“Instead of staying up nights worrying and grinding my teeth, I now set up meetings with [the Alameda SBDC] to discuss my concerns, and my confidence level has grown tremendously. Working with the SBDC is like a mentorship, my business advisor get me on a personal level, and understands how my business works.”
Background: Magic Carpet Yoga Mats are unique artistic yoga mats featuring print patterns of acrylic washes from oriental rugs, heightening the yoga experience with high-quality features and juicy, textile, inspired aesthetics. The idea for the company was born when Sophie Leininger was practicing yoga at home, and saw the sunset light setting on a favorite oriental rug that was covering a yoga mat. An idea for a business was born. The business was launched, and a whirl of activity followed, including press from influential bloggers, and a successful Kickstarter campaign that caught the attention of a major retailer.
Challenges: Unsure of how to grow this nascent business, Leininger needed to learn how to build her brand, negotiate with retailers and suppliers, and manage inventory. Without experience in these areas, she reached out to her network and was referred to the Alameda SBDC, where she began work with a Business Advisor.
Actions: The Alameda SBDC worked with Leininger to coach negotiations with retailers, strengthen the terms of supply agreements, manage inventory, and provide general advice regarding how to grow the business.
Results: Since Leininger began working with the SBDC, she has experienced a 20-fold increase in sales. She is now on target to double revenues in 2014.