Kriya Veda was one of the first companies I reached out to for The Main Tab. As a semi-frequent yogi, their mat was the one I first purchased and used. Naturally, when I purchased it I didn’t think much of it and assumed all mats are created equal, but in many instances I’ve had to rent a mat (it’s not always easy to carry a yoga mat in the NYC subway when you’re just simply aiming to get through the morning commute) and I started noticing that the mats at the various studios didn’t feel ‘right’. You know that quote ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone?’ That’s how it felt when I didn’t have my Kriya Veda mat. Dramatic, I know, but 100% true.

Aside from being incredibly functional, thin and lightweight but NOT flimsy, fun (great color options!), Kriya Veda has a big focus on combining sustainable and non-toxic materials to create functional and fashionable mats.

When I spoke with Kristin Nikolich, the founder, the first question I asked was regarding the logo and what it means. Turns out it’s the lotus flower, which rises from deep, dark, muddy waters and blooms into a beautiful, full flower. Strong and graceful, much like the founder, who has dedicated her life to making the everyday a bit more beautiful.

During our interview, we learned how she manages to run a successful company with such dignity and grace while remaining zen.

Tell us how your brand was created and the inspiration behind it?

My love for natural and sustainable products was the inspiration behind Kriya Veda. Being a cancer survivor, living a clean lifestyle is a priority for me. Three years ago, I decided to launch a company that offers health and wellness products for the wellness junkie like myself. It’s been fun building the brand and investing in products that help our community and improve someone’s day.

What's been your greatest challenge so far, as an entrepreneur, building a brand?

As an entrepreneur, you’re pulled in many directions. This can make it difficult to manage time properly. So I try my best to focus on delegating appropriately, decluttering and organizing, and planning/preparing better for the weeks ahead. I also turn off all devices during work time, so there’s limited distractions.

What's been the best and worst surprise when venturing into this?

The best surprise was how many people were willing to support and guide me during the launch of my company. The worst surprise was how much I had to learn about legal, manufacturing and shipping.

What’s been your biggest success so far?

Our private label business with international hotel groups. It’s such an exciting industry that manages to always stay on trend with health and wellness. They certainly strive for excellence when it comes to the overall guest experience.

What inspires your product packaging? Ingredients? Marketing?

Nature and our environment play a big role in influencing Kriya Veda’s ingredients, materials and packaging. I believe our brand authenticity and transparency reflects this.

If you could go back and change anything you did, what would it be and how would you do it differently?

I would have launched my company much earlier.

What's launching next? Can you give us a peek into the future?

We are launching a beauty tool set which will make a great addition to one’s beauty routine.

If you could only have three beauty/skincare products for the rest of your life, what would they be?

A great face cream, serum and leave in conditioner.

Must have app for business

WeChat is my favorite app. I use it frequently to communicate with my sourcing team in Asia.

Favorite Retailers to shop

I like to shop gourmet food markets and hotel spa/gift stores for really unique brands/products.

Favorite travel destination (a place you've been to or want to visit)

I would love to visit Maldives and Mauritius, since we have hotel partnerships at both locations. The beaches look amazing!

2 things no one knows about you/are interesting about you/your company

I was a competitive figure skater growing up.

My company launched by doing private label yoga accessories for large international hotel groups.

Your number one secret tip you give everyone

It’s never too late to pursue a dream. I launched Kriya Veda at the age of 43, and it was the best thing I ever did. The experiences and opportunities are invaluable.