Kelly Peyton, founder of Ma Wovens, and a painter by training, admits she never expected she would be running a company, nor did she imagine how quickly her idea for a sustainable, functional and beautiful hand-woven yoga mat would take off. But this longtime practitioner of yoga, with “an infatuation for hand-woven textiles,” always knew that traditional crafts and craftspeople must be valued and protected. She says partnering with GoodWeave® helps her share those values with her customers. “Working with GoodWeave just gives us peace of mind.”
Peace of mind, in fact, is central to the product itself. The hand woven hemp and eco-friendly foam mats are primarily for the yoga market, but increasingly her customers tell her the mats can be adopted for other personal rituals such as meditation or prayer. These ritual rugs can also define a bit of personal quiet space at home or even in a park. “The rugs,” Kelly explains, “are simply a beautiful space for you to connect with your deeper self, whatever way you choose to do it.”
What Kelly now calls The Ritual Rug was popular from the start. At first, Kelly says, the orders were overwhelming. Her first sizeable order was from legendary festival South by Southwest, which wanted Ma’s rug as the official yoga mat for its health and wellness expo at the festival. Word was out and the demand increased exponentially. But an early partnership with another Portland native, Liz Fitzgerald (now Chief Growth Officer), saved the day. Liz had sales and marketing expertise and quickly brought her experience onboard. They were off.
Kelly, who designs all the rugs, says color plays an important role. “I am fascinated by color and color theory. Color is a huge part of these rugs.” The colors she chooses, she says, are influenced by the natural world and the culture she grew up with in the Nevada desert: Sage, for the hardy green-gray brush of her childhood, and turquoise and obsidian, from Nevada’s mines and to honor the local jewelry crafted by artisans from Nevada’s Indigenous people.
It is simplicity in form, function and the values that drive the company, and is the hallmark of the product, Kelly says. She believes her buyers are looking for transparency, sustainability, and simplicity; they, like her, respect handmade goods and their makers. The values GoodWeave and Ma share, she says, are important to our consumers, too.