NITARA meets...Georgie Davies

NITARA meets...Georgie Davies

February 20, 2019

Georgie is an Oxford-based yoga teacher and the founder of Yogipod: a line of *stunning* printed yoga props, homewears and, as we find out in this interview, soon-to-be clothing line; which is made from artisan hand block printed fabrics from Jaipur, India.

Georgie is a women after my own heart, I mean if you look at our back stories they are kinda ...'same same but different' haha! Going from high fashion hustle, to yoga life; to merging the two together (and definitely still hustling with heart!). You can really see the love and passion she has for her yoga practice and business in every thread of every Yogipod product and every blog/insta post or commentary on her own practice.

I genuintely find Geoergie super inspiring, so I wanted you guys to get to know her a little better! So we hung out at Benk & Bo for an afternoon, had a chat and did a little collaborative shoot featuring some of her gorgeous products and ours :) Enjoy....

Ellie: Tell me about your life pre-yoga, whats your background?
Georgie: Yoga was a part of my life for a long time before I made the move to start my yoga teacher training and then teaching but my background is creative. I studied fashion design at London College of Fashion and had a career working in fabric development in luxury womenswear. I loved my job and textiles and design which is why both sides of Yogipod were born, bringing together my love of yoga and print and textiles. The fashion industry was equally a lot of fun and a lot of hard work and it was something I couldn't see myself doing forever, or at least forever for someone else. For me there was a limit to how many all nighters I could pull pre fashion week chaos! So having the ability to be creative on my own terms is amazing and pretty much all I ever wanted, and all the late nights are on my terms now!  
E: How did yoga become part of your life?
G: I think I came to yoga like most people, from a physical perspective. I've had a knee condition since my teenage years which remained undiagnosed until my early 20's. This meant any form of exercise was difficult as I was in a fair amount of pain and didn't really know what kind of exercise was appropriate for me. I dabbled with yoga here and there but nothing ever stuck until I'd had my diagnosis when I knew I needed to build strength and yoga was a brilliant non impact way of doing this. So I probably started practising weekly at the age of 21 which coincided with my final year of university and all the stress that goes with that! My physical practice became a really important part of my life after this point and I became fascinated with what my evolving body could do. The mental and spiritual side of yoga didn't get me until I really needed it though and this came about during a particularly difficult period at work. I was pretty unhappy and stressed a lot of the time and I realised the only hour I craved every week was yoga and that during that hour nothing else mattered and leaving that class I always felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. It had well and truly got me and I was hooked and have been ever since.

E:...And now, what does the practice mean to you?
G: The yoga practice to me now is pretty much everything. I am in no way going to pretend I get on my mat for my own physical practice without fail every single day, because I don't (yoga teacher confession) but I live and breathe the practice. This may just be building in a couple of minutes of mindfulness in to my day or observing my breath or taking the time to notice the world around me. Getting in touch with me and my body and just checking how we are basically. I'm always in complete awe of what I can achieve when I truly listen to myself whether that be in work or in my physical practice and yoga in the wider sense is what helps me with this.  
E: What would you say is the biggest lesson you've learned through yoga?
G: I spent a long time not listening to either my heart or my head or even my body and yoga is slowly teaching me this. By taking the time to look and experience inwards I've got to know and love myself more.
E: Off the mat, what are you most passionate about?
G: Ooh that's a hard one....I'm not sure I could narrow it down to one thing. Travel is a huge thing I'm passionate about, I love exploring new places whether far flung or close to home and all the adventure that brings. It's a cliche but one of my dreams is to buy a van and just explore the world. Music is also a massive passion, I am never in a quiet house there is always something playing, I love gigs and festivals and being around live music and the passion of musicians. I find that environment super inspiring and uplifting. The creative world is also something I am super passionate about experiencing, whether it be experimenting with fashion, planning fantasy interiors, hanging out in galleries or the theatre. Oh and books, I adore books.

E: Tell us the story of Yogipod: how did the idea come about?   
G: Truth be told it came out of nowhere. In 2017 I decided to take a bit of a break. I had headed straight from school to uni to work and if I'm honest I think I was burning out. So I decided to quit my job and go travelling. While in India I found myself being drawn to textiles from a personal perspective rather than a work brief in mind and falling in love with the eternal simplicity of block printing. At that point I knew when I returned I wanted to be more involved in this beautiful craft but it was only as my travels continued that I started to toy with the idea that became Yogipod. It started as a homewares idea but gradually morphed into the props/homewares/lifestyle brand it's becoming now.

E: You have the fabric printed in Jaipur, tell us a little bit about that process - Do you draw the design and have it calved into the blocks or do you choose the blocks as they are? Do you visit the printers often?
G: All of the fabric is hand block printed in the traditional manner using handcarved wooden blocks by artisans whose families have been doing this for generations and this is my absolute favourite thing about the range. The very process of hand printing measn you get real character inot the print, with little "flaws" creating character and a story. The fact that the printing is so reliant on the weather is amazing too. The sunshine is needed to set the print dye and for some colours even helps change it to the correct tone. Although this mean monsoon season is pretty much a no go for printing!
It is definitely within my plans to design my own prints but currently I am working with the block archive of the amazing cooperative I work with, curating their archive into the collection you see. Print design is something I have done in the past I just need to find some more hours in the week to add this particular string back to my bow. Currently I'm planning a trip out to India later in the year to develop more exciting things and this will be my first trip out there since we launched. I'd love to go out there more often but right now juggling all the paperwork that comes with being a one woman band plus teaching yoga it's a little difficult to get away, so frantic whatsapp messages to my supplier are having to suffice!

E: Whats next for yogipod?
G: Lots of exciting things! I currently have a brand new colourway in work to add some zing to the range ready for spring/summer and with this in mind Yogipod is going to be popping up at various festivals in the summer so I can meet all the lovely people who have been so supportive. From a product point of view meditation cushions are on the horizon and the seeds of mat bags, kimonos and lounge wear are beginning to be sown. Watch this space!
E: Is there a mantra or quote you live by?
G: I'd love to be that super yoga teacher and say yes but if I'm honest not constantly. There's different ones that I guess live alongside me and pop in when I need them, but not one particular. Two that I am resonating with a lot at the moment are 'I am enough' and 'live life like no one is watching'.
E: You're stranded on a deserted island and you're granted one item to keep with you, what is it?
G: I've thought about this a lot because I love Desert Island Discs and I think it would have to be a fully stocked art kit with endless paper. I never have as much time to draw as I would like and I figure being stuck on a desert island is the perfect time to get back in touch with that side of me.

Say hi to Georgie and follow her story via her Website & Instagram

Products featured: Georgie wears our flock print set (Leggings & Bra), Yogipod rug, bolster and eye pillow

All Photos by Sam Lindley

And a massive thank you to Benk & Bo for having us in there beautful space

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