How a local woman’s clothing line also helps save sea turtles
By Ken Williams | Editor
Yoga and sea turtles are two passions of Larissa Miller, an entrepreneur born and raised in Normal Heights.
Her start-up company, Pi Yoga Pants, is a clothing line that donates a portion of its net profits toward sea turtles and ocean conservation efforts in Bali and around the world.
As a longtime lover of yoga, Miller wanted to create pants that were practical and stylish. And she wanted to make sure some of her company’s bottom line would go toward efforts to save the sea turtles she fell in love with during her visits to Bali.
After crowdfunding through May 18, Miller launched her company with online sales at piyogapants.com. Her clothes are also sold at brick-and-mortar locations in California, Arizona, Washington, Hawaii and North Carolina.
Locally, Pi Yoga Pants are sold by Brillo del Sol Clothing in Mission Beach, Hapa Yoga in Mission Valley, House of Yogi in Point Loma, Yoga Bow in Miramar, and at Trilogy Sanctuary and Kundalini Windansea-A Yoga and Meditation Center in La Jolla.
Here are five questions with Larissa Miller:
1. What is the history of Pi Yoga Pants and why did you decide to start a line of comfortable, casual clothing?
The first pair of Pi Yoga Pants was created while I was living in Bali. I fell in love with the sea turtles while I was living there and saw the gap in the market for breathable yoga pants that would survive the Balinese heat. Desperate for something comfortable to wear during yoga, I designed Pi Yoga Pants. Flowy enough to let your skin breathe with elastic at the ankle to protect you from mosquitoes. The bright fun designs of the pants were an inspiration from the Balinese culture that is always so full of life.
2. Where are your garments made, how do you sell your clothing, and who is your target audience?
Pi Yoga Pants are all hand-made with love on the tropical shores of Bali. We take pride in women empowerment on and off the yoga mat. We empower women in Bali to make the pants and my seamstress is an inspiration in her own life. She started her own sewing business 20 years ago without any schooling and now runs a successful business with her daughter and her daughter-in-law.
Our mission is to empower men and women to feel comfortable in their yoga pants and confident enough to step on their yoga mat. Therefore, our target audience is women, men and kids with an interest in furthering their yoga practice.
3. Where do the company’s charitable donations go?
Pi Yoga Pants donates 10 percent of net profits back to sea turtle conservation efforts in Bali. The main organization we work with is the Gili Eco Trust on the island of Gili Trawangan off the shore of Bali. We actually just got back from spending the month of July 2017 in Bali working to rebuild the coral reef. For more information, you can check out our blog at bit.ly/2xvPJ52.
4. What is your background, and why did you choose to do this as a career?
My creative side always had a passion for marketing, the Capricorn in me had a passion for leadership, and the part of me that wanted to promote health in myself and others was undeniable from the beginning. Promoting health and well-being in all promotes a healthy sustainable future as well as happy f`riends and family! What more could you ask for? I was hoping I would be able to start a business in this field and am very grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves so Pi Yoga Pants could come into creation.
5. What do you like about living in Normal Heights?
I was born and raised in Normal Heights since 1990 and love nothing more than going for my morning run, saying good morning to all my neighbors, and taking a yoga class at Pilgrimage [of the Heart] followed by a delicious Rama Bowl from Jyoti-Bihanga. Mmm!