The Mountain Mat story began in an unlikely, exotic locale –Muscat, Oman.
In 2016, my husband received military orders to the U.S. Embassy in Oman, allowing us the rare and wonderful opportunity to expose our three children to the Middle East.
During our three years in Muscat, we met many wonderful people and had numerous cultural experiences that will remain with us for life. One thing we noticed repeatedly during our travels were these plastic woven mats that seemed commonplace, readily available, and widely used everywhere at all times.
Whether we were at parks, beaches, festivals, birthday parties, sporting events or even camel races, these mats allowed individuals and families to claim their space and create a calm oasis in the middle of the action. We soon adopted their use too and were quick converts, wondering how we ever lived without such a useful, multipurpose mat in our lives!
Seeing how these mats were intricately woven into everyday life in the Middle East got us wondering about their use (or lack thereof) in American culture. That’s when the Mountain Mat idea was born. With a few modifications and some high-quality upgrades, I was sure the #mountainmatlife could grow in popularity here in the good ol’ USA. I was right!
Now, you’re probably thinking “Jen, I see these kinds of mats everywhere!” While you may see a similar product in the marketplace, there are some key distinctions that make Mountain Mats better, and those improvements are critical to widespread adoption. Here are the top 3 Mountain Mat advantages:
#1. Mountain Mats are designed with thicker weave (550g) for added cushion, durability and better insulation against hot, cold, wet, or even muddy ground. Result? You’ll use it more because it will provide you a level of protection and comfort from the ground that others simply won’t.
#2. We added 4-sided edging to prevent fraying, loops or stainless steel grommets for staking down, UV protectant for color preservation, and our largest mats come with a high-quality 420d nylon all-weather carry bag. Result? These extras give you additional flexibility to use your mat in ways that meet your all-weather needs. Get creative!
#3. We sourced our manufacturing material from 100% recycled polypropylene, because we’re committed to providing sustainable, eco-friendly products. Result? You can feel good knowing your Mountain Mat is keeping plastics out of landfills.
The Mountain Mat Original hit the market in early 2019, and since that time it’s been growing in popularity. I’ve enjoyed every aspect of growing this woman veteran-owned small business. When I’m not operating at the helm as Mountain Mat CEO, I serve as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. My husband, who retired from the U.S. Air Force after 21 years, now flies for Delta Airlines. Our three amazing children are full-time students who earn their allowances as social media advisors, models, and part time packagers.
Thank you for being part of our journey!
– Jennifer Hillberg, founder Mountain Mat