Yoga is a popular fitness trend these days but oftentimes, there is a specific type of person used for many companies’ marketing campaigns. For Julia and Cornelia Gibson, it was an opportunity to create something of their own to reflect other black yoga enthusiasts like themselves.
After raising $2,000 on their Kickstarter in less than two months, the Gibson sisters decided to pursue a new business venture inspired by their passion. Toned by Bagged Em was a fitness-focused brand created for real women on real fitness journeys and none of the glossy Instagram filters. The Gibson sisters took inspiration from their own health experiences and fitness journey to shape the brand, expressing the challenges of maintaining a healthy weight. The desire to create the brand came from having open conversations with other women who were also dealing with these issues on their fitness journeys as well.
With so many fitness brands on the market, it was still rare to see images of women of color on products and marketing materials. For their Toned Yoga Mats, the sisters used images of black women, drawn by their mother, meant to instill confidence to push through any obstacle. The Gibson sisters say that their ultimate goal is that black women will see themselves in the products they produce knowing theirs is a brand created with them in mind.
The mats are currently available in four different designs and range in price from $60 to $80. They are made from eco-friendly materials and can handle the heat of your favorite hot yoga classes. Their goal is to continue to expand their collection with art featuring women of different ethnic backgrounds and sizes.
The brand also works with The Nest by Namaste by Namaste Natara based in Charlotte, North Carolina, where customers can purchase a mat and book a class.