Health & Beauty

A Hop, Skip & A Next-Level Jump (Win!)

January 4, 2023

When Harriet Obinyan hooked up with Best Buy to help bring her idea for a high-tech skipping rope to market, magic with made. Through the Best Buy Mentorship & Accelerator Program, Harriet’s fitness and wellness company, Yu-mn, through which she created her smart jump rope and other high-quality exercise tools, is thriving—and bringing skipping to the masses. We chatted with Harriet to find out more. —Noa Nichol

Hi Harriet! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

My name is Harriet Obinyan, and I’m the founder of Yu-mn, a fitness and wellness company. I was a flight attendant for about nine years, and currently live in Montreal. I’m proud to be an entrepreneur and a part of the Best Buy Mentorship & Accelerator Program.

Where did the idea for Yu-mn come from? What does your brand name mean?

When I was a flight attendant, I stayed in shape by travelling with a portable fitness set. When I decided to start my own business, I wanted to recreate what I used back then—a yoga mat, small dumbbell set and jump rope. My goal is to take the ambiguity out of fitness, and I currently have five items in my product line. Yu-mn (pronounced yoo-min) means “good fortune” or “success” in Arabic. Yu-mn represents the success I hope for my business, but also the success I hope people have when working toward their fitness goals.

When did assistance from the Best Buy Mentorship & Accelerator Program (MAP) come in? How did it change the course of your launch?

I launched my business in February 2020 and started selling my products in December of that year. Home fitness was very popular during that time, but I was still looking for support to grow my company and business acumen. I applied for the Best Buy Mentorship & Accelerator Program (MAP) and was so excited to be accepted as one of its first participants. I started with MAP in January 2022 and was immediately introduced to mentors in learning and development, business, and marketing. They provided me with free e-learning courses, identified my challenges, and gave me access to so many resources. My whole business has been accelerated because I have experts supporting me at each step. My products are being sold at Best Buy stores and online at BestBuy.ca, which I never thought would have been possible. Participating in the Mentorship & Accelerator Program is the best thing that could have happened to my business, and I am so grateful!

What products does Yu-mn currently offer? What makes them special/unique?

All Yu-mn’s fitness products are made from the highest quality materials and are available at a very affordable price point. They’re perfect for exercising on the go or in the comfort of your own home and come with free carry pouches for easy portability. My products include:

  • A smart jump rope that connects to an app for easy and fun fitness tracking
  • Silicone weighted bangles (2.2lb/1kg) that can be worn on your wrists or ankles to add resistance and burn more calories (available in white or black)
  • The resistance band set is a full body workout in one bag. It includes bands made of durable fabric, as well as core sliders
  • A non-slip, anti-odour yoga mat that includes a free carry strap (available in white or black)
  • Alkaline water sachets (up to a 12-month supply in one box) are an easy way to increase the pH level of the water you’re drinking

Please tell us more about the smart skipping rope—all of the ins and outs, please! How will it revolutionize skipping/fitness?

Fifteen minutes of jumping is the equivalent of running for half an hour! Skipping is easy to do, and can be done anywhere, anytime. The Yu-mn smart jump rope connects to the Paiactive app, which is available for iOS and Android. Through the app, you can calculate calories burned and heart rate. Since there are sensors on the handles, it can accurately capture your jumps and store your data to easily see your progress. The jump rope can be shared with other people, and you can see how you’re doing against other Paiactive users on the leaderboard. The app also syncs easily with Google Health and Strava, making it easy to meet your fitness goals in a fun and easy way! 

What would you say to other young entrepreneurs with an idea, who may not know how to get their product to market? Any tips/advice?

Don’t be afraid to think big and know that asking for help is never a bad thing! Being open to feedback—and really listening to it and implementing it—makes a huge difference. Understand your target audience, and know that sometimes mistakes are unavoidable (but are okay if you learn from them). For Yu-mn, I created a plan for what I wanted to achieve and searched for products that were like my idea. From there, I connected with companies that could help me create samples and develop branding and design so I could launch a website and social media channels. Never turn down a learning opportunity—there are lots of courses available to help you grow your business knowledge. And of course, look for mentorship and accelerator programs, such as Best Buy Canada’s Mentorship & Accelerator Program!

yu-mn.com

Win! A Yu-mn Fitness Prize Pack!

Congrats Mary F. of Woodbridge, ON, who will receive a Yu-mn prize pack, including:

  • 1 x yoga mat (black)
  • 1 x smart skipping rope
  • 1 x set of resistance bands and core sliders
  • 1 x pair of weighted bangles (black)
  • 1 x box of alkaline water bags

Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.

share:

  1. Teresa

    January 5th, 2023 at 9:05 am

    Yoga & Zumba
    @im.ter

  2. Carole Wilson

    January 5th, 2023 at 9:31 am

    Bicycle
    Vegane_delphie

  3. Pnina Lutwak

    January 5th, 2023 at 9:56 am

    Bike @pnina44

  4. So La

    January 5th, 2023 at 11:38 am

    yoga @farting_frog

  5. Chelsie Hirsch

    January 5th, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Yoga!

    @noodleball

  6. Jackielou Paringit

    January 5th, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Skipping rope is my favourite

  7. Jackielou Paringit

    January 5th, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    Skipping rope!

  8. Jackielou Paringit

    January 5th, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Skipping Rope!!!

    @jackie111983

  9. Alicia Raffin

    January 5th, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    My favourite workout exercise is definitely anything that gets you up and moving with energy such as Zumba @aliciaraffin

  10. Maria McArthur

    January 5th, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    Would love to try skipping rope since it’s supposed to be better for you than jogging!

    @F3atlast

  11. Monique L.S.

    January 5th, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    I enjoy swimming for exercise.
    IG @minty_mo2020

  12. Helen C

    January 5th, 2023 at 9:08 pm

    Running

  13. Mary Ann Dudragne

    January 6th, 2023 at 7:00 am

    @maadhatter22

    Treadmill

  14. MaryM

    January 6th, 2023 at 7:40 am

    running

  15. Tabby72

    January 6th, 2023 at 8:25 am

    I love to go running! @tabby_1972

  16. jan

    January 6th, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Getting on my bike or in the weight room
    @jan_leeu

  17. Melanie Camirand

    January 6th, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Boxing workouts
    IG : @melcami1

  18. Cynthia S (CinchaLouise)

    January 7th, 2023 at 7:57 am

    Yoga and stretching exercises

  19. Anna Tanner

    January 7th, 2023 at 8:55 am

    I started yoga & loving it!
    @tannerclan007

  20. Lisa

    January 8th, 2023 at 7:43 am

    I love resistance training.

    IG: weezik

  21. Rachel C.

    January 8th, 2023 at 8:40 am

    right now it’s beat saber (vr rhythm dance game)!

    @rachelanncartwright

  22. Jenelle Fraser

    January 8th, 2023 at 7:08 pm

    My favourite exercise is swimming! @jenelleefraser

  23. Sandra Dufoe

    January 10th, 2023 at 10:08 am

    My favourite exercise is walking, swimming. @sandufoe

  24. Catherine Lee

    January 10th, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    Squats
    @catherineannlee705

  25. Mary D.

    January 11th, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    Aquafit
    @msdanieli

  26. Eileen @604girl

    January 12th, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Yoga
    @604girl

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