Artletica is a new kind of yoga mat, one that is beautifully designed, eco-friendly and made of high quality, natural rubber. One look at the designs and you will want to move your yoga practice to their mats. The mats are biodegradable and made from non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber. They do not use any toxic materials during the manufacturing process.
We chatted with Alex Vainer, founder of Artletica about the vision behind the mat:
What inspired you to start Artletica?
It was around mid-May last year, approximately a week before my wife’s birthday. It was her first birthday since we got married, so I was looking to get her something really special.
I knew she would appreciate a new yoga mat, but knowing her passion for art I thought it would be really cool to get her a mat with a nice design, something that would also be pleasant to look at.
I thought to myself: “Surfboards and snowboards have so much personality. There must be some really interesting yoga mats out there to pick from… maybe I just haven’t been exposed to any.”
My assumption was wrong.
Through my research, I found that none of the yoga mats had even come close to the beautiful designs that I had in mind, regardless of their price. I also found that most mats on the market are made from PVC, a material that is not only bad for the environment but is also toxic! Yep, harming both the body and the planet.
I did stumble upon a couple of mats with artwork, but it was mostly distasteful or distractingly psychedelic. More importantly, all those mats were made from microfiber which provides a dangerously poor grip. I would not dare to get that for my wife.
So, after hours of looking for that perfect mat, I had a realization. My passion for yoga and my inquisitive mind merged to envision something truly breathtaking, something that is bigger than me, something that would upgrade the exercise experience and shake up the entire industry.
I realized - it doesn’t exist, and I have to make it.
I started my research by presenting the idea to my friends, yoga instructors and even strangers on the street. After getting some great feedback I quickly realized that I can’t give this project the time it deserves working my 9 to 5 job, so I quit... my job, not the project!
Having an entrepreneurial background I felt excited to channel my energy into something I felt so passionate about.The following 8 months were the hardest in my entire life, but the results are extremely rewarding. I built a team of talented like-minded individuals, established relationships with fantastic manufacturing partners, implemented the new revolutionary method of printing, ran a huge competition among hundreds of designers, put together the Kickstarter campaign and a lot more.
You can check out Artletica on Kickstarter.
This post is by Amanda Shea, one of Boston Green Blog's newest contributors! Learn more about Amanda and the rest of the team here.