Natalie Procter, founder of New Zealand label Mina, announces that she will be closing her beloved brand’s doors

1 March 2024
By Fashion Quarterly

Founder Natalie Procter speaks with FQ on her decision to pivot following her brand's most successful season yet.

Natalie Procter, founder and designer of New Zealand clothing label Mina, has decided to close its Grey Lynn store doors after six years in business to focus on her health.

The indefinite break follows the sustainable brand’s most successful season yet, providing Procter with a considered pause to turn her attention to her health which – she shares exclusively with Fashion Quarterly – has been all consuming for the designer.

In 2021, Procter discovered that she had a malignant ovarian tumour that eventually required operations to remove her ovary. “I’ve had a few health challenges that have resulted in a couple of surgeries which have impacted my fertility,” says the designer.

Though transparency has always been a core value for Mina, Procter chose not to speak publicly about her health struggles until recently, to avoid blurring the lines between her life and the brand.

“As I look forward, having a family is a main priority for me and I want to ensure that I’m healthy and ready for that next step,” she says. “So this is the main reason why I’ve decided that now is the time for me to take a break.”

Reflecting on the business, which she has lovingly grown and run with her mother Michelle Procter, has left the designer feeling proud of what they have achieved together. 

“Opening a store in the midst of Covid was a pretty ballsy decision when I look back now, but at the time it happened really organically,” she explains.

“I guess when you’re working, you’re just so in it and it kind of just becomes your norm, so you don’t quite step back and appreciate that you’re working with your mum,” she explains. “When I’m older, I’m going to look back on it and think, wow, that was such a special [experience] that the two of us started this brand together.” 

Procter, who admittedly launched her brand naively straight out of university, has no regrets about starting Mina. “Running a business takes a hundred percent of you all the time,” she says. “You’re always working because it’s your business and at the end of the day you get out what you put in.”

“Had I known what I was getting myself into, I probably wouldn’t have started,” she says. “So I think going in that way was probably the best way to do it.” 

Beginning in the downstairs room of her parent’s Auckland home, Mina’s first ‘proper’ studio and showroom opened on Karangahape Road in 2018, affording Procter the space to design and dispatch from. Featuring an apartment and co-working space, this location helped finance Mina into its next phase. “At one point, I was managing four tenants living upstairs and five design businesses in the co-working space so it was a huge learning and growing up for me, I was 23 years old at the time.

The Mina store, situated in Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland’s central Grey Lynn suburb has been a fulfilling pursuit for Procter. “Finding the right girls who really championed the brand and shared the same values as me was so amazing,” she says. “We’ve built a really lovely community in Grey Lynn – it’s going to be quite sad to leave.”

But as the old adage goes, the closure of this particular set of glass doors will, in turn, open the doors to Procter’s next chapter at her home in Mount Maunganui : getting her health in order in preparation for her family.

“It’s been a 24/7 grind,” she says.“I haven’t given myself the opportunity to build a life here really, and I’m just gonna see what naturally unfolds and if it feels right to come back into the industry at some point, I will.”

Mina’s closure day will be March 24, 2024.

Shop Mina’s final sale

As part of the closure process, Mina will hold a ‘one last sale’ on March 9-10, 2024 at Pocket Bar in Grey Lynn – just around the corner from Mina’s boutique.

Simultaneously, the Mina boutique will be hosting a workroom sale in their upstairs studio selling past and current season fabrics along with sewing essentials, including buttons, zippers, threads and fusing.

Fans of the brand will be able to stock up on Mina’s timeless, high-quality pieces made from
natural fabrics for one last time – and there will be plenty from past seasons as well as the latest release.

9th – 10th March, 2024

  • Shop the Mina sale at Pocket Bar, 592 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
  • Shop the Workroom sale at Mina Boutique 600 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Mina ahead of New Zealand Fashion Week, 2019. Supplied.

Words: Amberley Colby, Louise Dunn
Images: Supplied


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