Member success story:

Nimble Activewear


Vera Yan and Katia Santilli

Nimble Activewear

“Having cash flow allowed us to refocus our

distribution strategy. It’s setting us up for growth”

A Qantas Points earning business card is helping this Australian activewear brand conquer the globe.

As teenagers at Methodist Ladies’ College in Melbourne, best friends Vera Yan and Katia Santilli never dreamt of starting a business together. Even when Santilli (who was managing merchandise at Burberry in London) and Yan (a lawyer) started devising a workout-wear collection, a mentor told them their online-only brand was a “hobby” rather than a business.

But in 2016, they moved operations out of their home office/warehouse, opened their first store in Sydney’s Bondi and invested in digital marketing. Nimble Activewear was a business, alright. The duo opened a second store in Melbourne and planned another for Brisbane.

Then COVID-19 hit, wholesalers cancelled orders and Nimble retail stores closed temporarily. Santilli and Yan needed to rethink the ways they reached their customers and they needed to act fast. “We really capitalised on our online retail, pulling resources and team members from other areas of the business,” says Santilli, who leads the design, merchandising and retail side of Nimble.


“For the first time ever, we’ve seen the potential in our online business with a bellyful of inventory,” adds Yan, who’s responsible for marketing, digital and financial operations.

They allocated more resources to their customer care team as volumes increased online and the pair are now more reactive as they closely track their digital media spend. Their American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card proved essential in funding that digital marketing, providing flexibility and unlocking cash flow.


The business earns up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent^ with the Card and its founders plan to use the points to visit factories in Taiwan and launch activations in Singapore once international travel resumes.

In 2021, factors such as freight costs remain a challenge but the friends have discovered what they and their team are capable of. “Resilience in tricky times is really about communication,” says Santilli. “You may all be working from home but you’re still working together.”

What's next for Nimble Activewear?

  • Reset

    As travel resumes, Katia Santilli and Vera Yan plan to open a Brisbane store, spend time with their team in Melbourne, visit manufacturing partners in Taiwan and build on their marketing in Singapore and London. “We have a lot of trips planned,” says Yan, adding they’ll save on travel using points earned with their American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card.

  • Reward

    Nimble uses an American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card because it has one of the highest points earn rates in the market. “We use it to fund our digital spend and have up to 51 days to pay for purchases on the Card,” says Yan.

  • Thrive

    Ever since their school days they’ve been known as “Katia and Vera” – one unit, a team. And it’s still the secret to their success. “We have the same vision,” says Yan, “but we look after different parts of the business, where our skill sets and interests lie.”

Earn Qantas Points with the American Express® Business Rewards Card

Earn up to 1.25 Qantas Points per dollar spent on everyday business spend, uncapped.^

^Qantas Points are earned in accordance with and subject to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and ConditionsOpens external site. Your business will earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 of everyday spend, which does not include annual fees, late payment fee, fees and charges for travellers cheques and foreign currencies. Your business will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent at participating merchants classified as "utilities" including gas, water and electricity providers; "government" including the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Postal Corporation, federal/state and local government bodies; and "insurance" excluding insurances offered by American Express. Your business will earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on the following Qantas Products and Services purchased on the Qantas merchant account (i.e. directly from Qantas): Qantas passenger flights (with a QF flight number), Qantas Holidays, Qantas Branded non-airfare products, and Qantas Frequent Flyer and Qantas Club membership joining and annual fees. Excludes Jetstar. For the full list of exclusions, please refer to the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card Points Terms and ConditionsOpens external site.

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