Toned by Baggedem: Fitness Inspiration Through Art
When you first see the beautifully illustrated yoga mats from Toned by Baggedem, you are struck with not just how unique they are, but how they make you feel. Toned by Baggedem was started by two sisters, Julia & Cornelia, who were battling the lack of motivation to stay healthy, and the lack of representation of women of color in the fitness arena. They wanted to create something that would inspire not just them, but also other women of color who were feeling discouraged in their fitness journey. To help their vision, come true, they launched a Kickstarter last summer and exceeded their goal. They both agreed that reaching this goal was a testament to other people believing in their dream and know that they wouldn’t be where they are now without their Kickstarter.
Their exercise mats feature illustrations of women of all colors and sizes in various yoga poses. These poses were intentional; they wanted to depict women of color being at peace. It’s not often that the Black community is depicted this way and the sisters wanted to highlight this to not just show that we can be at peace, but also to let us know how important it is for us to find peace within ourselves. The illustrations, done by their mother, highlight women with afros. They wanted to let women know that it is ok to exercise even if you are going to mess up your hair. As Cornelia said, “it’s ok to let your curls pop.”
Julia & Cornelia, Toned by Baggedem Founders
The mats are more than just an exercise tool. They hope that it can be a source of inspiration. Women have told them they use it as artwork, or they use it to meditate. For Cornelia, she understands the importance of taking moments for herself so she practices meditation and jogs to clear her mind. For Julia, she is taking everything one day at a time. As a mother to a 10-year-old and a 1-year-old she used the mat as a source of inspiration while dealing with post-partum depression. She says that her mindset as well as trying to incorporate physical wellness though eating better are what help her to deal with whatever the day throws at her.
The biggest issue these sisters have faced since starting their business has been the pace of which their inventory has moved. In the future, they hope to expand their brand and to continue highlighting representation for everyone regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. In their own words, “Wellness is important to everyone.” If you could use a little inspiration in your exercise journey, you can find your own Toned by Baggedem exercise mat
on their website.