I’ve been procrastinating for a while now over how to present this damn 'About Us' page. I know it’s important. I mean, I’m guessing if anyone visiting our store is as nosy as me, they’ll want to know a bit about us - who we are, and why we're here selling Yoga stuff. Even if not, they’ll at least want to know that we're legit and not looking to take their hard-earned money and run! Am I right?
The problem is that I consider myself pretty uninteresting, and I don't have a romanticised story of how it all began. No, I wasn't meditating on a beach in Bali before being jolted out of the depths of meditation with visions of Yoga towels and bouncing orange bunnies.
I’m a Yorkshire girl (no bronzed leggy limbed yogi or sun-drenched beach in sight!), with a passion for Yoga and I guess a bit of an entrepreneurial streak. I spend my days juggling the kids, the dogs, the husband, and my little business here, all while trying to stay sane!
How did Bunnies & Zen all come about? Well, to go back to the beginning, life dealt us some pretty crappy cards over a short space of time. Not so long ago, I lost my dear Mum to a very aggressive type of Cancer, while my Husband has battled Leukaemia twice. As if that wasn't enough, I lost my Dad in a tragic accident not long after. Dealing with illness and the death of my loved ones has made me start questioning life and has stirred up uncontrollable feelings of anxiety and depression (not good for someone that loves to be in control - of like everything!)
I found some solace in Yoga. My mat was a place I could re-ground myself and find a place of calm and safety in the midst of the turmoil, and I am sure many of you who are reading this will relate to what I am saying.
On a positive note, these life-changing experiences helped me to see the bigger picture and – forgive the cliché – to realise that life IS too short not to pursue your dreams and be happy. It prompted me to follow my heart and set up my own business that I could run from home. I had previously worked in the fashion industry; I loved my job, loved my colleagues, and loved the parties, but the time felt right to move on.
It was a natural choice to combine my passion for Yoga with my love of design and create, well, Yoga products! And so, Bunnies & Zen was born.
When I first began researching mats and towels, there was hardly any differentiation between brands. They all looked the same; in a word, BORING! Admittedly, there now seems to have been an influx of competitors offering a wider choice of colours and print designs, but still none as good as ours!
With Bunnies & Zen, I wanted to create colourful and unique Yoga accessories through the use of bold prints and quirky details. Each style encompasses a Zen message, which serves as a reminder for us to stay focussed, positive and grounded through life’s ups and downs.
So about the team. Well, it's pretty much just erm.. me. But, I mustn't take all the glory. Amy, who is my best friend/marketing mogul, saw me struggling to keep on top of everything, particularly the marketing side of the business. Knowing that I am a bit of a Nannan with social media, she took it upon herself to get my social media pages set up and created an Instagram following. It turned out to be a very smart move from this chick, as our Instagram community is a big part of who we are. It's our loyal IG friends and followers who have helped to build our brand so far.
That was almost a year ago, and she's still here (between other jobs and nappy changes) helping me with the social media and other marketing type stuff that goes completely over my head. I know she loves me, but she also loves and totally believes in the brand. There’s only one word to describe her – AMAZING!
So now on to my husband George. If you've ordered from us before, you will be familiar with the little origami bunny and thank you card which we enclose in a neatly rolled towel or mat. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I just don’t have the patience for such things. My (very patient) husband is the one who lovingly rolls each towel, folds the origami bunnies, and puts it all together in one neat little package (as well as forever running to the post office and back!)
So that's the story so far, but there’s lots more to come. There are new products in the pipeline and plans to improve other aspects of the business. With so much to do and so few hours in the day, it may take a while, but if the last few years have taught me anything, it is to try to live in the moment and not to be constantly pushing to get places faster. So, I’ll close with an old Chinese Proverb, which incidentally I’ve just realised, may be a good saying for a new towel.“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still”.