We took the Volusion Van and some yummy treats to visit Yoga City and learn more about their business. Keep reading to see their story and get their advice for entrepreneurs.
Our customers are some of the most inspiring people we know, and we love sharing the stories behind their success. This month, we visited Yoga City and sat down with founders Danielle Pruitt and Sigrid Goerndt to learn about their business and how they stand out among the crowd.
Yoga City: Inspired Beginnings
Prior to starting a business, Danielle worked as a retail designer for Whole Foods, REI and Panera. The idea for Yoga City was inspired by a sabbatical that she took in Florida, where she practiced yoga every day. During her practice, Danielle noticed that her workout clothes could not endure the unique demands of yoga and would often slip, chafe, fade or fall apart. She was determined to create an affordable, high quality and comfortable line of yoga apparel to fit women of all shapes and sizes.
She partnered with her friend Sigi, who had previously designed for brands such as Levi’s Strauss and Eddie Bauer, and who was also interested in starting her own line of yoga apparel. With a commitment to quality and promoting the yoga cause, they launched Yoga City in December of 2011.
Danielle discovered the Volusion platform in 2008 when starting her first business, Chalk Ink. She tested the software and found it was the perfect fit and price for her new business. When she started Yoga City in 2011, Volusion was an easy choice after the success she experienced with Chalk Ink.
Both Danielle and Sigi agree on the advantages of running an online business, including the ability to save money and resources that can be spent on improving their product and executing marketing strategies. Better yet, they can manager their business from anywhere they choose to go.
Tools for Success
Branding: Danielle and Sigi love that Volusion allows them to market their products and messages on their own site. Unlike large marketplaces, visitors can specifically identify with Yoga City, which helps increase brand recognition.
All-in-one solution: Danielle and Sigi benefit from the efficiency of an all-in-one solution, where they can process orders, manage customers and market their business through one platform. By keeping everything in one place, their management time remains low, allowing them to spend more time selling and marketing their apparel.
With any apparel site, there’s the challenge of entering and tracking unique product data, such as size, color, fit, etc. Danielle and Sigi use the inventory control and swatch features to help them easily manage and display their product variations.
Conquering the Competition
Yoga City guarantees high quality products that customers will love and retailers will sell. They believe in their product so much that they offer a 100% return policy if customers aren’t completely satisfied. If a studio or retailer doesn’t sell their items for that season, Yoga City will buy them back, and send more of what the studio is selling. According to Danielle: “I would prefer to buy back clothing that studios don’t sell and send clothes that they do sell. It helps the studios and our business to be more profitable, and it brings the apparel back to us, so we can distribute it elsewhere.”
Another original strategy is their “What City Are You” campaign, which offers unique yoga styles for 10 different cities in the U.S. This campaign adds an additional level of personalization to the apparel, giving customers a connection with the apparel they purchase and the city they love.
Finally, Yoga City understands the value in the details. From their beautifully designed order gift baskets to the use of their signature green color in each piece of clothing, they’re committed to perfecting every aspect of their brand.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Danielle and Sigi have experienced their share of ups and downs, but they aren’t afraid to take risks and be creative. They agree that patience, positivity and calculated risks are the keys to running a successful business. Their business wouldn’t be where it is if they didn’t experiment with new marketing strategies and product ideas.
“You’ll make mistakes and lose money, but you can’t be afraid to take risks,” says Danielle. “It’s the only way to learn what works and what doesn’t, and that will help your business significantly in the long run.”
Thanks to Danielle and Sigi for sharing their story, and congratulations on their continued growth and success! Here’s how to reach them:
Online Store: http://www.shopyogacity.com/