Jake Wood. Founder and Designer, So We Flow

21 August 2017

These days it's hard to miss the amount of women's boutique fitness and yoga brands popping up all over the place, which of course is fabulous for me, but for all the male yogis out there isn't great. There are a few male only brands starting out but the market is still relatively untapped, and that is where my latest talent comes in. Jake Wood has just launched So We Flow, a men's only yoga wear brand, specialising in easy to wear gorgeous fabrics and silhouettes perfect for yoga and lounging!

I caught up with Jake to find out more about the brand and what's in store!

How did you first come across yoga and get into it?

Whilst living in Taghazout, Morocco, I met a lovely duo - one part yoga teacher, the other accomplished chef. They required some branding (my official trade if I had to name one) to turn this combo of proficiencies into a business. We traded a brand identity for 6 months of daily yoga. The setting: a rooftop at sunset - following a day of surfing and preluding a freshly caught fish BBQ - it was the perfect introduction.

How did you get the idea to start up your own yoga clothing brand?

There were a number of reasons. Firstly, nothing was quite working for me or those around me. I was wearing women's sweatpants; others were wearing old gym rags, bohemian mashups, or technical sportswear. There appeared to be nothing suitable for the everyday man. I wanted to create something that was principally designed for movement, distinctively stylish, yet understated enough to embrace any man’s individual style. Not all men feel comfortable in sportswear. Even less would wear it outside of class. I based so we flow… on British workwear. The way a work shirt is constructed to allow movement in a factory resembles the way a compression vest is optimised for peak performance in the gym. This culminated in something that works equally well on the street as it does on the mat.

Secondly, yoga has had a profound effect on my life and the lives of those around me. At the root of everything is my genuine ambition for more men to do yoga. I’m under no illusion that so we flow… is a business, but if so we flow… can make yoga more accessible, more enjoyable, more authentic for men - it is a success in my eyes.

Describe a day in the life of Jake?!

The build up to launch hasn’t exactly been a great representation of how I generally spend my days - it’s been hard work! So I’ll give you the picturesque version…

I’ve freelanced all my life so I frequently spend time in different places. However, a few elements of my day are steady. Unsurprisingly, I generally have yoga for breakfast. This could be anything from 30 minutes relaxation to a 90 minute sequence, depending on how I’m feeling. I work best in the morning so this is the time where I enjoy knuckling down with a coffee and getting things done. Post lunch it’s time for activities. Depending on where I am in the world, this could be a yoga class, swim, a stroll, climbing, exploration or if I’m in an urban location, something akin to gymnastics. There may be more work slotted in here if needs must… I love to cook (and eat), so I’ll usually put something proper together for dinner. I’m also partial to a tipple - whether a fine red wine or a pint in a Yorkshire pub. In and amongst all of that I read savagely and spend a rather large proportion of time wandering around…

What's your favourite yoga position and where do you practice?

At the moment Baddha Konasana is the place to be. I’ve recently been taught it as a Yin posture where you basically just flop over and let go. It can take you to crazy places. I recently moved back to Yorkshire in order to start so we flow…. As classes are much more affordable here it’s been a great opportunity to explore all kinds of practice. I’m currently taught by Dave Kane (facebook.com/davekaneyoga/) in Ashtanga style, Claire Wilkinson in Iyengar, Catherine Hope (facebook.com/YogaEarthCatherineEastwood/) in Hatha and also do some classes at a beautiful studio come bar called Om is Where the Heart is (omiswheretheheartis.co.uk). I often feel like I’m spreading myself thin and I think I would perhaps benefit from a focus on one style for a length of time.

What advice would you give to anyone starting their own brand?

Entrepreneurship is paraded as an idyllic situation. There is a literature culture which says ‘follow these simple steps to success’. But there are too many variables. Perhaps the only constant is working like a bitch. It is certainly far removed from yoga. You end up taking the role of accountant, labourer, designer, web developer, lawyer, retailer, delivery driver to name a few… There’s the negatives. What outshines all of this is being able to make something you love ‘work’, the journey and the extraordinary experiences you have, and ultimately being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Everyday’s a holiday.

Five items you can't live without?

My kindle is genuinely the only thing. I’m stretching the definition of ‘items’ but apples, the sea, hot beverages, my guitar and wine.

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