This is the second installment in Elizabeth’s journey to launch on The Grommet. To read the first, click here.
During Thanksgiving of 2012, close to a year after her health crisis began, Elizabeth had been practicing yoga diligently as a form of recovery and started to form the idea for Yoga by Numbers in her head. By June of 2013, she had working prototypes and by chance, met the Grommet team at an event held at their offices.
The rest as they say, is history. When asked to describe her relationship with The Grommet, Elizabeth says “…meeting The Grommet and working with them to bring my product to market was like pouring gasoline on the fire. They provided so much of the expertise that I needed, including guidance, connections and tremendously smart people.” She then went on to tell me that entrepreneurship can be a lonely, isolating thing sometimes and others warned her of that early on. She was able to avoid the bulk of that with The Grommet’s help she says. “There was always someone to talk things through with, or bounce ideas off if I needed. It’s been truly wonderful.”
Her journey to launch on The Grommet has been a blessing, but hasn’t been without its challenges. Like most entrepreneurs, Elizabeth experienced roadblocks along the way. Manufacturing, she says was her biggest hurdle. It was her goal from the beginning to make a mat using ethical practices from an environmental and labor perspective and she wasn’t going to compromise her own values (although she was given many opportunities to do so). She needed to figure out a way to manufacture the mat according to her personal standards and then be able to explain why it would be more expensive than some mats out there. “We are on par with high end, brand name mats, even though the YbN mat is wider than most, made of natural rubber, made in the US, and comes printed with our design, which is what facilitates home practice. But we can’t compete with cheap vinyl mats on cost alone.” Getting the message to consumers that they get a big return on their investment has been challenging, says Elizabeth.