We Are Pitaya
- Jun 28, 2018
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‘A young and creative yoga wear label from Berlin’ … that is what we like to say about us. But there is a lot more behind the story how Pitaya was born. And here it is, short and sweet:
We can’t say that our pre-Pitaya story sounds so different. The story of many, quitting the 9-5 (or better 9-9) job in the name of freedom, independence, adventure and giving the body more movement than sitting in a chair. Irina had previously worked as a print designer in bigger companies including H&M, I chose an entrepreneurial experience in a London Ed-Tech start up.
After quitting her job Irina went travelling in Asia, and I went to Mexico for an Aligned Vinyasa Yoga teacher training. Yes, in the burning humid heat of Tulum. It was good! This is where the idea of a yoga legging indicating Right / Left was born… mirroring your students can be harder than you think.
After just a few couple of months there was the partner acrobatics teacher training from Partner Acrobatics happening in beautiful Andalusia. Irina and I got hooked about the same time with Acroyoga and standing acrobatics and both booked the 1-month teacher training fairly spontaneously a few weeks before.
Irina was the first person I talked to when the group was meeting. She told me about her tantra experience in Thailand… right! A pretty random topic for a first ever talk with a stranger but I liked the honesty in it and felt her gran excitement about the teacher training. And her shorts with astronaut cats on them.
We became good friend in the teacher training, which was an intense, beautiful and enriching experience. We learned a lot, fell, laughed, ate big amounts of yummy food and talked more about tantra. Yeah, why not!
We also mentioned a few times that we should do clothes together as I had always wanted to create my own leggings and Irina, well is a pretty talented fashion designer … But nothing concrete was mentioned.
After the training we split ways, but only physically - we stayed in touch for random news. I believed for a while that Irina is on a constant LSD trip, and I still like to describe her that way. Of course she is not, she is just seeing things differently. Like seeing cats when she sees a mountain range from far (I think she likes cats).
I went back to Mexico after the training, there wasn’t anything better to do. I hurt my shoulder in a stupid move and had to rest for quite a while. I had too much time and thus texted Irina one day to send me a few prints I would see if I could make some leggings out of them.
And literally in just two weeks our most-loving Mexican friend Renata took me to a patternist and I found a producer that can sublimate textiles and sew them. Perfect! It took me a longer time to find a good fabric for the legging… as every yogi I’m very specific about it. Santa Tere is the area to discover fabrics in Guadalajara and I found THE BEST fabric I have ever touched. Thank you Renata and Kike!
Peach skin fabric, they explained to me, like the little soft hair on a peach. After just a few weeks I had the first sample with me and sent Irina this photo. Looking good. Nice. Job done.
But apparently this was not the end of the story. We decided that I go back to buy more fabric and I got it much cheaper at a bigger quantity. So why not. I bought it and went with the producer to sublimate and sew. In the meantime apparently Irina also had some time on her hand, so she sent me 6 more designs.
We ended up doing a whole collection and more than 200 pieces. We built our own online shop in just a week, put the products online and advertised it… a little. They went quick, a lot quicker than we expected. And yogis loved it… and we had a good time.
A year and a half later now we have faced many realities about starting your own business. It is not always rainbows and flowers! From export and customs problems (because if you export from Mexico it’s surely not fabrics…) to the most funny mistakes our producer can make. That deserves an own blog post!
Sometimes the most unplanned things that come from pure intuition turn out to be the best. We followed our hearts when creating Pitaya, not any milestones or business plan - and since we are happy with it we hope that transfers over to you.
Sara & Irina