Interview with Yogipod founder Georgie Davies
Find out how Yogipod founder Georgie Davies combined her fashion career with her passion for yoga to create yoga and relaxation props that were designed to be seen rather than hidden away.
What’s your career background?
I trained in fashion design and before starting Yogipod was a fabric developer for luxury fashion brands including Issa and Nicole Farhi. Working within those brands was an incredible experience but one that was full on. I could feel myself burning out and knew that unfortunately I was not going to be able to do that forever.
Working within those fast-paced environments really taught me how to juggle different tasks, work across different departments and the importance of understanding logistics and time management. All these skills, as well as healthy knowledge of customs codes, have been invaluable when it come to running my own business.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea for Yogipod was a slow burn. Throughout my time in fashion I had always practiced yoga and it was a way of keeping myself sane. While still working in the industry I completed a yoga teacher training with no real focus to teach but as often happens situations changed and I found myself needing to step out of the industry.
A period of travel and reassessing life followed and it was while travelling through India I rediscovered my love of hand printed textiles and that set my mind beginning to whir. When you fall in love with yoga you often start to gather ‘bits and pieces’ to add to your practice but as so often happens these props and aids are exciting for the first couple of weeks and then get relegated to some sort of stuff cupboard.
I began to play with the idea of yoga and relaxation props that were designed to be seen rather than hidden away which in turn would mean the user would use them more.
How did you move from idea to actual business?
The idea percolated for quite a while but upon my return to the UK in December 2017 I decided to give yoga teaching a go rather than diving straight back into the fashion business.
It’s incredibly difficult to make a living with teaching as your only income stream so I picked the idea of beautiful props back up again. My fabric sourcing background helped me in researching and finding the amazing block printing business I work with and sourcing the required components.
With a very small concise range of yoga bolsters, eye pillows, cushions and throws I tentatively launched. The business has grown slowly and organically rather than taking on investment and I knew that’s how I wanted it to be so that I could really explore what the customer loves.
What’s your USP?
Hand printed yoga props and homewares that help you find your calm. I believe that we could all benefit from taking five minutes a day to breathe or lay down and just be and that’s what I hope these props inspire you to do.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
Instagram, Google Ads, PR, a twice monthly newsletter, word of mouth from other yoga teachers and in person events.
What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?
It really depends on how I’m measuring success from marketing. Word of mouth is probably our most successful sales conversion, in person events are great for great for community building (I’m so excited to get back to them this summer) and PR, the newsletter and Instagram are perfect for telling the story behind the brand and finding new members of the family.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
The logistics of printing fabric in India during a pandemic and then trying to get the goods from India into the UK while the worlds shipping rotes went into pandemic and Brexit related meltdown.
In general Brexit has been a huge challenge, I was just beginning to grow the business in Europe and all sales have dried up as soon as the rules and regulations were put into place.
And your proudest moment so far?
It’s so hard to pick one. Hosting a pop up shop in John Lewis in January this year was a real pinch me moment but also whenever I hear or see how my props are supporting peoples relaxation that feels amazing and that is the whole point of the brand.
Who inspires you?
Friends, peers in the creative and yoga space and my family. I’m inspired by those carving out a niche for themselves and doing good with their business. I really think that the space we find ourselves in now means businesses should have supporting the planet and its inhabitants as high a priority as making a profit because without a healthy planet there is no point.
A huge inspiration for me on this point is Kat Pither from Yogi Bare who has built an amazing business with doing good at the very heart of it.
What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
- Nurture your customers even after they have bought from you, they are your biggest asset.
- Don’t be afraid to diversify your income or offering so that there is less pressure on the business.
- Take your time to grow your business, you don’t have to do everything immediately, let it grow organically.
Find out more about Yogipod.