Artisan Spotlight: Sophie Leininger of Magic Carpet Yoga Mats


February 17, 2014

Meet Sophie, an artist, avid painter, and fellow textile lover of Magic Carpet Yoga Mats. Inspired by traditional and ethnic rug designs, she created an outlet for her passion in painting and transformed her paintings of ethnic rug patterns into sustainably printed yoga mats. Combing art with yoga just made sun salutations that much more beautiful. She’s captured the eyes of art enthusiasts and yogis alike such as Oprah Magazine and Fitness Magazine. Her Magic Carpet Yoga mats have also landed a spot on Anthropologie’s shelves! I think she’s doing a few things right 😉 Sophie is truly a humble and inspiring being, she shares with us advice on following our bliss, and being a creative entrepreneur.

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Sophie loving on some textiles

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Painting on paper then printed onto a yoga mat

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Many creatives struggle with honing in on one craft and mastering it. They find that they are a jack of all trades and a master at none. Did you find yourself at this position before? Or have you always focused on being a painter?

I’ve definitely found myself in this position before! My excitement for different projects often feels impeding to focusing on just one trade, skill, or medium. I focused on painting in college and use these skills in Magic Carpet Yoga Mats, but am also very interested in sculpture, installation, and performance art. My studio mate Faye Kendall and I currently operate as a collective called The Dog and Wolf and actively create collaborative installation work together.

What made you decide on yoga mats as a medium for your beautiful paintings?

The idea for Magic Carpet Yoga Mats initially came as a desire to see rug imagery on yoga mats. Since I am a painter, it then followed to paint these designs.

For starting art-entrepreneurs keeping sane and balance is key. What is your advice for fueling their creative side, and your advice on sharpening their business side.

This is a tricky one! I can’t say I’ve found this balance yet for myself. It always seems like the administrative tasks take up so much more time than anticipated and getting into the studio becomes difficult some weeks. I’ve found that keeping certain days as holy, studio days, can be very helpful. I’m also working on being less hard on myself for not making it into the studio as often as I would like, or for delaying some administrative tasks so that the creative ones may hold precedent.

It’s a saturated marketing online and offline, what is our advice for artists/artisans and creatives alike on making your craft stand out?

My advice here is to be consistent with your branding and have all of your sites (website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) linked to each other. Also, connect with your network of peers online! We are each other’s best allies. :)

Lastly, what’s manifetsting for MCYM in 2014?

I am hard at work on new yoga mat designs for this year and next! We are also developing some secret-for-now new products for hot yoga enthusiasts, moms, dads, and more. This summer you will also see some creative partnerships with other designers on our site. Stay tuned!

Photo credit: Olivia Vale Photography & Ana Mercedes Photography, Model is Ceci Alejandra, Styling by Shari Gerstenberger, and make up by Erin Freeman.




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