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When we met up with Zoë Zenklusen Payne (left), the founder of Simply Zoë, we were inspired. The bravery and dedication merited an article and hopefully will help someone else in the same situation. We asked Zoë to answer a few questions and she has even kindly offered a Fr. 30.- voucher to use on her website to one of our readers. Read below to find out how to enter the competition.

Why did you start? What has been the inspiration?
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, I noticed that there wasn’t much choice for the specialist items you require during treatment and recovery, especially, at the time there was not a large choice for post-surgical lingerie. Having a mastectomy is an amputation and clearly changes your body and leads to a lack of confidence. It somehow didn’t seem fair that there were barely any pretty, sexy and feminine options available. Wearing something resembling a sports bra doesn’t help with confidence issues! I had an immediate reconstruction, so I was able to continue wearing “normal” bras, but the underwire is extremely uncomfortable now, so I began the search for gorgeous wire free options and really came up short.

I stumbled across a brand in Australia that had been designed and produced by a breast cancer survivor who started her own post-surgical lingerie business after her own disappointing experience of not being able to find beautiful post-surgical options. As often happens in the cancer world, you often find an immediate connection with someone, and my order of a bra led to her asking me to become a brand ambassador, which led to me starting Simply Zoë as a one stop shop for items that women need during treatment and recovery, but with the emphasis being on sexy, feminine and pretty.


Zoë and Sarah

Have you been working on this idea forever, or was it something that came to you recently?
My best friend Sarah de Rivaz has her own small business in Valais, Vachement Suisse. Unfortunately, I am not the only person in her life dealing with breast cancer, and she was keen to find a way to support cancer research through her business. The shocking statistic that, according to www.cancer.org, 1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females will develop cancer in their lifetime means that there are very few of us who are not touched by cancer in some way. She asked me if it was something that I would like to work on with her and our FEARLESS. collaboration was born.

We wanted to produce inspirational t-shirts that anyone could wear, not just resonating with people who have cancer. We settled on the word FEARLESS. because we felt that it was a great way for anyone to face their fears with strength and integrity. To be fearless is not about showing a lack of fear, but rather being able to acknowledge it is ok to have worries and concerns, to be scared or nervous. Approaching your fears with confidence and intelligence is to be fearless.

We had such a wonderful response that over time we added a long sleeve t-shirt, a hoodie, and a unisex option so that men could also join our FEARLESS. tribe. In line with my logo and the symbolism butterflies have of strength and endurance, we worked with a local artist to create our own unique butterfly design which we now have in t-shirts for women and children, women’s tank tops and baby onesies. For us, a butterfly is FEARLESS. and fits well with our brand. A percentage of all sales are donated to cancer associations and charities. We support not just research which is so important to improve quality and longevity of life, but also the charities that support cancer patients and their families.


What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
The biggest obstacle would be marketing and it is certainly an ongoing obstacle. I come from a corporate background in the financial sector, working in financial crime. I have no previous experience of running a business and knowing how to get the word out and reach the masses is definitely the biggest challenge.

Where do you see this company going? What are your plans for the future?
We want to continue fighting for a cancer free future and want to reach more and more people to get the word out about FEARLESS. The more people we can reach, the more items we can sell, the more we can add to our line with the ultimate goal of being able to donate as much money as possible to cancer associations and charities and raising cancer awareness. I’m 7 years into this incurable journey and I realise now how little I knew about cancer before and the misconceptions people have. I have just finished two sets of radio therapy in the last few weeks and am currently on chemo. Anyone looking at me wouldn’t realise I was sick, let alone living with incurable cancer.


What is your favorite product you offer and why?
Without a doubt, the FEARLESS. t-shirt. It was our first product of the collaboration and therefore, my baby. It epitomises everything we wanted to achieve and gives me focus and direction when I am dealing with the difficult times that cancer brings.

All of the products outside of the FEARLESS. collection are sourced from other businesses. With the exception of the accessories, all of the other businesses are women-owned and started because of their own cancer (usually breast) experiences. I wanted to be sure that I showcased products that were made by people that really understood the needs and of course they are all beautiful, to make the cancer warrior feel good about themselves.


What others are saying about Simply Zoë

“The T-shirt is simply perfect for my weekly cardio-boxing/kickboxing class, in fact, I may adopt it as my uniform. It fits perfectly, looks good and is made of super soft material, what's not to love?!” Viviane H
“The Fearless t-shirts are amazing - so soft and inspiring!” Lauren L

button competition150Simply Zoë is kindly offering one lucky knowitall.ch reader a voucher worth Fr. 30.- to be used on the website. Just fill out this form and answer this question: Which word has inspired Zoë the most?

Only one entry per email is allowed. The competition closes at midnight on Thursday, 5 May 2022. The names of all those submitting correct answers will be placed into the digital hat and the winner's name drawn at random on Friday, 6 May 2022. The winner will be notified by email. No cash equivalent of prizes is permitted.

Simply Zoë
A percentage of all FEARLESS. sales are donated to cancer research!