Today we are speaking to Adrienne Murphy co-owner of Flowstate, Ireland's first art and movement mat.
Adrienne, please tell us about your product. Where did the idea stem from and where do you see it growing to?
Flowstate is an integrated lifestyle brand, an idea that grew from shared beliefs among friends and a passion for creativity and movement.
Flowstate launched in April 2019 but the idea started long before this. My partners (John Belton and Maser) and I wanted to work on a shared project, a ‘passion project’ and something that integrated our worlds of art, movement and well-being.
John and myself, owners of No.17 Personal Training, both with a background in Personal Training and Maser an acclaimed Irish artist – we began exploring ideas, ways in which we could connect our industries.
Months later on a delayed flight, this idea grew legs. I began thinking of various gym equipment and areas within the gym we could transform to create experiences. At this time, the exercise and yoga mat made so much sense. It was something I used day in day and day out but I never felt overly attached to my mat and generally it was that object rolled away in the corner of a room and treated nearly as an eye sore. The exercise mat offered a landscape to Maser to share his work and transform the typical mat we see everyday with an injection of personality and colour.
Movement is an extremely important and vital part of my day and knowing this is the case for so many others, Maser strategically designed the Flowstate mat with thought, purpose and the consumers practice in mind. We also incorporated a hanging feature, so once finished yoga or training for the day, the Flowstate mat can be hung on the wall as a personal piece of art – and essentially keeping the presence of art, movement, mindfulness and creativity with you in everyday life.
Where we see Flowstate going..
It is only the beginning for Flowstate. Developing and growing a brand has been a journey and one that I am learning a hell of a lot about along the way.
Like most business owners, I have big dreams and goals for our brand.
Although last year had a lot of uncertainty and certain aspects of our business were put on hold, like our in person events, we have had time to develop other areas, adapt and change. We have big plans over the next 1-5 years; to enter more markets globally and continue developing our product and customer experience offering. We are extremely mindful of product development, and always want to ensure that anything we create aligns with our company values and mission statement. Any further product ranges and accessories will be geared towards enhancing an active and mindful lifestyle and we want to ensure that the functional art element, sustainability aspect of our brand and our community always remains at the core of everything we do.
Our Mission: “Inspiring health and happiness through movement, creative positivity through art. Two worlds different in type, but not in Importance”.
What other Irish women in business do you admire?
I think it’s an interesting time for women in business. When I was a young girl, my thought process went something like; “go to college, study hard, get a good corporate job and climb that corporate ladder” - I tried this this route, burned myself out by essentially working long hours doing something I didn’t enjoy. This route, while great for some, it’s not for everyone. Now, you only have to look online and see women carving out new careers and creating their own opportunities. While Covid has been filled with a lot of uncertainty for business and great sadness, there has also been opportunities for growth and change.
I feel very lucky to be surrounded by friends and very strong women who are creating their own unique and individual paths in business.
My good friend Daniella Moyles; author of 2 books, creator and founder of ‘The Stll’, yoga instructor and student who is currently studying psychotherapy is one women in business I will always be in awe of and have true admiration for. A women who takes everything in her stride and yet remains grounded and connected to what truly matter in life.
I have also been very fortunate as a personal trainers to have great clients who have offered solid advice and guidance along the way, just like Aisling Hassel, who worked as Global Head of Customer Experiences in Airbnb and has been a great sounding board on many occasions.
What advice you have for women starting out?
I will be forever learning and that’s one of the areas of business that excites me most. All I can offer are some of my key learnings to date.
You know the saying “Do what you love and never work a day in your life” .. well there is some truth in this. I left a career in advertising and marketing, studying at night to become a personal trainer. At the time, it felt like a huge risk, leaving a career I had studied a 4 year degree in. I shut down numerous comments from friends and co-workers who told me it was a bad decision and that I was making a mistake. So firstly, always trust your gut! Once I left this job and spent my time doing what I loved, this naturally gave me more headspace to be creative and look for new opportunities in this industry… which then led to the creation of Flowstate.
Some of my top tips:
- If / when you want to give up – try again. It took me 1 year (maybe slightly longer) before I found the product I was happy with. We had mats arriving weekly to our studio and we ran into issues we never would of expected but the team and friends you surround yourself with is what’s really important here.
- Surround yourself with good energy, people who have your best interest at heart, realistic thinkers and the odd risk taker.
- Enjoy the journey and know that you will make mistakes which you will learn from.
- You can’t do everything in the business. I started by packing every single order myself, but in order for the business to grow sometimes you have to get out of the way of it.
- There will always be new things to learn. Choose what is more important to educate yourself on and what you can outsource or delegate to others.
- One of my biggest learnings has been to embrace failure and problems that have risen in the business. We are mostly thought that failures and problems are bad but every issue that raised its head has given me an opportunity to create systems and strategically grow the business. A very fitting quote that I love; “The Obstacle is the way”.