Go with the flow


Ribandar-based Ingrid Fernandes is on a mission to make hula-hooping and flow arts cool again through her venture ‘Spinnningss’. NT BUZZ keeps you in the loop


For Ingrid Fernandes, the hula hoop is almost an extension of herself – she carries it with her wherever she goes, and moves and grooves seamlessly with it. And now, the 22-year-old has started her own venture ‘Spinnningss’ from her home in Ribandar and it revolves around the hula-hoop.

It all began about three years ago when Ingrid rediscovered the joys of hula-hooping, a childhood hobby. However, she soon realised that finding the right tubing size, or hoop size, or even a preferred colour in markets around was difficult. “When I started my hooping journey, I had to settle for something I didn’t want, at insanely high prices and in unrequired materials… Any hoop enthusiast will know the sort of demotivation a wrong hoop-size/tubing will bring,” she says.

After a long struggle of searching for the required materials and tools, she decided to give entrepreneurship a whirl and officially started making her own hoops. ‘Spinnningss’ was born in June this year during the lockdown with an aim to celebrate the art of hula-hooping and make hoops available to more people.

From bright colours to custom designs, ‘Spinnningss’ offers a range of HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) hoops at affordable prices – with each hoop designed and constructed by Ingrid. “We have different tubing sizes, workout hoops, beginner hoops, advanced hoop and kids’ hoops. Each hoop is customised with care and a lot of patience,” she says, adding that the taped designs are a big hit with customers.

The response, in fact, has been amazing, she says. “I cannot express how thankful I am to all our customers. It’s only been three months and we’re nearing a hundred customers. Living in Goa, I thought it would be difficult, but it’s been great.” One of the reasons for this surge could be the pandemic. As a one-player activity, hooping has definitely gained popularity during the lockdown, says Ingrid.

And as an activity that can be done indoors as well as outdoors, alone or with others, the benefits of hula-hooping are aplenty. “You might think of it as child’s play, but for adults, it can be quite exhilarating to figure out a trick or just figure out waist hooping. There’s a lot of hand-eye coordination involved. It’ll make you happy, it’ll make you sweat,” she says. And hula-hooping can be a fun plaything as well as a full-body workout. “If you know how to hoop and you want to get a good exercise out of it, we also have workout hoops; they’re much heavier than other hoops,” she adds.

Hooping is a form of flow arts, a general term used to describe the intersection of a variety of movement-based disciplines such as poi or juggling where props are used to express oneself through movement, she explains. “And tapping into flow arts like hooping can get you into a meditative mood, an exercise mood, a peppy mood… you can hoop any time!” she says.

And while the flow arts community is growing in Goa, there are still many who are unaware about it. “People still stop me and ask me what I’m doing with these ‘pipes’ and what the purpose of hooping is. At the end of the day it depends on how hooping or any other activity makes you feel,” she says.

For Ingrid, starting her own business from scratch naturally came with having to jump through a few hoops. And the only way to overcome these challenges, she learned, was to step out of her comfort zone. “The comfort zone is where dreams go to die. Your biggest challenges will only unravel with conscious and repeated effort to step out of your comfort zone,” she says candidly, adding that she is now working on incorporating more forms of flow arts into the Spinnningss’ repertoire.

Whether you’re an expert or a rookie, looking for a safe and socially-distant hobby to engage in during the pandemic, Ingrid has you covered. “All you have to do is pick the hoop up and play around with it. That should be enough to get your hoop journey started,” she says.