I LOVE getting mail. This week has been full of receiving gifts to give from Amazon and Etsy as well as a few places around the inter-webs. Almost all the gifts I have been receiving are for family & friends, but there are a handful in there for me this week as I’m getting to know new brands for the blog. Yesterday I opened my mailbox to see a cardboard box in the shape of a yoga mat and couldn’t wait to open it!
Meagan from Mello Mae is a New England based entrepreneur who I met through Boston Bloggers. She is a digital media whiz in her full time job and started her yoga mat company based on her passions of yoga & giving back to the community. Not only is she a girl of my own heart in terms of passion and love, she has also created a radical yoga mat. 30% jute material which has a rough, funky texture and a thick enough and soft enough bottom in order to support your joints and physical body in practice. Plus her simple designs of adding stripes was genius. I received the brown with red stripes and love the pants off of it!!
This morning I got on my mat with my personal trainer & loved the softness beneath my feet. When Kendra left I took a few “mommy minutes” to meditate and stretch out my shoulders. This mat is unbelievably beautiful & supportive! I am so excited to have Meagan on the blog today.
How did you get started with Mello Mae? What was the motivation behind your brand?
I used to work for Yoga Journal Magazine. I helped produce five national yoga conferences yearly. That’s where I really became passionate about yoga and began to understand that I can actually combine my passion with work. For quite some time I had wanted to get involved with an entrepreneurial project. A friend of mine told me to go with a product instead of a service. Last winter during Boston’s wild winter, I had a light bulb one night go off in my apartment that I should create unique yoga mats. That’s when it all got started. We’ll see where it goes!
How long have you been practicing yoga? How did you begin this journey?
I have been practicing yoga for eight years. It began with a free class that was offered during my college years at Emerson College here in Boston. After that, I really became passionate about practicing while taking classes at Greener Postures Yoga in Portland, Maine. It’s a heated studio that really drew me in to the entire community and general positive feel of the entire experience.
If you could tell your pre-yogi self something, what would that be?
I strongly correlate my thinking patterns to yoga and the study of yoga and spirituality. I would tell my pre-yogi self to read affirmations frequently and repeat them to myself during difficult times. I would also tell me pre-yogi self that there are ups and downs and not every day is happy, but that is part of life. I would tell my pre-yogi self to keep a gratitude journal to recognize everything there is to be grateful for.
What is your biggest piece of advice for new entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. If you run into a wall, build a way around it, over it or through it. But the absolute biggest advice I have is to keep going no matter what anyone says or thinks of what you’re doing so long as you believe in it wholeheartedly. You can’t care what others think. Ignore them and follow your dreams. Take risks. If someone rejects you, stand up and dust off and keep moving.
Tell me about your charitable donations and where they go. I noticed $1 per mat helps others.
Through a company called Crowdrise, I was able to create a custom giving page. I donate $1 from every sale to health and well being. Since I’m just getting started, I’ve only selected one so far. It’s a charity that helps pay off medical bills for those in need. It’s called the Health Well Foundation. I chose this cause because I think it’s very sad that not all people have basic human needs. Here’s a link to the charity aspect of my brand: http://www.mellomae.com/about/
Where do you source your material? Why choose this material and particular vendors or suppliers?
My material is sourced from an ethical manufacturing company in Asia. I chose this particular supplier because of the fact that 30% of the mat is made from Jute which is a sustainable crop growiing predominantly in India that requires no pesticides to grow. This company was very familiar with how to integrate this natural crop into my product which is why I chose them to manufacture it.
As a Boston blogger we get to do lots of cool things!! What’s your favorite place to go, do or see (or eat!!) in the city??
Since I live in the North End, I am constantly enjoying a new Italian restaurant nearly weekly! But I love exploring other neighborhoods too. My friends and I enjoy Brasserie Gaslight Du Coin in the South End. I recently spent my Birthday there. Apart from that, I love the museums, running along the Charles and The New Boston Public Market for buying local!
What’s your favorite quote?
This wasn’t spoken by anyone famous, but a friend of mine’s mother once told me this when I was about 22 and wasn’t clear on what direction to go.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
I really enjoy vintage finds. My mother once bought me a faux-diamond vintage costume jewelery pin with my name “Meg” engraved on it. My mother’s gifts are always very special and we have a very close relationship.
Thank you so much for coming on the blog today, Meagan! I loved getting to know you and adore Mello Mae.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of your own for a holiday gift, they’re available at: http://www.mellomae.com. You’ll love this mat and so will your bestie!!
Sending you lots of love & light,