Yogi Bare is the PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION of the concept of yoga being for everybody and every body.
I wanted to develop a range of eco-sensitive products with accessible price points after seeing a slight shift in a strand of yoga defined by elitism, body image and extreme practices, all of which can be alienating. I wanted to bring some fun, inclusivity and cheeky joy to a world that can sometimes seem difficult to access. The name isn’t just a fun play on words but the Bare is symbolic of the eco credentials and a sense of stripping back.
How did it all begin?
Yogi Bare was born out of putting the little monster called “self doubt” on my knee and asking it; Why did you feel so insecure in that Yoga Workshop? And then giving that monster enough confidence to turn into a rebel! I remember being so excited to attend a yoga weekend workshop, I was so nervous as I was attending alone and at the time was relatively new to yoga and didn’t have any friends who were into it.
What sets your business apart?
Yogi Bare mats are crafted from sustainable and biodegradable materials and non toxic, water based inks. We’ve spent time visiting our factory to not only meet our standards but also in spending time you see the actual process of manufacture first hand and most importantly,
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
One of our mission statements is Yoga for everybody and every body. If Yoga translates as Union we believe that the brands who operate within the sector should stand for unity and accessibility – from our marketing and messaging and partners
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
I want to be at the forefront of the slow consumption movement. To me this means making considered, conscious consumer choices and trusting in a brand crafted to have a longer lifespan than other products in the same category. I believe there’s an intrinsic link between mental health and consumerism. We all have a hole inside us
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
The Planet, what else is there?
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
My dad, the most gentle and brave man I know recently told me that when he left for Canada age 17 without a clue, just the desire to see and experience he had to inspire himself. I love that idea of finding inspiration within yourself. It means you are really connected and cool with who you are.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
For me it’s not the big outrageous things like creating a mat as part of Equinox NYC Frieze Art Fair collaboration or creating Mats for the Above & Beyond album launch. I mean they are cool but when complete its always on to the next thing. Its actually the real friendships that have been born through the brand. Something you can’t buy. Something real.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
Do not ignore the gut instinct! From bad boys to bad decisions in business. If it doesn’t feel right initially it never will be right.
Best piece of advice you have received?
You are not an island – the minute you stop trying to do it all and isolate yourself, the minute you play into your skills but recognise the skills of others and let them in to help, the game changes.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Share. Open up. Be honest. As soon as you let that wall down you’ll find other women that say “Hey I feel like that too!” and then you find your people. You have each others backs. Sign up to everything. Go to talks/meet ups. If you can’t find them why not start your own?
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
Private investment because I found someone who believed in me and someone who is a great mentor. We learn from each other daily.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
Everything with Yogi Bare is a first for me. As soon as you stop using the word challenge and see it as a chance to learn, something shifts and it doesn’t feel like a struggle rather something exciting.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
No change ever happened solo. Together we do incredible things.