The idea of a floating mat arises
The story of FloatingMatto began in 2014 when one of the founders of FloatingMatto, Arnold Uschanov, then a young boy, went on a southern vacation with his family to Cape Verde, Africa.
One afternoon, sitting by the hotel pool, still warming up in the comfort of the sun, Arnold woke up from his book to the cheers and happy hustle and bustle of children and even adults:
"There was so much noise that I had to go see what was really going on in the pool?"
To the delight of children and other attendees, someone had come up with the idea of taking a huge red “unexercised” to the pool! There was enough joy for many, both children and adults, and the going was very fast at times but most of all it looked fun.
However, the joy was not eternal and later turned into the pain of the hotel staff when after a while the exercise mat sank to the bottom of the pool and no longer moved from there.
However, the joy and enthusiasm of those present for a moment had remained permanently in Arnold's mind.
From idea to product
The following autumn, Arnold moved with his good friend Sebastian Fröberg from the small archipelago city of Parainen to Turku, Finland, to study business administration at Novia University of Applied Sciences.
These tradenomi studies also included setting up a company in terms of learning. After a moment of listening to the business ideas presented by the other students, Arnold and Sebastian decided to share their own thoughts:
"What if we developed a floating exercise mat, we wouldn't be the kind of thing found!"
After a moment of wonder, the group of students decided not to set up a third student café and agreed with the friends ’crazy-sounding idea.
The following months were filled with students ’intensive development work. Tuuriak was also on his way, Finland happened to be the only manufacturer in Europe that could produce material suitable for the intended use.
After months, through mistakes and successes and hard but enthusiastic trying, a new product was finally born: Floating Carpet.
In the spring of 2016, a group of students was finally ready to release the product they had developed during the winter.
The atmosphere was tense, were they ready, could they take care of everything?
And how would the market react, what if no one wanted to buy the product?
Fearful feelings were appropriate, but proved futile: the product was just as high quality and fun as to why it was designed and the reception accordingly: immediate success.
In the first summer, all the manufactured products were sold out in an instant, the quantities were not huge but gave us faith in the future - we were on the right track.
New products, ideas and fun
The well-started journey inspired the student group to continue the development work, it was not ready yet, this “school work” would not be left halfway but would be properly completed.
Thus, in the autumn and winter of 2017, the refining of the Floating Mat continued, because of the valuable information that had been collected during the summer. “Listening to customer wishes, thoughts and feedback, based on which our own experiments and product improvements were made”.
“The best part was that this didn’t feel like going to school or work, we had fun every day” says Sebastian Fröberg.
When the spring sun began to warm up again, the family of the original Floating Mat was also expanded to include siblings M, L, and XL rugs.
The rugs made like last summer went like hot stones and more and more Finnish homes were able to experience the joy of the Floating Mat.
The year 2018 marked the end of one era. The joint time of the group of students, who worked very closely together, was coming to an end in the spring.
For a long time, however, the matter did not have to be considered until the original ideationers Arnold and Sebastian decided to buy the shares of the other shareholders and continue to write the story of the FloatingMat.
2018 became FloatingMath's most successful year so far.
The story of the Floating Mat had rushed further and further and the rugs began to appear to the delight of people all over Finland.
More than 1,000 satisfied customers and 10,000 enthusiastic followers
By 2019, five years after the idea of the FloatingMat was born, this had grown from a crazy idea into a product that delighted and moved Finns in more than 1,000 homes and cottages.
In social media Floating Mat there were more than 10,000 followers and the annual Floating Carpet raffle was a sure sign of spring.
Also abroad was awakened to the magic of FloatingMat, what “Those crazy Finns” had now invented?
Additional power, conquests and markets
So 2020 was another year of strong development, it was time to increase the revs and tune the FloatingMat's machinery to the next level.
To succeed in this, the founders of KelluvaMato decided to expand their ownership base and thereby add pairs of hands to the making.
As a result, production and logistics were developed to an even better level, the look of KelluvaMato was renewed, the product range was expanded and a new B2B sales channel was opened.
”It feels like we're more ready now than ever for the summer of 2021. "
Arnold continues: "This year we will take the good news of the FloatingMato more widely to neighboring countries, so stubbornly, for example, the guys from the western neighbor have asked about the rugs".
Arnold Uschanoff & Sebastian Fröberg
Archipelago Sports Oy