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Interview with Avi Woolman of Yogoco Yoga Mat Bags
Posted on December 18th, 2008 by tees blog
We’re delighted to introduce you to Yogoco, a yoga mat bag made from recycled tees. Below is my interview with Avi Woolman, the founder of the company.
1. What is Yogoco and when did you start the company?
Yogoco creates highly functional, eco-friendly and stylish Yoga bags. We started the company in September 2008.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
Going to Yoga class, carrying a mat, a towel, a wallet, a phone and a bottle of water is not very easy. I went to look for a Yoga bag that could fit all my Yoga stuff and found that there were basically 2 types of bag in the market. The first one was a mat bag, which only had room for a mat and was surprisingly hard to place a mat in. The second one was an oversized gym bag, available only in black, and allowed the mat to touch my clean clothes. Not very nice. Not wanting any of these, I decided to create my own.
3. What is your best selling product?
All our designs have been very popular. In fact we sold out of our initial run of 360 bags, and signed up over 20 resellers in the US, Canada and Europe in the first 8 weeks of production.
4. What makes your products different from competitors’ products?
Functionality – With Yogoco Yoga Bag it is easy to place and withdraw a mat up to 26” wide. Yogoco yoga bag has 2 separate compartments, one that fits and protects the mat with mesh fabric on both ends, keeping the mat aired, and one for “everything else”. The “everything else” section has a large interior pocket which fits wallet, phone, etc. The lining of the bag is fully wipeable.
Eco-friendly – Our ecologically responsible fabric is made using a unique manufacturing process that is both sustainable and helps conserve our precious natural resources.
70% of the Yogoco Yoga bag is made from scraps of the T-shirt making process that are collected, sorted by color and blended. This significantly reduces incinerator and landfill use. The cotton fibers require no new dye, saving on water while adding no new pollutants. Furthermore, as no new cotton is grown, there is no land use, no water intensive irrigation and no fertilizers or pesticides used.
Yogoco bag tags, business cards, postcards and brochures are printed on recycled paper and use soy and vegetable based inks.
Made in the US – most of our competitor’s bags are made in the Far East. From the very inception of our company, we insisted that we manufacture here in the US, in order to keep jobs here in the USA. With the current economic climate this seems even more important.
Style – Most of the larger yoga bags in the market before Yogoco were black. Where is the fun? Where is the Zen?
5. What resources have you found most helpful in running your business?
My husband, friends, family, I am grateful that I have a very supportive family who gave me a lot of useful advice any time (even in the middle of the night). Of course, Google is a big resource as well, which I use daily for running my business. Some great books like Purple Cow and Small is the New Big by Seth Godin!
6. What advice would you give other entrepreneurs who have already started their business?
I think the most important thing in starting a company is passion and dedication. If you think you have a good idea in your hand, go for it! But remember the devil is in the details, and it is possible to take a good idea to a great idea with a little bit of hard work. Finally, I would say, that nothing comes easily, even when you do have the great idea and you are getting great feedback and sales, some people will still turn you down, or say something negative. Your job is to keep going!
7. What’s next for Yogoco?
Our goal is to deliver innovative, high quality, eco-friendly and stylish products. With that in mind we will continue to bring out new styles for the Yogoco bag, and possibly some new accessories too.
Filed under: Interviews
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One Response to “Interview with Avi Woolman of Yogoco Yoga Mat Bags”
Angie Ringler, on January 22nd, 2009 at 1:26 pm Said:
Great article! We are excited to start our eco friendly website and work with other Women Owned businesses. I think Evi is headed is the right direction, good advice—be passionate and dedicated.
Keep up the good work! Angie, karmafarmonline.com