How did you Start PIYOGA Anyways?
3 years ago I had the crazy idea to leave San Diego to travel the world for a year. I dreamed to quit my job, travel with the one I loved, to write my future with tales of travels, but mostly the desire to start a business of my own. It took 2 years of working long, 60 hour weeks, working every single weekend and saving every dime I could to save up for enough to travel the world for a year. It was a busy life and I did a little yoga in the down time I did have to keep my sanity. The dream soon because a yearning desire and the world was pulling and tugging me to get away as soon as possible!
6 months later I purchased a one way ticket to Thailand and by the time December 8th came to leave I was beyond over anxious to be there already! I was infatuated with the Buddhist culture and loved their clothing! The most grounding experience was when I went to an Elephant Sanctuary an hour north of Chaing Mai, Thailand. I showed up bright and early at 6am ready to see these giants for the first time, eye to eye! They came parading out of the forest with their trunks swinging around aiming to grab the little yellow banana out of my hand! They were intimidating at first, but after spending all day with them I realized how rare it is to see animals up close and personal like this, and how even more rare it is to find such unique and rare animals like this in their natural habitat. So much of the world is developed with humans closing in on these animals natural habitats. When was the last time you saw an elephant walking by, a wild horse, or a wild whale swimming by? Unfortunately there are far and few between.
I fell in love with the Elephant Pants in Thailand, and decided this was what I wanted to bring back home to the USA, but by the time I decided on this my 30 day visa was up, and up next on the list was BALI, INDONESIA.
I spent the whole flight drawing out a business plan for my pants, and planning how I would give back to the elephant sanctuaries. I was so excited for my new venture I couldn't help but talk about it to everyone around me! I hopped in a taxi and my driver, Noman, was all ears when I told him about my story, my mission, and what I wanted to build. Little did I know I was introducing myself to someone who would help me out the most in this adventure.
Noman quickly told me about his friend in the textile industry that sold his product all over Bali! I couldn't believe it- what would be the odds? Everything seemed to be falling perfectly into place. As it turns out, Noman's friend and his wife own their own clothing manufacturing business! I quickly decided to change our taxi route from Ubud to their house instead to see what they could make. When I arrived I realized that this mom and pop shop must be very successful because they employed the entire block with all the work that came in for the business!
"This could really become a reality," I thought to myself.
It was all so sudden! My adrenaline was running through my veins and I couldn't contain the excitement in my eyes as we worked together to create a vision for what PIYOGA was soon to become.
We spent countless hours on end perfecting the cut, design, material, and quality checks since I was so nervous and excited I wanted everything to be 110% perfect! Ironically, there are no natural elephants on the island of Bali, so I decided to transition the vision to marine life conservation focusing on the sustainability efforts for sea turtles in the area to keep the cause local. I received my Advanced Diver certification in Bali and dove with the sea turtles over ten times while I was there! I learned a lot about how far marine life and sea turtle sanctuaries have come since the time of dynamite fishing and the leaps of success they have had so far with their constant conservation efforts with the community and tourist involvement. Believe it or not, sea turtles in Bali actually migrate from Bali to Hawaii and San Diego. The whole big picture seemed to be coming around full circle! [See our Blog on Our Sea Turtle Conservation Efforts to learn more!]
2 months later the final product was finally mass produced! I was thrilled and could hardly contain my excitement so I booked the first flight back home to bring my pants back to my friends, family, and the good ol' USA to share my vision for PIYOGA and make it the best success it can become! We appreciate all the support we have received so far and we are very grateful that you are here for us along this journey!