Once upon a time, I went to Wal-mart to buy my 6-year-old daughter a hula hoop for her birthday. What I found was a single display of flimsy, cheap toys that looked like they wouldn’t withstand a week of child’s play.
I know, hula hoops were originally intended to be toys..just as roller skates, skateboards, trampolines, jump ropes and basketballs were. But these objects are now also part of robust, fitness-oriented, ground-breaking arenas: where they are not just toys but also tools of creativity and extraordinary physical expression.
So..what’s the deal??
Why is the quality of a child’s product so shoddy? Because it’s “only a toy” or because it’s intended for children? That bothered me and my Aries Moon…lol
Needless to say, I went home without the Wal-mart hoop.
My Gateway Hoop
During this time, I worked on a college campus full of aspiring engineers. You can imagine my delight and astonishment when one student told me that she made her own hula hoops. Those clever future-engineers!
Always willing to help out a broke undergrad, I bought one for my daughter and I asked the student if she could make one for me too. Just for fun, you know? I hadn’t hula hooped since elementary school, and I certainly didn’t have faith in retaining those abilities.
We debuted the hula hoops at my daughter’s party, and not only did the kids love them (and roughhoused with them as predicted), but the parents got up and tried my adult-sized hoop as well! I was shocked at how much fun, laughter, excitement and sweat was present not just for the kids.. but for everyone.
That was it. I was hooked.
Hoops all day every day
From that moment on, every spare minute of my day was spent hula hooping. After my daughter went to bed, while she was in the bathtub, I brought my hoop to the park and hooped while she played on the playground, and of course we spent a lot of time hula hooping together.
But I wanted more 😀
I got on Youtube and watched hooping tutorials . I discovered Hooping.org which featured amazing videos from hoop artists, circus performers, fitness coaches, business owners & professional dancers. It was amazing to see such a beautiful group of people, each one expressing their skills and creativity in different, graceful way.
My vision of what hula hooping was, and the possibilities of what it could be kept growing and expanding.
Of course while I was on the internet, I not only discovered hooping videos, I discovered “how to make” hoop videos. I could do that, I thought. So I gathered the supplies and gave it a whirl. My first hoop was a heavy, clumsy, not-exactly-circular, rainbow-duct taped monstrosity. It didn’t spin very well, and the duct tape melted into a sticky mess in the sun.
I researched and experimented, called around to local shops, found better materials, upgraded my tape selection and started to expand my inventory. I tried different designs and color combinations, until finally I had a nice stack of semi-attractive hoops.
Of course the next step was to dare my friends to try them out. Like me, they didn’t believe they even could hula hoop anymore. I convinced each and every one to try my hoops, made from durable HDPE tubing (normally used for irrigation purposes), and found that the weight of the tubing created enough centrifugal motion around their waists to keep it up and moving.
Watching people realize that they can do something, seeing the look of pleasure spread across their faces is literally the best feeling in the world 🙂 And that I could bring this feeling into their lives with a single hand-made object? Sign me up!
I started bringing my stash of hoops with me to parks, tailgate parties, barbecues, potlucks, concerts, ball games, basically anywhere with music (or I would bring my own portable speaker).
Everywhere I went, people wanted to try out the hoops. Some were interested in buying them. So I started carrying cash and signing up for craft fairs, arts & music festivals. I started an Etsy page, and through word of mouth and a lot of hard work I began making a bit of money.
The Future of Astrolicious Hoops
So, that’s my story. I’ve been creating durable, colorful, friendly-for-all-ages-and-skill level-hoops for almost 5 years now. I’ve expanded my designs to include everything from black and white mod to My Little Pony Pink-tastic.
But it’s time to re-evaluate. Things I keep coming back to:
- That feeling of watching someone’s face light up with the joy of discovery.
- How I lost 10 pounds and never felt better about my body
- The peace of mind, freedom of expression and quiet joy that hooping brought me
- The connectedness to friends, kids, family and people of all types
- Integration with music, art and creativity all surrounding the world of hula hoops
In the same way Yoga integrates mental, physical and spiritual health, I believe hula hooping can too. It’s simple. It’s fun. It doesn’t require anything more than time, space and focus.
Astrology is about connectedness to all things universal. Movement is one of them. Health is one of them. Art & music and design can be astrological. Hula Hooping can be astrological.
I’m super psyched to share these ideas, thoughts and designs with you.
So…. what’s your sign? 😉 Head on over to my shop and find out what type of hoop fits your personality and style. We’ve got hoops for every member of the zodiac!