I have had some amazing support and some fantastic advice from NatWest, Crowdfunder and friends and ...
In light of the fact it is Christmas and everyone has a million financial commitments at the moment I have decided to break down my Crowdfunding targets into bite size chunks.
So my first bite will be £450 this will go towards developing the mat; I will work towards a final prototype with Artworks and samples so I can market a complete design.
I have taken this advice on board and I have translated it into yogi speak....
It is not about touching your toes but about the journey there.
So I have decided to slow the journet, embrace the smaller steps and to breathe.
I recently trained to be a yoga teacher, having worked as an Artist and a Mummy for many years. Whilst doing my Yoga training I realised there was a market for a heated yoga mat. There were some plug in versions available but not portable ones.
Lying on cold village hall floors, or in draughty yurts you begin to realise how many people would benefit from a heated mat! So I started to think....How can you heat a mat?....It would need to be portable so you can take it to the village hall.... It would need to be non-slip to do yoga on...... Quite a lot of poses wouldn't need a heated mat so can you ''turn it off'?
In a flash of inspiration I realised you could use portable heaters within a Mat. Using a removable section to create a 'well' for the heater.
I built a prototype..... but I couldn't make more at my kitchen table and I couldn't make them look "sexy" either.
So, I did a bit more research and found Ross Thurlow at Technical Foam Services, a fantastic manufacturer in Corby, who took my original protype and gave it a make-over.
I got to try so many different types of foam... I think the team there thought I was mad... I kept doing downward dog on the different rubbers and foams to find the best non-slip ones.
But we found a fantastic mix that is both insulating and non-slip and has the added advantage that the surface can be printed on. (This is important when you are an artist.... It means you can do limited edition runs of bespoke designs!- so exciting!).
I have developed the design so that it can have a variety of heaters inside - heat and click is my preferred but it could hold microwave packs which could be used with aromatherapy for a more immersive experience. (The mat would be supplied with a heat in a click heat pad, unless a microwave pack was requested).
I will work with Technical Foam Services to deliver the Mats and Heat in a Click to supply the heater packs. will support the rest of the business. I worked as a successful artist prior to having 4 children. I was represented by Skylark gallery in London, Max Gallerie in Nice, France, several smaller galleries in Swindon and Impact Art Agency. I worked on contracts with NHS, Fuller's brewery, Berkeley Homes and exhibited in Lisbon and London. This gave me experience of building a brand, meeting deadlines, working to contract, pricing, retail, etc.
I have support from family in operation management and HR and from friends in marketing and website hosting. I will seek advice from legal and finance experts.
Anyway, now I have the idea, the suppliers and the motivation to turn this into an awesome yoga mat with much wider scope than just yoga.
I just need your support to turn dreams into reality.