We're super excited to introduce avid campers and ‘van-trepreneur' parents Suze and Tod - the founders of Muk Mat. Dubbed the 'hottest camping essential', Muk Mats are portable grass mats designed to help protect your vans from all the dust and dirt your adventures inevitably bring.
We're thrilled to have Muk Mats available to purchase online in our Camplify store right now! We caught up with Suze to get the lowdown on Muk Mats, building a business from their passion for the outdoors and their fave camping spots.
Currently available in four sizes
Take a look
Passion for camping
A life of adventureTod (my husband) and I were both lucky enough to grow up camping and travelling. A love for adventure was fostered early for both of us and it was no surprise that our relationship has been built on this foundation. Not long after we met, Tod and I spent a year together hiking our way through North America. We are both in our element when we are in nature. It is now so rewarding to see we have passed on this love to our two boys.
From adventurers to innovators
I love a good waveI grew up on the beach, in the surf every day – I was a water baby. Then when I had my first son, in 2005 I took up surfing. Now nothing makes me happier than surfing with my family. By the time I had my second son, we were always outdoors – surfing, camping, mountain biking, doing triathlons. I also knew having two boys, life was going to get busy and messy.
The problem was we were forever using all sorts of buckets/towels to change from the wetsuits and clean the sand, or to keep the dirt from getting everywhere. The Muk Mat concept started with a DIY prototype that we took with us when we went to the beach, camping and the kids’ footy games. Every time I rolled out the mat, I had people approaching me saying what an amazing idea it is and asking where they could get one. I soon realised that I wasn't the only one needing a solution to keep the sand and grit outside. Like all successful products - Muk Mat was the solution to an unmet need.
Despite all the business advice I received to have them manufactured overseas, this didn't sit well with my values or mission. I found a fantastic team here on the Gold Coast to make our Muk Mats. Their attention to quality and detail is exceptional. There are so many positives to keep manufacturing local, not to mention the prompt customer service we can provide because of it. Using turf made from recycled materials was also a non-negotiable when designing the product.
The Muk Mat familyAfter extensive market research and field testing, I launched the business in Aug 2017 - just in time for Father's Day. Initially, we started with 500 Muk Mats, and when these sold out almost immediately, I knew that the need for an effective mat was even bigger than I first thought.
Not long after launch, Muk Mat appeared on the Today Show as one of "hottest new camping essentials". We are also featured in the Weekend Australian. The reviews and praise we received in those first few months were overwhelming. There is no better way to let the community know about a product than word of mouth. When you find a product that effectively solves a problem, you want to tell your friends and family about it - and this is exactly what our Muk Mat customers were doing.
Our extended R&D family
It's never boringThe caravan and camping community always look to each other for tips, advice and problem-solving, so naturally, ambassadors continue to be so valuable for our business. By accessing our detailed and authentic feedback, not only can our potential customers read thousands of reviews from fellow travellers to decide whether Muk Mat is for them, but we can constantly make adjustments and improvements for a wider range of travellers.
It's this that has driven the expansion of our product range and we continue to evolve based on our customers' needs. We have many more exciting additions in the pipeline for 2021.
Road testing around the country
2020 marked the rise and rise of Caravanning and road-tripping within Australia. Our sales had increased steadily since 2017, however, it was April 2020 that our growth was then catapulted with the growth of the caravan industry. Our sales increased 10 fold nearly overnight. Australians were buying caravans and they wanted to keep them clean. Our step mat - designed for the inner step of caravans, quickly became our best seller. Customer enquiries and wholesale orders skyrocketed.
As a product that initially started off for the surfers and beachgoers, it has really captured the interest of the caravanning and travelling community and they now make up the bulk of our market
Our Muk Mats have now been "road-tested" in nearly every town in Australia. Customers sing our praise in all environments - be it the beach, bush, the red dirt of the outback - all this dirt and dust is ending up in their Muk Mats and not their van and car.
Why we do it?
We love it!The greatest reward I get from my business is customer feedback and reviews. Every time I use my Muk Mat (which is daily) I still get a little ping of delight at what a difference it makes. Knowing these moments of delight are happening continuously in campgrounds all around the country is incredible. Australians love to travel and the outdoors and the fact that so many choose Muk Mat as one of the must-have caravanning items is more than I could have ever hoped for.
Top 5 camping spots:
1. Byron Bay - one of the best surf breaks in Oz. We have camped here every Summer with a big group of friends for the last 10 years, so many great memories
2. Minnie Waters - on a marine reserve - wonderful for surfing, fishing, snorkelling, beach and national park walks.
3. Fraser Island - Nature at its best, with the fun of freshwater lakes, rock pools, beach fishing and 4WD ing.
4. Wanaka NZ - surrounded by snow-capped mountains, not to mention the wine! You can ski, bike, swim, canyon and the road-tripping is endless
5. Exmouth - reef diving, snorkelling, whale sharks and surfing.