a part of the woman business entrepreneurship network community and SEAAV is a woman-owned certified business. That has let me be a part of a community that has let me network and has allowed so many doors to open.”
SEEAV is currently in a transformative stage as it undergoes a rebranding from its former name SEAVV Athletics. The change comes as Haz begins to introduce new products beyond athletic clothing, such as swimwear, cover-up and loungewear. These products, of course, will follow suit with the sustainability-focused materials just like its athletic wear.
Along with expanding her offered products, Haz is working to expand the company as well. She is currently seeking retail partners to showcase her products, as well as wholesale partners to help her product hit the shelves. Internal expansion has also been a focus. Along with hiring a marketing agency to help, Haz recently hired new staff, including public relations staff and social media manager.
“We just opened up to investors, and there’s a few potentially jumping on board next month,” Haz said. “The goal is to become a full e-commerce and B2B business and grow wholesale relationships alongside our brand.”
Advice for Women Entrepreneurs
Starting on a new path and creating a business from scratch is a daunting process for anyone, but Haz offers advice to help women interested in starting their entrepreneurial journey.
“It is important to follow your heart and have confidence within yourself,” Haz said. “I think the biggest thing for women specifically is insecurities of what others think and judgment of doing your own thing or of something you created. Casting aside self-doubt is so important and finding belief in yourself and trusting your gut, intuition, and instinct and to go full force with your idea if it is truly what you want to do.”
Currently, with financial pressures and life still reeling from COVID-19, it’s harder than ever to start a business. Haz believes however that with every step back, there are great opportunities as well; it’s just a matter of finding them and having the confidence to take advantage of them.
“Even if it doesn’t mean starting your business right now, start networking because you never know who you are going to meet,” Haz said. “You never know who the universe is going to align you with. Networking is fundamentally key.”
Follow McKenna Along Her Journey
To learn more about SEAAV Athletics, visit their website linked here.
Or, follow them on Instagram @Seaavision