Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
Hi, I’m Rika and I’m a yoga teacher. One day in class I pretty much wondered, why only yoga leggings are colorful. That’s when my partner and I decided to design and create eye-pleasing and functional yoga mats.
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
We sell natural rubber yoga mats, that have a microfiber top layer. The functionality is great, they get grippier the more you sweat, basically an all in one yoga mat. Everyone who has taken a yoga class before knows there is nothing more frustrating than a slippery yoga mat and a wrinkled towel. We design all our yoga mats together. Mostly I paint and my partner arranges them digitally. There are many techniques that we use, from Shibori tie-dye, to watercolor painting, to acryl pouring.
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
The most challenging aspect is definitely time management. As a person who is much more interested in designing, the backend and administrative work took a while to get used to. But honestly, it was just a matter of necessity.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I enjoy most, that you can structure your day the way you want to. But it is equally hard that some people think, it means being totally free while not putting in as many hours. It takes a lot of self-discipline to organize and give your own business a structure and most of the time there are so many hours that go into it. While social media makes it all seem like a dream job.
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
Do not think too small at the beginning, you are not annoying people with your ideas. If you do, they will let you know.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
Everything! But mostly travels, which are hard at the moment.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
My partner has been a freelance filmmaker and photographer for many years, so I learned the most from him.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
I would say hearsay, friends recommendations, yoga students that love the product, and of course social media. We use Instagram a lot and try to make the pictures we use as relatable as possible.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Knowing your mission and then it is just a matter of understanding online shops, marketing, photography really.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
To me, success is if someone asks for one of our products as a birthday gift or as a Christmas gift. If people can see how much love we put into every design.
And of course freedom someday, we are not quite there yet tho…
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Asana. Just like any other workday, a lot of mails, computer hours. It is hard to find time to be creative!
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
Well, we are just starting to focus on ads. I formerly wasn’t a big fan of it. But actually, it is a good thing to be able to show people your product.
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