Off The Mat with our Founder

Since launching Meraki Mats almost one year ago, our founder Laura Thrum sits down to chat all things yoga, business, health and sustainability. Keep reading to find out a little more about her and why she started Meraki Mats... 

"We want to inspire you to show up for yourself..."

First things first, what inspired you start Meraki Mats?

"To do something with soul, creativity, or love — the essence of yourself put into your work" is not only the definition of Meraki but it also defines the impact we strive to have on every individual who is a part of the Meraki Movement. We want to inspire you to show up for yourself; ultimately committing to becoming more loving, grounded and inspired because at the end of the day there is no point living a life that is not authentic to who you truly are. 

Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

Yes, I am a morning person and an avid routine person! At the moment we are in lockdown on the Northern Beaches and so getting outside first thing in the morning really helps to ground me and gives me both the physical and mental space to set my intentions for the day.
I roll out of bed, into my activewear and off to the coffee shop before a walk by the ocean as the sun is rising. Once home I head straight to my mat for roughly 20 minutes; it's either a yoga flow, pilates, or a stretch using our cork accessories.
Then it's off to shower to get ready for the day, I make brekky for my partner and whilst giving the house a mini tidy before sitting down at my desk.
From here, no matter how the day unfolds I know I have prioritised time for myself and feel empowered to tackle challenges of any day.

What has been your biggest hurdle since launching?

Upholding my truth that initiated me to start the business in the first place! It is easy to get caught up in the daily business operations, especially in those first few years when you are constantly outside of your comfort zone. Whenever it's been a couple days too many away from my mat, I not only notice it in myself but the business as well. Meraki Mats has become an extension of who I am. Throw in a stage 3 melanoma diagnosis earlier this year to really test my foundation of inner strength and perseverance! However,  coming to the back end of this and the end of our first year since launching Meraki Mats, I couldn't feel more confident in our ethos, products and the future ahead of us!  

"Throw in a stage 3 melanoma diagnoses to really test your foundation of inner strength and perseverance."

"It is important for us to stay in our own lane, stay true to our values and give back to everyone who supports us."

Why did you pick the materials you have chosen to work with?

What's not to love about cork? Light, durable, flexible, sweat absorbent, naturally antimicrobial and a renewable source! Plus it's neutral tones organically look stunning in any studio or lounge room, motivating you to move!

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

"The whole is greater than the sum of all parts" - Aristotle. A great reminder that you don't have to know everything or do it all yourself!

What's next for you and your company?

One foot in front of the other. It is important for us to stay in our own lane, stay true to our values and give back to everyone who supports us. We want to continue developing our own beautiful products that are not only aesthetic to the eye, kind to our planet but also motivate you to keep moving and build on your at home yoga or workout nook.

"Be precise on what you want to manifest; explore every detail of what you want, how you’ll achieve it and how it will make you feel."

One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a goodie! I am a very habitual person and I think this really highlights the notion that it is the little things you do daily that add up to have the most impact. It is an easy read but also great on audio for your morning walk!

What’s some advice you can offer to manifest motivation and set ourselves up for success?

Whether it be a work task or a workout – break it down. If your goal is to meditate 20 minutes a day – start with 2 minutes daily and work up from there. Create the simple habit of 2 minutes of breath work, work up to 5, then 10 and before you know it 20 minutes has become a non-negotiable part of your daily routine.

Be precise on what you want to manifest; explore every detail of what you want, how you’ll achieve it and how it will make you feel. Meditation creates mental clarity; allowing you to be more efficient and precise with your intentions, eliminating all the ‘fluff’ we fill our head with.

Finally, what is your favourite Meraki Mats product?

I want to say our very first product, being the cork yoga mat but the newer improved version - the Align Cork Yoga Mat - featuring our signature alignment stripes is by far my favourite! It is beautifully soft with the perfect amount of grip and the natural feel to it is like no other yoga mat! It is also perfect for everything from yoga, to pilates and those at home HITT sessions when we all need that little bit extra to get our heart rate going! 
Combine the mat with a Cork Peanut, it is an all round favourite in our household! I had to laugh when I noticed my partner walking around with it in his back pocket the other day. He drives with it, works with it at his desk and lays on the couch with it! 
You can find our Cork Peanut in our Exhale Kit, Total Release Kit or the Bend & Stretch Bundle (Saving you $50!).