Out of Nicole Lawson's battle with postpartum depression was born a beautiful brand, Supported Soul, that makes so much more than just a new kind of yoga mat. Read on to read her story, and enter to win! —Noa Nichol
Hi Nicole! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start :)
Hi! I’m a wife and mother of two little boys. I spent my early years in Clearwater and Kamloops, B.C., until we moved to West Vancouver. I later received my BSc in nutritional science from UBC and out of personal interest obtained my fashion merchandising diploma from Blanche Macdonald. I spent 10 years in the fashion industry and traveled globally viewing the world’s best fashion. These experiences combined with numerous years of dance training and practising yoga has cultivated my love for all things beautiful, creative, healthy and wellness-related. Now I am actively involved in my local fitness community and participate in all kinds of classes like: barre, Pilates, spin, vinyasa yoga, hot yoga and Bikram.
What was your impetus to launch Supported Soul?
Becoming a mother was extremely overwhelming. Initially, I felt like I had completely lost myself and was even laid off from my job while on maternity leave. I had always wanted to combine my passion for nutrition and fashion, so my husband and I worked through that vision for several years. Supported Soul was created during my battle with postpartum depression. Spending time on my yoga mat helped me reconnect with my soul and I think Supported Soul celebrates the cross-section of everything that’s shaped me.
Tell us about the brand and products.
Supported Soul is an extension of my personality and my passion for: health and wellness, fresh food, fitness, art, fashion, music and my family. I love to learn each day and have grown to love running a business, being a mom and sharing my daily frustrations in a real and vulnerable way. My hope is that I can motivate people to take time and focus on their physical and mental health. Supported Soul lets me share my passion for yoga while offering beautiful products to support a practice. There is a broader vision for Supported Soul and this will take shape as we grow. Presently, Supported Soul products include two types of mats, round adult and kids mats, yoga blocks and straps, candles and apparel. A new type of mat, new designs as well as more events, workshops and retreats are in the future.
Why do we need to start being/should we be more conscious/concerned about where our yoga mats come from and what they're made of?
My family is making a conscious effort to move toward a lifestyle with far less waste. Cutting back on consumption and buying only what we need is liberating. Traditional yoga mats are made out of PVC. They are toxic to produce, can create serious health hazards for the end user and live after in landfills. Our yoga mats have a biodegradable rubber base and recycled plastic microfiber top. They are fused together with heat and contain no harmful chemicals or toxins. Supported Soul mats are produced ethically overseas in small runs and every unit is sold. We donate $1 per mat to a charitable cause. This was previously the Pacific Post Partum Support Society and we recently switched to the NSW Rural Fire Service to help the fire devastation in Australia.
Other benefits/perks of your mats?
Our Supreme All-In-One yoga mats are a combination of mat and towel. They transform your practice as you aren’t distracted by fixing your towel, and grip improves the more you sweat. Not only are the mats beautiful, they are machine washable! Yoga mats collect bacteria and viruses present in yoga studios and can lead to skin, staph and strep infections. Washing your mat in the machine is an effective way to deep clean your mat.
Tell us about your artist collabs?
The Supported Soul artist network is excellent, and I have a personal connection with each artist. It’s fairly informal but our taste and vibe have to mesh. As for the process, I call upon my exposure to building a fashion collection. Giving creative freedom to a designer is important but sometimes you need to guide some prints or a collection toward a broader appeal. We partner with local artists and global artists- some we contact and others approach us.
Do you have a fave design at the moment?
I’m lucky to have all the mats at my fingertips and I choose a different design to practice with each day depending on my mood. Lately I have been gravitating toward West Coast and Hawaii because the prints are so intricate I find joy in discovering a new detail in the design each time I roll it out.
Your favourite yoga pose, and why.
My favorite pose is dancer’s pose. I feel expansive, focused, flexible, balanced and strong when I’m in it.
Win! A $150 Supported Soul Prize Pack!
We have a winner! Congratulations Colleen C. of Brampton, B.C., who won a $150 Supported Soul prize pack, which includes an All-In-One yoga mat, a super-absorbent hand towel and a tote bag!