Lugging a roll of polyvinyl chloride around doesn’t necessarily sound like the prelude to a great yoga session, does it? But that’s what most of us do. Jessica Thompson of YOGO is offering a different path to mindfulness...for ourselves and our planet.
The F Project: What was the lightbulb moment that made you start your company?
Jessica Thompson: I realized it was super inconvenient to drag a huge rolled up yoga mat around town, at the same time as noticing how unsustainable the yoga products industry was. The idea was born to create a yoga supply brand that was conscious about both product design and materials sustainability.
TFP: What makes you want to jump out of bed every day?
JT: Creating a business that helps others increase their emotional, mental, and physical wellness while at the same time advancing models of sustainability in consumer products and business, is totally inspiring to me.
TFP: What about your past career or life experience prepared you for entrepreneurship? What was a total shock?
JT: I came from the corporate, international business consulting world, so I had a lot of analytical tools, and having worked in international semi-policy organizations, I was good at talking to people. However, nothing could have prepared me for the profound lack of structure and kaleidoscope array of possible strategies.
TFP: What makes your product special/different?
JT: Our initial core product is a total redesign of the yoga mat. Through folding and securing, it is the most compact yoga mat, which makes it much easier and less complicated to carry. We solved the issue of cleaning and storing your mat by designing it to rinse off in the shower (more effective) and then hang up to dry by its integrated straps. The folding design also keeps it cleaner through simple physics.
TFP: What’s your mantra?
JT: The two that I really repeat to myself are "thank you" (remembering to stay grateful) and "do less.” It is so easy for a maximizer like me to feel pulled in 1,000 directions, so I like reminders that the most effective tactic is to stay laser-focused and say no to things a lot.
TFP: Why did you join The F Project?
JT: I am totally excited to see this awesome community of creative professional women spring up and amplify each other into the stratosphere!