Jina Carnelly is from Kenya but lives in the UK, where she sells bright and colourful yoga blocks made from recycled flip flops.
The flip flops used are collected from oceans, rivers and lakes in Kenya, then carved and glued together by locals.
We spoke to Jina about her connection to her home country and what she loves about being a business owner.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to work with animals in conservation 💕 Could sit and watch fluffy pandas and baby elephants all day! 🐘
What inspired you to start the business?
I wanted to do something where I was part of something at home in Kenya from the UK, that was helping with conversation, whilst putting money in the pockets that need it most.
What do you sell and how is it made sustainably?
I sell yoga/Pilates blocks made from flip-flips collected off the beaches in Kenya that are glued and carved into bright beautiful blocks.
What’s your favourite thing about being a business owner?
I get to make the decisions! I love seeing where all the small connections and interactions you make and notice can lead, from something as small as a Facebook like.
What’s your productivity secret?
Mmm if you find it can you let me know? Do the thing you don’t want to do first thing in the morning!
How do you find inspiration?
Through wonderful people, everyone has something about them or that they do that inspires me!
What’s your favourite quote?
Not really a quote, but I am forever saying “life is so short, we have to make the most of it!”
What would you recommend to someone wanting to become an entrepreneur?
I would say just start your business idea straight away, don’t overthink it (life is short 😂) it doesn’t have to be perfect, it will evolve and change anyway in ways you don’t know until you start!
If you had all the money in the world, where would you live?
I would like my base to be in the south west England but able to go home and see my family whenever I want in Kenya.
What is the dream with Downward Duck?
It’s always changing but to make a positive impact on as bigger scale as possible, to both people and our planet 🙏
Shop from Downward Duck
Upcycled Yoga Block
The environmentally friendly yoga block will bring happiness to your practice, or if gifted, to a sustainable loving yogi. Each block made recycles 21 flip-flops and has provided essential employment in Kenya.
The Imperfect Blog
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have it all figured out in order to lead a sustainable lifestyle. In fact, it's better to make small conscious choices when possible, than none at all. We explore every topic under the sun around kindness to our environment, wildlife, other people and ourselves.