Mats By Design

Mats By Design

Mats By Design was created from a desire to help the environment by finding a way to use up plastic waste.

The innovation is a family-owned Australian business that was established in 2011. From horse and dog shows to caravan and camping shows, the Leslie family share their love of the outdoors through their range of eco-friendly, 100% recycled products.
We sat down with Kylie Leslie to learn more.

Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your caravan journey. Where did your passion for camping come from? 

My name is Kylie Leslie and along with my husband and two children Daniel and Georgia, we are the owners of Mats By Design. Interestingly, my camping journey is a little different from most; it wasn’t my interest in camping that led me to start the business but the business led me to a passion for caravanning! Over the last 10 years, we have attended hundreds of camping expos and spoken to thousands of campers and their passion for it made us want to get out there and see Australia as well. In May this year, we picked up our first caravan, custom-built for us to suit our business by Legend Caravans. We headed straight up to FNQ where we enjoyed a month doing expos and travelling between them!

How and when did you take your passion into innovation? 

The idea for Mats By Design was born out of our love for all things outdoors and in particular, our dogs and horses. We saw a need in both of these pursuits to make them as comfortable as possible when away competing. In 2011, the need for a new dog show mat led us to start the business Paws 4 Effect with our pawprint range. This quickly expanded into the ‘Horse Head’ range, which we promoted around Queensland at Pony Club events and then our first camping mat design quickly followed both under the Mats By Design brand.

Any future plans for Mats by Design you’d like to share? 

We recently launched our own range of eco-friendly, sand free camping beach towels which go hand in hand with our mats and our desire to help the environment by finding a way to use up plastic waste.

What do you enjoy the most with running your own business?

I love the feedback we get from our customers, we often have them stopping by at expos to tell us how much they love our product! We recently had a customer come and get a mat from us at the Sunshine Coast that got a mat from us at one of the first pony club events we did in 2011. They had bought a new caravan so decided it was time for an upgrade, even though the original mat was still going strong!

Tell us more about the mats, which is the most popular?

Our biggest seller is the Everyday mat. All of our mats are sand proof, mudproof, compact and lightweight.

What are your top 3-5 family-friendly campsites within 3 hours of your local area, and why? 

We love Bestbrook Mountain Farmstay on the way to Warwick. We recently camped along the river there, they had butter and damper making during the afternoon, horse riding, and hiking, so plenty to do.
We are big lovers of pub camping where you can free camp out the back and support the pub and the local community by putting money back into small country towns. There are many pubs within 2-3 hours of Brisbane. Our favourites so far are Maryvale and Maidenwell.

Where’s next on your family’s bucket list?

We are planning on a trip to Longreach in June, there is so much to see and do out there and we can’t wait!

A word for fellow adventure families out there? 

Get out there and explore, especially in your local area. COVID has made us look for options closer to home and we all have some amazing places right on our doorstep.