What is Downward Dog Club’s mission statement?
Irish, Funky, Sustainable and Stylish Exercise Mats.
Where did you get the inspiration for your brand?
During the start of lockdown, whilst I was finishing my final year dissertation I found home-workouts were a great escape from the reality of Covid-19. My sitting room was transformed into a home-gym and really was my happy place. However, the one downfall of this happy place was my exercise mat. Every time I would work out my mat would bunch up, slip across the floor, offer poor support and in general was just a mucky old mat that had seen better days.
I began to look for a high-quality, sustainable, stylish and affordable mat but found there wasn’t really anything in the Irish market. This was a lightbulb moment for me as I felt there was an opportunity for a business like this in Ireland, especially with digital home workouts on the rise. A few months down the line, Downward Dog was born! Downward Dog offers a range of funky, sustainable and stylish exercise mats. These mats come in a range of colours and designs which I have designed myself.
What’s your favourite product of yours?
We have two types of mats on offer which are The Vegan Suede Mat and The Natural Rubber Mat. From The Vegan suede mat range, I love the Lovely Leopard because it is just so out there and funky, and from The Natural Rubber Mat range, I think the Black Natural Rubber Mat is my favourite. They are complete opposites but they are both the type of mat I had always been looking for.
What are some of your favourite brands in your industry?
Some of my favourite brands are Sweaty Betty, Lululemon and a Canadian Yoga mat Brand called sugarmat!
In your opinion, what has been the biggest innovation within your sector in the last few years?
In the last few years there has been a great focus on making exercise mats more eco-freindly. Consumers now have a greater understanding of what is good and bad for our planet and are moving away from PVC mats. Within the exercise mat sector, there are more sustainable options on the market and people are happy to invest in a higher quality, eco-friendly mat and I think this is wonderful!
What has running your own business taught you?
In my first month of running my own business I have learnt a lot. I think one of the biggest things I have learnt whilst creating this business and launching is is how to manage my time effectively and have realised that time is money. If it wasn’t for lockdown and all my spare time, my business wouldn’t be here today so in a sense I am grateful for the free time I had to firstly come up with my business idea, market research and build the brand. I have also seen how the more time, effort and passion that go into something, the more you will get out of it. I will take these learnings with in building my business and into the future.
What do you think is the next big thing in the world of health and wellness?
I think that the closure of gyms has really made people come back to the basics and focus on simple movement, stretching, flexibility and body-weight workouts. I think the shift towards home-workouts has really made people realise how much can be achieved with so little.
In terms of the next big thing in the world of health and wellness, I think that at-home coaching, classes and home-equipment are going to continue to grow beyond lockdown, as I think that people have now learnt to effectively workout at home and reaped the benefits of exercising in the comfort of their own home.
Find out more about Downward Dog Club on www.downwarddogclub.com.