Founded in 1998, lululemon’s first real store opened in the beach area of Vancouver BC called Kitsilano, in November of 2000. After 20 years in the surf, skate and snowboard business, founder Chip Wilson took the first commercial yoga class offered in Vancouver and found the result exhilarating. The post-yoga feeling was so close to surfing and snowboarding that it seemed obvious that yoga was an ideology whose time had come (again). The idea was to have the store be a community hub where people could learn and discuss the physical aspects of healthy living from yoga and diet to running and cycling as well as the mental aspects of living a powerful life of possibilities. Unfortunately for this concept, the store became so busy that it was impossible to help the customer in this way in addition to selling the product. Cotton clothing was being used for sweaty, stretchy power yoga and seemed completely inappropriate to Chip, whose passion lay in technical athletic fabrics. From this, a design studio was born that became a yoga studio at night to pay the rent. Clothing was offered for sale and an underground yoga clothing movement was born. The success of the clothing was dependent on the feedback from yoga instructors who were asked to wear the products and provide their insights.
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