Your Yoga Mat came about as a result of quest to find the perfect gift. One of our founders (Jeremy) was looking for a gift. The friend he was looking to find a gift for had recently found a new passion practising yoga. As a result he wanted to put a personal quote that reflected their friendship on her own personalized Yoga Mat.
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined."
He began his journey to find a company that would be able to put such a quote on a mat. To his dismay, no company offered what he was looking for. It would not be until two years later that this idea would resurface and be the driving force behind our company.
The Starting Line
It was the end of August 2012. Jeremy's best friend, Greg, had just quit a corporate job in Toronto and drove across the country to meet up with his good friend to begin a new chapter in his life. Greg and Jeremy had always shared a desire to start their own company, but had never had the opportunity to do so. During stories over a fire during a camping trip, Jeremy’s tale of the mat that never happened came back up. They both agreed that the idea might have some legs because there must be other individuals looking for a similar product. And thus, the two friends set out to turn this idea into a reality.
Out of the Gate
Neither Greg or Jeremy had ever started their own business, and the idea of entrepreneurship was unknown territory for both of them. After reading several books on starting a business, the two figured the first step was to develop a working product; consequently, a long journey began on how to actually put a quote on a yoga mat. Let’s just say it didn’t go so well at first...
After extensive research, it was discovered that a heat transfer vinyl material would work. The mat pictures above reflect the testing completed using a vinyl type material. Vinyl provided the desired crisp look; however, in order to apply vinyl to the mat both heat and pressure are required. This resulted in the yoga mat warping. It was once again back to the drawing board...following a number of other attempts and a little inspiration our secret method was developed.
Laying the Foundation:
Now that the two had a final product the torture testing began. Rigorous testing of the mats was done to ensure that they were durable. Once they were satisfied that the product could withstand the rigours to which it would be exposed, the development of the website began. Here is a look at Greg’s first go at making a customizable website (p.s. Greg taught himself how to program—pretty cool!)
During the product development phase of the project, Greg had taught himself web development. They both agreed that they wanted their website to be both simple and unique. Thus, the long days and late nights of coding began.
As time passed, additional mat colors were added and changes to the font types and colours were changed.
Here is a look at the initial stock of supplies that were purchased for the launch of the company.
Prior to the launch of our company we wanted to develop a logo for the business to help differentiate the products that we sold. Below is our development process for the new logo. Note: we can make logos for your companies too!
Our initial thought was to use words in our logo. This quickly changed when we felt that words did not properly represent our brand. After a lot of discussion, we determined that we wanted our logo to be circular in nature. We felt the circle best represented for what our company stood for. After a couple modifications, the final version was created. See the colourized version above which showcases the letter Y, Y and M.
Version 5 of the logo was supposed to represent inspiration but the design left much to be desired. Finally, we determined that we should incorporate the first letters of our company name within the logo (YYM). Our initial design was version 6 which showcased the Y and M. After discussing the logo with my good friend, Mike, on Skype, he sent me version 7 of our design. This draft logo inspired version 8 of the design.
After a couple modifications to Version 8 of the logo our final logo was born. See the colourized version above which showcases the letter Y, Y and M.
The Little Things:
As we approached the launch numerous little items began to arise that kept delaying our launch. I truly believe that the following saying is true that the last 5% of a project always takes the longest. Initially, we expected to launch our company on January 15, 2013. Due to our delays our launch date was postponed until February 11, 2013.
The Next Chapter:
During most of the process of creating the business and over the first year of YourYogaMat’s existence, Greg often consulted with a good friend of his about ideas on how to improve the product and share the inspiration with more people. Greg and Mick had known each other as long as they could both remember and had coincidentally moved out to Alberta within a year of one another. They had often joked about Mick and Sarah helping out with the company, but it took some time for us all to realize that it might just be a great idea!
With more space and time at the location in Edmonton, the operations (manufacturing and shipping) of our products made the short move north to Edmonton where we’re company now operates today. Mick and Sarah now make all of the mats and bags and take care of day-to-day operations of the business. We are happy to announce that we have also started to sell our mats at the farmers market in downtown Edmonton (see below) and are looking to expand both our product line and to other farmers markets in the Edmonton area.