Friday, July 23, 2010

Healthy Can Be Beautiful

A member of my Etsy team has a shop Flow Yoga Mats with very different and beautiful products.  Now I know you say healthy and we all think wheat germ but this shop will surprise you.  The following is an interview with the owner Megan.

I knew Megan did yoga and asked if that is what started her mat painting and she explained that most mats were just solid colors but she wanted something more personal.  She painted her first mat with an Om symbol, a yin yang and a Virgo which is her sign.  It was not her intention at the start to start a business but a friend who taught her yoga asked her to paint one for her.  She also told her she should do them and sell them online, that's when the research started.  She found not to many people sell hand painted mats online and if they did they were very over priced.

My favorite                                Megan's favorite
                    


Above is my favorite design from the shop but Megan also does custom mats.  She has done mats from her drawings and from ideas the customer has come up with.  The customer has the option on her web site  of color, design and size.  Below are examples of custom designs

                                                


You stated that you have branched out from your mats to make a total yoga shop not just a mat shop.  The other items do bring an extra dimension to your shop.  The items include yoga straps and blocks and most recently your hand stamped jewelry and key chains.  The jewelry is interesting because it is not just yoga but encouraging words we all hear often.  The pieces below show some of the words from yoga and other sources you have chosen.


     
                      

When asked what her favorite thing to create was she said it was a toss up between the mats and the jewelry.  Her reasons most of us can understand.  She loves to paint so the mats are really it and she feel like her heart and soul is in every one she paints.  However, there is this thing most people have about I wan it now and the speed with which she can create her jewelry gives her that.




Although Megan has her own website http://www.flowyogamats.com/ that and Etsy are her main venues.  In the past she tried craft show but found her mats were not a good fit there.  So she chose Etsy because she had heard great things about it.  Before she started selling online she had asked to get other peoples opinion a most said she should try Etsy.  There is also the money issue for starting a small business she didn't have a lot of money for start up and Etsy makes it easy.  She also tried Ebay but found it also wasn't a good fit. 




Etsy provides a lot of help for new sellers one of which is local and global teams.  Megan joined the Eastern Washington Team and would recommend that anyone starting join a team.  She said when you are new being on a team allows you to ask stupid questions without feeling stupid.  She feels like a part of a family on this team because they have been so supportive.


I asked Megan to talk about what has contributed to her success on Etsy and she had a lot to share.  "I think the biggest factor that has helped me be a success on Etsy is the fact that no one else is hand painting mats.   I'm the only one.  So, I think that has helped me a lot.  Also, I think they are unique and different and people like that."  She had good advice for someone just starting out and the number one priority she said was "take great pictures".  As she explained when someone shops on Etsy (her husband says she does to much of this) the first thing you look at is that thumbnail picture, if it is not great or different from the rest who is going to click on it to see your work.  Her second point was to be patient specially when you are in a market with many sellers.  To get your work out there start a facebook page, a twitter account, a blog and any other accounts that  will get your name out there.  A final point is to always have your business cards on hand because you never know who you might start talking to when you are out.



Along with all Megan has done in creating her business there are other achievements in her life.  She is first a wife and mother which is more than a full time job.   She has had an article written about her mats in the Spokane Journal of Business, worked with one of local kids yoga studios teaching them to paint their mats and has been the designer/painter of a local studio's full mat line.  Be sure to visit Flow Yoga Mats and pick up your personal favorite.

  

4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for featuring me. You did a fantastic job!

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  2. Great feature! I just love Megan's mats and jewelry! She is so talented!

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  3. Wonderful feature... So good to get to know Megan a bit more! Great Share!!!!

    ReplyDelete