Feeling uniquely positioned to do so, he began developing a business plan, drawing on his upbringing as well as his decade of experience developing new businesses at Goldman Sachs. He researched the yoga clothing market, studied analyst reports and consulted with his sister. "It was the right mesh of two worlds for us," she said.
Their goal was to elevate yogawear to a product that would honor the culture of yoga and serve as a "gym-to-life" product that a consumer could wear to yoga practice and beyond. "I think we really had the foresight four years ago to say hey, this is where the activewear market is going," Tapasya said. "The more we talked about it, the more convinced we became that this was an idea that really had legs."
In 2010, Rishi left finance to pursue the venture full time, while Tapasya remained in her role at Creduit Suisse as they fine-tuned their business plan. They named their company YOGASMOGA, a nod to their Indian culture where it is customary to rhyme similar things. The pair spent 4 years researching fabrics and manufacturers, developing cutting-edge technology that would make their product more durable than the nylon and polyester products already on the market. Developing a new fabric from scratch costs millions, and the siblings self-funded their project initially. (Two subsequent rounds of fundraising were oversubscribed.)
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Headquartered in New York City, YOGASMOGA manufactures all its clothes domestically, producing a higher-quality product and allowing Rishi and Tapasya greater control over every part of the supply chain. They buy yarn in the U.S. and develop it into proprietary fabrics in their California labs. The company's manufacturing and fulfillment facilites are in Massachusetts. Though producing the clothes entirely in the U.S. is the more expensive way to do it, Rishi said. "We don't make a average product and spend millions of dollars marketing it, we spend the money on the product. It's investing in the right places." In keeping with the company's core values, they do not allow any retouching of photos on their website or promotional material.
In February 2013, YOGASMOGA launched its first yogawear collection online, which sold out in 3 weeks.