The Surfer Turned Yoga Entrepreneur: How Chad Turner’s Yoga Brand Targets Digital Nomads

Digital nomads are a phenomenon that most of us are aware of by now: who hasn’t come across a magazine article about a corporate worker who decided to chuck it all in for a calmer, more relaxed life in a tropical setting? Laptops, hammocks, yoga and stunning sunsets are the order of the day for many of those who decide to get off the wheel and look elsewhere for a life less stressful.

Chad Turner, from Canada, is one of those brave adventure seekers – with a twist. In 2014, the surfer and yoga enthusiast sold all of his belongings and left snowy Canada for sunny Bali following a holiday where he found himself in a yoga class, spotting a sea of uninspiring, generic yoga mats. An idea was born – and Chad wasted no time making it a reality. 

“I was seated in the back of a packed yoga class while on vacation. Looking around, all I saw was a sea of unoriginal, mass-produced, solid colored mats,” he recalls. “My thinking was, there must be a way to create a highly functional product that was also aesthetically beautiful, and so the journey began.”

After the surfer-slash-yogi moved to his new home in the digital entrepreneur Mecca that is Bali, Yoga Design Lab was created. The colourful and inspiring ranges are inspired by the many hues of the island – the complete range of designer yoga products includes yoga mats, towels, wheels, leggings, props, bottles and a pure essential oil yoga mat spray made from hibiscus, orchids, roses, jasmine, and other plants growing on the island.

An eco ethos is at the heart of the brand: from the insulated stainless steel water bottles to the hot yoga mats comprised of biodegradable natural tree rubber and the water-based inks used in their printed designs, blending fashion-forward design elements with innovative functionality and bio-renewable consciousness is an approach that runs through everything the Yoga Design Lab does.  

The label launches its newest collection of eye-catching yoga mats made from recycled plastic bottles this year, just in time for summer. $1 from every purchase goes to support Urban Youth Yoga Programs in need.

Digital nomads, one of Bali’s most diverse and interesting populations, are both an inspiration and a target market for Chad’s brand. “Living in Bali has provided such an incredible backdrop to live and work surrounded by locals and a diverse international community of digital nomads, entrepreneurs, yogis, healers, and travelers all drawn by the undeniable magnetism of this island. Work life here is relatively unparalleled in my opinion. You’re able to plug in and get a ton accomplished, and then when you’re finished just close your laptop and you’re in Bali. When I thought about it, the choice was pretty easy.” 

Yoga Design Lab comprised of a diverse team of digitally nomadic yogis scattered around the globe working from laptops and attempting to balance work, life and travel goals. Big things are ahead for this luxurious wellness brand – the very first branded Yoga Design Lab store is scheduled to launch in Tokyo in 2018.

 

All photos courtesy of Yoga Design Lab

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Sascha Camilli

Founder and Editor

A passionate changemaker, Sascha Camilli is the founder and editor-in-chief of Vilda Magazine. Born in Moscow and raised in Stockholm, she has also lived in Los Angeles, London, Milan and Florence, before landing in her current hometown of Brighton, UK. She was chosen as one of Vegan Good Life Magazine's Vegan Business Influencers of 2015 and nominated for Best Vegan Entrepreneur by Unicorn Goods Best of Vegan Awards 2017. She is also a Huffington Post blogger, a fashion writer for Plant-Based News, and a speaker at events such as VegFest and VegoVision Sweden. Her first book, a vegan fashion guide, is coming out in 2019.

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