An introduction from Ingrid Edwards, the founder of Eco Yoga Store
I guess the Eco Yoga Store story really began in the 1990's when I fell head over heels in love with yoga. I walked out of my first class at the Yoga Academy, back then in High Street Auckland, in a state of pure bliss and that was it, I was hooked. The next day I could hardly walk, but, nevertheless, yoga became a four classes a week routine - sometimes more!
When my time in Auckland finished I returned to my hometown Napier but discovered there were no yoga studios offering the yoga I 'desired' and so my practice disappeared. It really never occurred to me it was something I could do at home as I'd somehow formulated the notion that yoga is done in a yoga class. Silly right!
Life got busy with kids, a marriage break up, and all that 'stuff', and on a quest to some sanity I found my way back onto my mat. My teacher said to me after some months"Why don't you become a teacher." I thought hell yeah, why not, and off I went to get me some teacher training. Ten thousand dollars later I was ready, but the income I could generate in a small town before yoga went mainstream wasn't going to feed my children, and I so I had to come up with a plan B. I knew I wanted to work in the yoga industry, working from home and online trading was just hitting the ground running; I put the three together, and used my house deposit to start the Eco Yoga Store.
I was lucky enough to be connected to Manduka in the USA through a yoga friend and decided to start importing their products, and they became the first supplier to Eco Yoga Store, a partnership that has endured and continues. Still love them to this day, but I wanted Eco Yoga Store to offer an exceptional range, both retail and wholesale, with something for everyone's budget, so to expand our product offering, I decided to get my own line of products underway too - TRIBE was born, and has gone from strength to strength.
As I've traveled down this path I have felt blessed to serve the yoga community of New Zealand and Australia, supported by a team of amazing women who have joined me on a mission to bring outstanding yoga mats and props to the yoga community in New Zealand and Australia.
My sincere thanks to the team who have worked with me throughout this journey, but it is now time to handover the reigns of Eco Yoga Store to Janine and Martin Bates, as I take a sabbatical and embark on new challenges ahead!
A message from Janine and Martin Bates
With business backgrounds in Finance and Global Logistics, we returned home to Hawke’s Bay in 2011, and settled into our coastal rural lifestyle block raising a herd of alpacas, running some sheep, and the obligatory chooks! Then in 2019, when we were looking to return to the commerce world, we spent some time with Ingrid understanding her vision and business before committing to picking up the reigns. We believe that we can honour her mission and help guide her “baby” through its “teenage years” and beyond.
We are fully committed to maintaining the quality of products and service that Eco Yoga Store is renowned for, and want to focus on ensuring that we respect and care for our environment, bringing our customers products where sustainability is as important as fit and function.
We were not active yogis when we began this process, although a close family member was, and has always been encouraging us to get started, so with taking on the business we are also starting out on our own personal yoga journeys, and lessons have commenced!