World Changers: Meet the yoga entrepreneur creating clothing with conscience

Today we're really excited to launch a new blog feature we're calling World Changers. Each month we'll be featuring an amazing business or individual which embodies the Pursuit of Purpose that sits at the heart of MacroAdventure. 

Think of it as a snapshot into the lives of these exciting innovators - what they've learned so far, how they spend their days and how they keep motivated in the crazy madness of pursuing a world-changing idea.

We couldn't think of anyone better to kick off the series than Abi Childs, Co-Founder of Samanata Yogi. Samanata is due to officially launch in May, so huge thanks to Abi for giving us an exclusive sneak peak into her amazing brand!

We're thrilled to be heading off to the Americas with some beautiful Samanata Yogi leggings in our bags. Keep an eye out on Instagram for pics of us practicing in some amazing locations on our trip- we're aiming for something like this..! 

And now over to Abi...

Describe yourself in 3 words: Adventurous, inquisitive, compassionate

Describe Samanata in a tweet: Beautiful yoga clothing with a conscience

What made you take the leap from a corporate role to setting up Samanata? Did taking that jump scare you? If so, how did you manage that fear? 

It took many years to take the leap from the corporate world…it’s extremely scary to throw everything in when you’re in a routine and making a good income.  

I think the turning point was realising how much time and energy I spent thinking of how I could get out of my corporate role and make a living doing something I loved.

I met my business partner while working in the Middle East and she felt exactly the same.  We spent endless nights coming up with business ideas that could combine our passions but also contribute something back.  Having a partner involved (who also happens to be a good friend) made the jump less scary…we’ve been in this together from the beginning and we keep each other motivated and help each other manage our fears when they inevitably creep up (which has definitely been the case throughout this journey as things haven't always gone to plan and can sometimes feel so out of reach which makes you question whether it’s all worth it).  If you really want to make something work, however, you’ve got to realise that it will take time, effort, the ability to adapt and change your plans and push past the difficult times to make it happen. I also made a mini-leap into the On Purpose social leadership programme which was a great year of exploration and learning for me and totally cemented my desire to build something that was meaningful to me.

What would be your top three pieces of advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs? 

  1. Get your product right first (and spend the majority of your energy and time on this at the start of your set-up as it’s the most important aspect);
  2. Speak to your potential customers - ask them what they want, what’s important to them - and do this as early as possible in the process; and
  3. Find your tribe - they'll support you through the whole process, champion whatever you are doing and hold you accountable.

What does social entrepreneurship mean to you?  

To me it means using business for good.  Business is a major and important part of our society but it has become so caught up with profit at the expense of people and the planet.  I think we have a moral obligation to incorporate these other aspects into business so that everyone benefits and I think that is what social entrepreneurship is about…using business to benefit everyone.

A selection of Samanata Yogi's beautiful leggings

A selection of Samanata Yogi's beautiful leggings

Why do you think so many of our generation are choosing not to pursue corporate roles, but instead want to pursue purpose-driven careers?  

I think so many people of our generation find themselves in banking, law or other corporate jobs and just feel lost and almost soulless - pursuing something that doesn't mean anything to them and something they're not so sure they want to be part of.  

That’s how I felt! I think there is a growing collective consciousness where people understand the interconnectedness of everything and the impact we are all capable of having on each other and the planet.

People are more willing to question the status quo and want to feel that they are contributing to something bigger that they care about; ultimately I think people want to feel that their short time on earth will have a positive impact on the world.

What does an average work day look like for you?  

I'm still transitioning from a healthcare consulting job where I focus on mental health projects (another area I'm passionate about) but I'll pick a Samanata Yogi day!  A start-up is so varied that every day can be different but a typical day might involve... firstly having a chat with my Aussie business partner based in Sydney to get any overnight updates. Catching up with the supplier on the latest news with the production of our Wanderlust Collection. Designing a promotional flyer and posting to social media feeds.  I might squeeze in a lunchtime spin or yoga class if there's time to keep my energy up. The afternoon might be spent developing content for our website and reviewing our budget. And I always make sure to get my second meditation session of the day - I can't function without it! Finally, I might attend an event in the evening to help spread the word and meet like-minded peeps.

What's the best part of what you do? And the toughest?  

The best part is working on something I love. I feel excited to get up in the morning to work on it! Samanata Yogi has a been long time in the making and there have definitely been ups and downs but it’s easy to dedicate yourself to something you care about.  The toughest…when things don’t go to plan.  It can be really disheartening and disappointing and sometimes require major changes to what you had originally planned but that’s all part of running your own business so you need to be able to deal with this mentally and be prepared to make changes.

What's your vision for Samanata, and what's coming up next for Samanata this year?  

A social business that continues to contribute to important causes and maintains its dedication to an ethical and sustainable way of doing business - one that is fair to everyone involved in the supply chain.  We are so happy to be working with Project Futures to help fund projects for survivors of human trafficking and we are proud that our business is based on supporting local suppliers, using recycled and eco-friendly fabrics and sharing the exceptional work of artists and designers from around the world.  What’s next for Samanata? Some exciting new prints inspired by this incredible planet that we live on for our Wanderlust Collection as well as some new products so stay tuned!

How do you keep yourself motivated? 

Vedic meditation and yoga! Plus surrounding myself with positive people who, not only inspire and support me, but also help build an energy within me that keeps me motivated, happy and full of love. 

Thanks so much for your wisdom Abi, we can't wait to see what the next year holds for you and Samanata Yogi. Follow Samanata Yogi on Twitter for their latest news.