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Meet Eyal Levy of Yogibo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eyal Levy.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Eyal. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started when my wife was pregnant with our second son and we were looking for something that would help her sleep comfortably on her belly. When overseas, we discovered the idea of a bean bag made with stretchy fabric. This solved our problem. Later, many of our friends who visited us and tried the product were amazed at how different and comfortable the product was. We decided to start making a different and improved variation of the same concept. Yogibo was founded in 2009 and we started to make the bags in the home basement.

My initial plan was to exclusively sell our products online and partner with retailers and resellers. I soon realized that people became much more open to buying once they actually experienced first-hand how comfortable the bean bags are. This is obviously very difficult to do online, no matter how many videos or testimonials you have. I opened the first store at the Natick Mall. The reaction was great and we saw substantial growth every month. We opened our second store at the south shore plaza 5 months later and today we have 26 company owned store all over the east coast. In addition to that during the last few years we developed many new product, and expanded Yogibo from a bean bag company to a lifestyle brand.

In 2014 we started with our international distribution and by 2017, we’ll have 70 stores outside the US in Japan, Korea, Canada and more.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We had 2 main challenges:

Marketing challenge:
The products are very tactile and people really need to try and feel the products to appreciate how comfortable and different they are. The most common reaction that we get when somebody tries a Yogibo is ‘Wow, I didn’t expect that’. Getting people to try them, or at least realize their benefit, is obviously quite hard to do through traditional marketing channels such as online advertising, pictures etc, Realizing that, in the first year in business we started exhibiting the products in many festivals and events, letting as many people as we can to try and experience the products. This was quite of a breakthrough but it’s still a challenge when it comes to other parts of the country where we don’t have much of a presence.

Cashflow challenge:
Like every small business, cash flow is very challenging especially when the strategy was to open company own stores that require a lot of capital. We found different creative financing strategies including crowdfunding which helped us a lot with the growth. Starting intentional distribution enabled us to grow without much capital. We also just launched our franchising program and hope to continue to grow with it.

Please tell us about Yogibo.
In terms of product, our products are very unique. They the only products in the market that completely conform to the body. We use proprietary special fabrics. We took this concept and applied it to other products to create a whole lifestyle collection including blankets, sleeping pillows, storage ottomans fidgets, sensory products and more.

In terms of the company and people:
One of the thing that we specialize in, is the interaction that we create with the customer. We put a lot of emphasis and training on creating exceptional customer experience. Retail has become a very competitive environment and have to think different. If a customer doesn’t get this exceptional experience, they will go and shop online.

In terms of community:
Our products are very popular for families, people in their first apartment and college students but they are very beneficial for people on the spectrum and we’re very active with this community.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I’m not sure that I would have done much different. Maybe I would have started international distribution or franchising a little sooner.

Pricing:

  • Our bean bags range from $49 to $597 but our flag product is Yogibo Max at $249
  • Our accessories range from $5 to $49

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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