Founder Feature: Lili Yeo

“The power of small” is critical to goumi. Goumi berries are bright little berries that look delicate, but are hardy and able to thrive in all kinds of conditions. goumi celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, and the ability of small forces to change the world for good.

Lili Yeo, cofounder and CEO of goumi, holds a BA in business administration from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate from Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and an MBA in general management from the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland. She’s worked for major corporations including Adidas, Hewlett Packard, and Ziba Design.

With the birth of her children, Lili was struck by the need to give back – to become, in her words, “better citizens, better entrepreneurs, better people” – and she decided to launch goumi with a cofounder.

goumi clothing is made from bamboo-derived viscose and organic cotton, specially blended for softness and selected for environmental sustainability. Ten percent of all profits from guomi goes to India Partners, a charity providing food, clothing, counseling, education, and spiritual support for human trafficking victims and their children.

Lili is delighted to have received funding from capital venture firms to continue to grow the business that is so much about the smallest among us. Elevate Capital featured her in a blog series, in which Lili shared advice for a budding entrepreneur: “Nail your value proposition. Be very clear of what you bring to the market.”



Katelyn Murphy-McCarthy

Katelyn is a writer and editor specializing in creative nonfiction. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and loves hearing and sharing the stories of women who are making a difference
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