Cianne's boardwear for backflips makes a splash
Published 06/01/2013 | 05:00
Cianne Naji, the daughter of former Horizon Technology boss Samir Naji, knows how to turn adversity into something she loves.
In 2009, Cianne was ranked ninth in the world in wakeboarding – a sport similar to water-skiing but where a board, rather than water skis, is used to ride over the water. Cianne was 18 at the time.
It was at that age that Cianne's cystic fibrosis, with which she had been diagnosed at the age of two, flared up. Determined to stay in the sport in some way, about a year and a half ago, Cianne set up her own business selling sports wear and equipment for wakeboarding.
The business, Breathe Boardwear, designs and sells wakeboard clothing, crash vests and helmets, and colourful shoes.
"I've been very sick over the last two years and the business has been my outlet," said Cianne.
Cianne, who designs clothes for the business, says she makes her clothing bright and bold so that the girls who wakeboard get noticed. "These girls do backflips behind boats – so I think their clothes should represent the extremity of what they do," said Cianne. "The clothes should say 'look at me'."
Cianne hopes wakeboarding will feature in the 2020 Olympics, a development which could also boost sales.
"With all the hype that has been generated around wakeboarding potentially being in the Olympics, I'm hoping that it will make the sport more recognised, more heard of and therefore hopefully more people will try it," said Cianne.
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