One of the many things I have learned as the mother of two little ones is that my kids inspire me on a daily basis. They are my teachers as much as I am theirs. This is why, when I heard Bonnie’s story, I was instantly engaged. Inspired by her young daughter’s need for her “om little yoga mat”, Bonnie designed and produced a yoga mat perfectly sized for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Let’s meet Bonnie!
BACKYARD YOGA: Tell the Backyard Yoga Community a few things about yourself-- where you live, family life, work, hobbies--anything you would like to share.
BONNIE: I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Calgary is within an hour's drive to the world-renowned Rocky Mountains. I was born and raised in Calgary; however, I lived abroad in England as an international student at University of Lancaster for two years studying Drama.
My family is the most important thing to me. My husband, Jim, is an engineer and our four-year-old daughter, Sarah, is our pride and joy! My mom, dad, and sister also live in Calgary. We love getting together for barbecues, picnics, and bike rides. I am half Italian and half Scottish. I love Italian food and strive to master my grandma’s pasta sauce!
As the owner and founder of My OM Little Yoga Mat, I absolutely LOVE telling people the story of how My OM Little Yoga Mat was inspired by my three-year-old daughter during our Mom & Tot yoga class. It is a story that I am very passionate about, which fires me up to reach new heights and achievement in my business. Without a question, the best thing about my job is that I am able to nurture my daughter every day due to my flexible work schedule.
BACKYARD YOGA: What brought yoga into your life?
BONNIE: I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years. My first yoga class was at a yoga studio in Maui. I got hooked after my last class. I love how I feel after a class: recharged, connected, strong, flexible, and focused. Shortly after I gave birth to Sarah, I enrolled us in a Mom and Baby Yoga class. This class had a very profound impact on me, for I learned the importance of taking time and care of myself as a new mom. Sarah and I have been practicing yoga together for four years now; it is incredible to see her develop mindfulness skills.
BACKYARD YOGA: What was your biggest hurdle with starting this new company?
BONNIE: During the research and development phase of My OM Little Yoga Mat, I thought to myself many times “just stop, who am I to create a yoga mat for kids?". There were so many unknown factors and risks. I acknowledged my fears and doubts and pressed on. I am so glad that I crossed the finish line when I officially launched in July 2015. The response from around the world has been tremendous. I have been sold out of product 4 times--this is something I never would have predicted!
BACKYARD YOGA: What has been your greatest reward?
BONNIE: Without a question, the biggest reward has been turning my daughter’s idea into reality. Now thousands of children around the world have their very own yoga mat. My OM Little Yoga Mat has allowed children to become more confident while practicing yoga. They also have a pride in ownership and independence, for they are able to carry it and unroll it all by themselves. I am passionate about yoga for kids, and I love that children have found so much joy using My OM Little Yoga Mat!
BACKYARD YOGA: How long have you been in business, and what’s your vision moving forward? I hear you are getting certified in kids' yoga and looking to expand your product offering. I would think there is a lot on synergy being an Art Educator + Kids' Yoga + Mom. I know personally that Toy Design + Yoga + Mom has been really powerful for me.
BONNIE: My OM Little Yoga Mat was launched in July of 2015. We will be turning one in a couple of months. I am excited to launch some new products in a couple of months! I also plan on teaching kids' yoga classes in Calgary, specifically to preschoolers.
BACKYARD YOGA: OK, now for the really important stuff. What’s your favorite way to play?
BONNIE: Good question! With the Rocky Mountains so close, you can usually find me on a ski hill or bike-riding through mountain towns or soaking in the hot springs in Banff National Park. I love time on my yoga mat, time for myself to connect with my breath and body. One of my favorite places to travel to is Maui!
BACKYARD YOGA: What are some of your family’s favorite ways to play together?
BONNIE: Playing as a family is so important! Our family loves making the ordinary extraordinary through play. We love playing in the garden, planting seeds and making mud pies. My family loves to play in the water whether it is in a swimming pool, ocean, or a sprinkler. Our daughter, Sarah, turns into a mermaid in the water!
BACKYARD YOGA: Final question: If you could teach your daughter only three lessons, what would they be and why?
- You are limitless: You can do anything that you are passionate about. Don’t let anybody set your limits.
- Dance to your own song: You are unique and creative. Always follow your creative voice--it will take you to magical places.
- Ask questions: Be a critical thinker, challenge yourself to ‘dig deep’. You are a very curious little girl. May your curiosity grow throughout your life.
BACKYARD YOGA: Powerful advice. In full disclosure, I teared up on that answer. Thank you so much for your time, Bonnie! I wish you the best of luck with your business and look forward to future collaborations.
BONNIE: Thank you so much, Erica, for your collaboration. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!
As a special treat, Bonnie is giving the Backyard Kids Yoga Community a 10% discount on My OM Little Yoga Mats. Just click on the link below and enter the code at checkout. Thanks, Bonnie!
Peace + Play