Community and Support
Starting a business is tremendously humbling. It’s a roller coaster of emotions that will have you floating on air one day and hugging your pillow the next. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions of it all, as though you’re the first to tread the path you’re on. Of course, that’s just silly. Every step of the way we’ve had a community of friends, family and strangers uplifting us and helping us along our path.
This weekend we officially introduced KOOSHOO Lifestyle Inc. to the world. We did so by simultaneously taking our website, www.kooshoo.com, live and exhibiting at Vancouver’s Yoga Show. We literally hit the final button, taking our site live, just as the doors to the weekend’s show were opened. And in that moment, all our work from the past two years – the low lows and high highs – was on display to the public for the very first time - the ultimate moment of humility and vulnerability.
Within minutes of the show’s opening the support began to pour in. Friends, new and old, started arriving at the booth to wish us well and become exclusive members of the “first ever KOOSHOO owners club”. That stream continued, pretty much unabated, for the duration of the weekend.
Late that evening we had the first chance of the day to check in on our website. Though we`d taken the site live, we’d yet to announce it, keen to work out some of the bugs that were sure to exist. To our considerable surprise, we logged in to find that two purchases had already been made by some of our dearest friends in the far off lands of Geneva and Hong Kong.
The next morning we announced to the world (at least to the humans of the world attentively checking Facebook) that the KOOSHOO site was live. Just as before, the support was beautiful and humbling. Words of kindness, support and celebration poured in from every corner of the earth, followed closely by our very first online “stranger” purchase by the lovely Shannon in Ohio.
The reason we tell you all this is to say thank you. Please know that your support and kindness mean so much to us. Your words of encouragement are the fuel on which we motivate ourselves to keep our heads up and focused on our path. We couldn’t do this without you.
I began this post by alluding to the feeling that sometimes it feels as though you’re treading on fresh ground when starting a business. Though we know that’s a silly notion, the evidence of those that have come before us was on clear and inspiring display at the Vancouver Yoga Show. The truth is, Vancouver is home to an incredible array of game-changing businesses intent on making a positive impression upon this world, braving their way into new territories at they do it.
We didn’t have to go far to find inspiration at the show as our booth was comfortably nestled between yoga product producing elder, Halfmoon – two decades into making the finest yoga props on the market - and women’s health innovator Lunapads. Both are businesses that aspire to great things, while taking deliberate care to elevate those around them as they grow. Vancouver businesses on a similar path abounded, from relative newcomers like Mala Imports, Chala and Downtown Betty to the more established trailblazers, Tonic and Vega.
Also present were a host of incredible Vancouver yoga studios - businesses that we look up to greatly for their dedication to their communities and for the way they embody their passions. Our homes away from home, Semperviva Yoga and Bound Lotus, represented, as they always do, with grace. Other studios that we`ve yet to visit, such as Prana and Open Door, each exuded kindness. Even My Yoga Online, an online option that I follow religiously, had a great setup and Kreg, the co-founder, was rocking classes in the central garden.
Last but certainly not least were our friends and mentors Pure Souls Media, bringing the fun by documenting the many faces of yoga at their playful best. Check out their smile-inducing YOGY`s Gallery. They were pulling double duty as they also shot images for The Oneness Project, an inspiring campaign being led by Karma Teachers, our charity partner and perhaps the organization doing the very most to uplift the community in which it`s based. For every KOOSHOO product sold, a yoga class is gifted to a student at Karma Teachers that couldn`t otherwise afford to go.
I`m sure I`ve missed many (apologies!) but you get the point. The trail-breaking has been done, to use an appropriate skiing metaphor, and every step we take is made easier by these great ambassadors of our community.
It`s an honour and a pleasure to now be amongst them.
A few of our favourite photos from the weekend: