Yoga’s blown up in the Capital Region in the past few decades: Yoga studios have sprung up hither and yon, with the yoga-mat-toting masses taking in classes and becoming certified yogis themselves. It’s also become a major market, with yoga enthusiasts buying everything from blocks and belts to special teas and foods, and even designer lines of yoga clothing. But something that remains a little harder to find is yoga wear for children—especially, the really young ones.
Enter Sat Nam babe, a Saratoga Springs-based business that makes adorable, one-of-a-kind yoga wear and yoga-inspired clothing for babies and kids six and under. For the non-yoga-initiated, “Sat Nam” is a common mantra in Kundalini yoga that more or less translates to “true identity.” Founded a little over a year ago by Clifton Park native Jennifer Coulombe, Sat Nam babe is not only all about the clothing itself, but it’s also about making it in an environmentally and socially conscious way. (Example: One of Sat Nam babe’s most popular items, its leggings, are made from 86 percent recycled plastic bottles.) Coulombe was inspired to launch the company—and make it an ethically grounded one—after the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013, when a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed during work hours. “[The Rana Plaza collapse] killed over 1100 garment workers in Bangladesh, and many large companies’ products were found in these factories,” Coulombe says. “I knew there had to be a more ethical way to make clothes.” Shortly after this, Coulombe finished both business school as well as, coincidentally enough, a Kundalini yoga teacher certification. The idea came to her after a little research, for a young kids, yoga-inspired clothing line. “I felt there was a huge opportunity in the market to dress our littlest yogis under age six in consciously made, adorable unisex prints that they feel happy and confident in,” says Coulombe.
After many years of working in nonprofit marketing and corporate partnerships in New York City, Coulombe moved back upstate to be closer to friends and family—and was able to launch the clothing startup just last year after a successful crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen. Incredibly, Coulombe runs Sat Nam babe as its founder and CEO, while also working an entirely different full-time job. “The advice for new entrepreneurs, ‘Don’t quit your day job!’ is sound advice,” says Coulombe. “I’m a true believer in going after your dreams, but just make sure you can pay your bills as you pursue them.”
Despite still working that day job, Coulombe’s seen steady business, and is already looking ahead with a second collection of clothing items, this time with camping and nighttime-themed prints. The new line is expected to be available for pre-sale this holiday season, and will ship in February or March 2019.