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Hoop dreams: Calgary woman hopes custom hula hoop company sparks a revolution

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Caroline Kruger is in her tenth year of making hula hoops for people of all ages and abilities in her backyard garage studio.

Her company is called Geometric Revolution Hooping, GeoRev for short, and her customers are from all over North America.

"It's about helping people find the discipline of Flow Arts and helping hoopers that are already established find their perfect prop," said Kruger.

"It took about three years of building them as a hobby to feel that I was at the professional level, and I started my company in 2014."

Kruger says there are a handful of small companies in Canada producing hula hoops, but there are hundreds in the United States, because that's where the colourful polypropylene tubing is made.

"It's produced in Colorado," she said. "There's one major supplier in the world, so to get it here in Canada, you do have to do all the things (similar to) buying a retail hoop, which is pay for the shipping, duties, (dollar) conversion, so I typically drive down to the states to pick up my materials to save costs."

Kruger says her hoops can be made in a variety of sizes and are more durable that what can be found at a big box store or through Amazon.

"When you buy a hula hoop from a hula hoop craft-smith, you're going to get one that was made for this discipline, you're going to have the best chance of having success at using it as an adult," she said.

"The hoops that I make for adults are different than the hoops that I make for kids, they're meant for adults with little-to-no experience to use, they have added grip tape they're the right size and weight for an adult to be successful."

'Instantly became addicted'

Caroline Kruger figures out the right colour to make a new hula hoop for Rochelle Rooney, while Jess McNeely helps out.Banff resident Rochelle Rooney says she took up hula hooping as a creative way to stay in shape and relieve stress.

Initially, Rooney was frustrated, saying she wasn't getting the hang of hooping, but that changed when she connected with Kruger.

"I said, 'I'm new to hooping, this is what I want to do.' and she made some recommendations," said Rooney.

"I bought my first couple of hoops and instantly became addicted, it was so much different having a hoop from a master hoop-smith. It changed everything for me."

Rooney now owns 25 hoops from GeoRev in many sizes and colours because she's performing tricks and needs a selection to choose from.

She says she enjoys making the trip to the Calgary shop to see all the options.

"When I walk in here, it's just it's a surreal feeling, it's another world," she said. "I look at all the colors and I'm like, 'I don't have any of that color yet,' and 'I don't have one of that color yet,' much to my husband's dismay, but there's many more colors for me to obtain and many more sizes."

'I fell in love'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jess (@marmaladelights)

Jess McNeely is a circus artist who turned her passion of the flow arts into a full-time job.

"I started with a fiber optic whip and I was introduced to Caroline and she taught me how to hula hoop," she said.

"I got my first body hoop from her, and it really took off from there, I fell in love."

McNeely performs all over the province and hooping is a big part of her stage act.

"Hula hooping is a living for me, I made this into a business for myself and I'm so blessed and happy and thankful that I get to do what I love doing every day," she said.

"If I'm not performing, then I'm training, and it's a lot of fun. I get to spread the love of this art and inspire the people, so it's great."

Kruger says the activity was popular in the 1960s when every household had to have two or three hula hoops, and she's hoping that happens again.

"(I hope) we have another hula hoop revolution, that's why the company is named the Geometric Revolution," she said.

"My life goal and work is to bring this to the general public as a tool for moving meditation, for health, for wellness, for balance, for joy and for connection."

You can shop Kruger's custom-made hoops online at the GeoRev website.

To visit the shop in person, you have to reach out to Kruger for a free consultation through the GeoRev website.

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