Interview with Carolyn Cooke
In one word, describe your life as a businesswoman.
How did you know when you had the right idea?
when Jay and I were discussing the idea, which literally came to us during a girls weekend away in Noosa, we knew it felt right. We both got those butterflies in the stomach feeling.
How did you take your idea from butterflies in the stomach to reality?
Grit. It’s one thing to talk about starting a business but another to see it through. It’s an important quality to have because managing a business isn’t all photoshoots and pretty pictures on Instagram.
What are some of the mistakes you wished you could have avoided?
In the risk that I’ll sound like a hopeless optimist, I’m going to say none. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve made a few, but I firmly believe failure and learning how to embrace it is important to growth.
How do you handle failure and doubt then?
Yoga gives me space to think with clarity and perspective. My sister (Brisbane based lifestyle photographer) is on speed dial and my husband who is a project manager are always happy to talk shop with me too.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
I find everyday people inspiring. People who show up with enthusiasm and are genuine in their approach. Businesswomen who I admire (online) would have to be Emma Isaacs, Lisa Messenger and Julia Green.
What artists would you love to work with?
We’re in the process of collaborating with two incredibly talented Indigenous artists which I am insanely excited about. If the world was my oyster I would love to collaborate with the likes of Jai Vasicek.
We hear Jay is no longer with Yogat.
Yes, it was sad to see Jay exit but I’m so pleased she is focusing on her painting full time again and grateful that we got to start this together. She will always be apart of the brand, as an EOI panel member and contributing artist.
What’s next for yogat?
We’re continuing to focus on sustainability and working to reduce our carbon footprint by minimising plastics in the shipping pipeline. We hope to highlight Australian artists internationally and are currently exploring some exciting opportunities.
What are you reading right now?
I’ve just finished Medical Medium. I have an autoimmune disease and this book has been such a blessing. I’m also midway through Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton. Brilliant read, especially if you're a Brisbane local.
To date, what’s been your favourite yogat mat?
Now, this is a tough one. Our first prototype “Sunset Blooms” by artist Jay Feather has to be up there, but I really do love them all. Our new collection - Rise - is pretty special though.