"I wanted to remove the stress on my pregnant wife."
Everything began from there.
Yogibo Brand Story - Founder Eyal Levy
Born and raised in Israel.
Both my grandfather and father were entrepreneurs, my grandfather had a toys factory and my father had a plastic factory, and I used to work there since I was like 7 years old.
I went to school for engineering and took a job that bought his family to New Hampshire.
It was during that transition that solving a problem for my newly pregnant wife changed everything.
My wife was pregnant we were looking for something where she could sleep on her belly because she was a belly sleeper.
We found this stretchy fabric and filled it with beads.
The feeling of this prototype was like the whole body conforming with no pressure points.
This sofa solved my wife’s belly down sleeping problem and she had a comfortable pregnancy.
So while I still had my day job, I started assembling bags in my basement, and hosting in home parties as well as selling them to local boutiques so that my guests could experience the finished products and started selling them at local boutiques.
We sold it to specialty stores, one of them was a pop up store in the holiday one of them was like a neighborhood specialty store. We saw that when we demonstrated it, customers like it and customers buy it.
However it was quite challenging getting to be in those stores all the time and we didn’t have much control. So this is when I left my day job. It was time to leave my day job. Do it instead of just 40 hours a week, 100 hours a week.
This was what got us to open the first store.
I was all in but others were more hesitant to get behind what they thought was just another Beads sofas store. After the big recession, the 2008 recession, retail was hurting a lot, stores were closing.
People around me said “Haven’t you read the news?” and “Are you going to do a whole store for Beads sofas?” and I heard many other opinions that questioned the wisdom of launching this business.
But based on my experience doing those events and interacting with customers, I saw that when you do that and when you give customers that “wow” experience and they also try a phenomenal product that can crack the formula and make things happen.
I named this amazing product “Yogibo”.
However, as a start-up brand, there was little foot traffic. So I quickly decided “If the people wouldn’t come to me, I would go to them.” by setting up at a local festival.
All day long we were demonstrating non-stop for hundreds of people.
What happened was amazing and we didn’t expect that, not that many people bought on the spot at the festival but the next week when I was in the store, so many people that saw us at the festival came in.
So after that I signed up for every possible festival in New England. In that way through positive word of mouth, I started receiving many orders.
Word spread, they moved into a warehouse space for assembly and by being able to increase production capacity, both their store numbers and product line began to grow.
Yogibo has a wide product range and fans buy different cushion every month. They say “We already have Yogibo and we love it, what else do you have?”
To satisfy this kind of user, this is when we decided to go with a strategy of developing more products and expanding the line. But needed to be something, as for our Yogibo’s that different from things in the market.
The Yogibo range now includes everything from plush to pillows and blankets. It wasn’t long before they started hearing how their products were impacting from people in ways they could have never imagined.
I started to get letters from parents and occupational therapists that work with kids with sensory processing disorders. We heard that our products really built confidence, calmed those kids down and really give them a very safe space. When we started the company, we had no idea about how beneficial the products would be for that community.
Since then, we are doing a nationwide thing with all the NBA arenas to build quiet rooms for sensory families. By the end of the next season almost every single arena will be utilizing Yogibo beads cushions.
For example a portion of the sale proceeds of our puzzle cushions which were created for the developmental disorders communities, are donated to the organization that we cooperate with “KultureCity”.
The first place we expanded to was Japan.
Seiji Kimura who read about Yogibo on a blog was the first person to order Yogibo products in Japan.
While he said that it cost a whopping $800 in shipping fees to Japan, “It was the coolest shopping I have ever done.” After that we got an email from him saying “I’m sure that Japanese people are also really happy with Yogibo and I would like to do business together.” I made an appointment to meet with him right away.
After that Seiji was successful in expanding the Yogibo brand in Japan. He and I are now partners who call each other “Brother” and we have begun to work together for future global expansion.
After Japan came Canada, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the Netherlands and we found amazing partners to work with and today there are more than 100 stores outside the U.S. This shows how in just a few years we were able to expand rapidly.
I have worked in many brands in my 30 years in the business, but I have never worked for a brand that is all people who walk through the door regardless of age, gender or nationality.
For example, I have worked for cosmetic and footwear brands, the approximate age range is predetermined. However, with the Yogibo brand, everyone who comes to one of our stores from 5 years old to seniors has a smile on their face.
Yogibo is for everyone, regardless of gender.
I think our greatest success is not that our brand is purchased by a large number of people but rather that it has become a brand that is loved by everyone.
I really hope that you will also experience Yogibo and have a wonderful experience.
Everyone here at Yogibo also really wants to continue to make a Yogibo that can be loved by everyone.