Blair Fillingham is the Founder of MTRNL, the first and only interactive online yoga studio that specializes in prenatal and postnatal yoga. She offers scheduled classes via live video, and a library of class recordings available on-demand, that her members can join from anywhere in the world. Unlike ‘YouTube yoga’, the video technology that she use allows for everyone in the class to see each other.
Each month her members nominate a maternal health charity, and she donates $5 on behalf of every member to that organization. So far, their monthly donations have funded the training of multiple midwives in Syria, 11x community midwife micro-grants in the USA, women and children’s homeless shelters, refugee/immigration services, mothers who cannot afford to continue their MTRNL membership due to crisis, a movie that is generating awareness about postpartum depression and several other small charities serving mothers.
Blair has won a few awards since launching MTRNL last year, including “Startup of the Year” and “Entrepreneur of the Year” at the International Business Awards and the American Business Awards, and the Romper.com “Mom-Entrepreneur Made-It Award”. Blair believes this recognition indicates the growing awareness of the need to provide better support to mothers. The health and wellbeing of mamas is crucial to the future of our planet, and MTRNL is here to make that priority a reality.
We asked Blair to tell us a bit more about her, and how she found herself on this mission.
How old are you?
37. But I feel as though I am in my 20’s again, since starting a business. I think I skipped my ‘youth’ in the quest to climb the corporate ladder, so the older I get the younger I feel. The yoga probably helps too 😉
Where were you raised?
In a little town called Wagga Wagga, in rural Australia. That’s where I met my now husband. As soon as I fell in love with him I thought to myself “I want that boy to be the father of my children, and we will live on a farm, and we will have a band, and he will look after our babies when I travel for my career…” And here we are, 20 years later, doing just that.
What you want to be known for?
Helping others to feel loved. And that I contributed to making the world a better place for mothers.
What made you decide to start your venture? Tell us about YOUR WHY.
It was the logical next step in my career to create something that merged my corporate experience, marketing savvy, family priorities, personal goals and desire to make the world a better place for mothers.
Did you leave a cozy Corporate job? Or start a side hustle?
I was laid off on my first day of maternity leave. (Yes, that happens!) Which gave me the space (and permission) to take what had been a hobby (aka side-hustle that doesn’t pay you very much!) for a couple of years and turn it into my next job.
What inspires you to keep going when the going gets tough?
My mission. It’s a big one, and it has to be solved somehow!! I know I am making a difference when I go back and read the emails and messages that I have received from the mamas that I have worked with so far that tell me how much MTRNL has touched their lives.
And finally, we asked Blair to answer these three questions.
My favorite self-care routine is…
Getting up before everyone else, sitting on my front doorstep and drinking a cup of coffee as the sun rises. Then I go pat my pigs, feed my ducks, breathe in the crisp morning air and soak up those delicious morning vibrations.
The last book I read was ….
“There There” by Tommy Orange. It’s a story about modern life for Native Americans. I am currently reading Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” and Katy Bowman’s “Movement Matters”. Recommendations on a new fiction book please!
My best advice to fellow female founder is…
Listen to your heart. Every. Single. Day. And do what makes your heart happy.