A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Our yoga practices aren't all the same, so we created a product that is as unique as you are.
Introducing AVA Yoga Bodywear
AVA was created with three principles in mind: Alignment, Assistance, and Awareness.
Guided by these principles, AVA reduces what you need to bring to the studio by offering the benefits of straps, blocks, mats, towels, and traction in one lightweight wearable for your hands and feet.
Use AVA for yoga, barre, pilates, or cross training for another sport. No matter your exercise routine AVA will support you, making sure you get the most out of your experience.
The best yoga sessions happen when you are able to remain completely focused. Often times during a session we need to get adjusted by our instructors to maximize the physical and mental benefits of the pose. This physical contact, however, leaves some yogis anxious and many more with a broken focus. AVA is designed to cue correct alignment with a chevron pattern on top of your hands and feet, helping you to quickly adjust in a position to solve common problems, while also avoiding injury. If the arrows are aligned, so is your body.
Overcoming your own physical and mental limitations is the most difficult aspect of yoga. Many yogis avoid bringing tools such as blocks and straps to studio both because it is burdensome to lug around and out of self-consciousness with skill level. AVA's built-in straps not only provide a light and portable solution, they also provide physical support while putting your ego at ease. If you need a little extra help stretching into a pose, it is at your disposal. If not, it can stay secured to your ankles and wrists to act as a supportive brace. And in order to prevent slipping on the mat or in AVA, the neoprene gloves are lined with silicone to create traction between the ground and your body.
AVA was developed with a focus on both eco and social awareness. Yoga studios typically run at least two loads of laundry per day, while individual students then go home and wash their towel after every use. At up to 50 gallons of water per load, this seems like a pretty big misstep. AVA significantly reduces the amount of water wasted both in studio and at home by lessening the number of loads of laundry required of an avid yoga goer. All that's needed to clean AVA is a sink with soap and water, and then they air dry.
While in development AVA was tested with local therapeutic yoga instructor Sharon Byrnes. Beyond the benefits for a typical yoga class, Sharon saw boundless possibilities for students who don't have the dexterity to use the yoga props already available to them. As AVA grows we want to continue to cater to different types of yoga needs as they are discovered. Whether attending a therapeutic class, looking for an adventurous flow after a long hike, or developing partner work in acro-yoga, AVA should be able to help you along the way.
Four years ago, yoga helped our founder Laura through the difficult loss of a friend. "King Christopher," as he was known by his friends, was adventurous, determined, selfless, and always a great ally. Yoga became a way for Laura to find spiritual and physical health in a time when it seemed impossible to escape from her thoughts. AVA was born out of a desire to give back to yoga the same support it provided, helping others more easily get into the mindset of complete focus and peace.
AVA was born in a senior design thesis studio at the University of Cincinnati DAAP. There the idea was conceptualized, initially prototyped, and tested at studios around the city. Looking to improve the design, AVA continued to grow at the startup incubator First Batch in Cincinnati. We were connected with local manufacturers, workshop space, and minimal funding to produce the initial round of prototypes.
Now, we need your help.
After two years of incubation, AVA is ready to meet the world. But we need your help to get there - the funding goal of this Kickstarter will allow us to continue improving our sampling, production, and packaging to get you a set of AVA by the end of the calendar year.
1. SAMPLING: Our locally produced prototypes were a great first step towards making AVA a reality. The size and material limitations, however, meant we would never be able to produce more than a few hundred units and we would be limited by the technological capacity of the manufacturer. Silicone printing to provide the traction against your hands and feet, for example, proved to be particularly difficult for a small-scale manufacturer, leaving Laura to apply all of the silicone by hand. We now have a manufacturer who can produce AVA the way it was designed, we just need your help to carry the project through.
2. FACTORIES: We have already identified and are working with a factory that will be able to manufacture AVA as it was designed. We are in the sampling stage, passing prototypes back and forth to make tweaks and updates as needed. With the funding from this Kickstarter we will be able to produce enough units to get AVA into the hands of our backers (and more!)
3. PACKAGING: As the photo above shows, we have been working through packaging samples to make sure that your AVA experience is well-designed from beginning to end. The factory we are working with will also be producing the die-cut packaging that your AVA set is delivered in, exclusively using materials that can be put back into the ground. We are working hard to have AVA be as good for our planet as it is for practice.
Laura Koven and Melinda Agron have shared a passion for design throughout their twenty-year friendship. During her final year as a student of industrial design at the University of Cincinnati, Laura conceptualized a solution for the biggest problems she had observed in the yoga studio. After Laura shared her initial sketches, Melinda recognized the potential this product had to revolutionize the way people practice yoga every day. AVA was born as a joint venture between the two: a wearable yoga accessory that maximizes stretching and aids in stability, while minimizing what you need to bring to the studio.
LAURA KOVEN is an industrial designer from Miami, Florida. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati DAAP with a degree in industrial and product design. Laura has worked as a design intern at Fossil, Specialized Bicycle Components, Puma, and ASICS. When she's not working on AVA, Laura is spending time with her dog Penny Lane, riding her bike, and spending plenty of time in the yoga studio.
MELINDA AGRON is a graduate student at the Yale School of Architecture and Yale School of Management. A native of Miami, Florida, she ventured north to Dartmouth College to study studio art and art history, working for a year between college and graduate school at the Perez Art Museum Miami. When she's not working in the studio, Melinda is visiting art museums and learning the techniques of barre.
JAMIE BARRAR works in sales with Google and is AVA's go-to marketing consultant. Originally from Miami, Florida, Jamie graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University with a degree in business, marketing, and journalism. With creative and marketing experience at Target, FCB, Mintel, and Google, Jamie has been indispensable in helping to develop AVA's marketing and outreach strategy.
LAUREN ROBIE is a designer with the Miami firm Topo_graphic. Lauren graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in visual studies and art history, and then studied landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has been collaborating with AVA as a photographer and videographer since the early days of design conception.
JONATHAN REYNOLDS has been working with AVA to produce much of the stunning video and imagery you see on this page. Jonathan graduated from the University of Cincinnati DAAP with a degree in graphic communication design. He has previously interned at Interbrand, Landor, Apple, and Epipheo, and currently works as the lead graphic designer at Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
AVA provides an answer for yoga practitioners who want to maximize physical benefits and lessen what they need to bring to the studio, all while appealing to a sense of environmental awareness.
AVA seeks to improve yoga for beginners and gurus alike. We strive to expand our reach by creating a product that ensures you are getting the most out of your yoga practice safely and with a (third) eye towards sustainability.
At AVA we embrace the traditions of a 4,000-year old practice while revolutionizing the way modern practitioners engage with it.
AVA Yoga Bodywear has established working relationships with factories, fulfillment professionals, designers, yoga-enthusiasts, intellectual property lawyers, and more, all people who are committed to our vision of making AVA a reality. The challenge now is ensuring that sampling and manufacturing happen on our predicted schedule. Although the sampling process is right on track, you never know when a particular design change might take a little longer for the factory to figure out. We anticipate three rounds of samples so that we can get you AVA by the end of the calendar year.
Not a yoga practitioner but still love the idea of AVA? At this reward level you will get a crewneck sweatshirt with the AVA logo AND a high-quality print of your favorite AVA image with a personal note from AVA's creator.
We will ask for your size and image preference after the campaign ends.
Receive four AVA hand and foot sets, a unique original drawing from the creator, and a yoga class with AVA's creator in Cincinnati. You'll get a class with the creator's favorite instructor, a step-by-step tutorial on how to best use AVA in your practice, and a tour of the city, including a look at where AVA was born, developed, and originally produced.
We will ask for your size and color preferences after the campaign ends. Backer is responsible for flight, lodging, and associated costs for trip to Cincinnati.