You don't need much to practice yoga. No shoes, just a mat and some comfortable clothes are enough — but that doesn't mean those few items can't be cute. That is the philosophy behind the boutique inside the Clearwater yoga studio White Orchid Yoga.
Since it opened its doors five years ago, owner Coni Pappas and instructor Calley Masson wanted to bring a little of the beach into the studio. Noticing that most places only sold black or neutral yoga gear, they took it into their own hands to add some color to their and their students' practice.
Bright printed pants ($50) and shorts ($42), yoga mats in a plethora of shades and vivid cerulean blue tank tops ($26) are some of the items they brought in. The boutique also features a number of items from India, where instructors are encouraged to go to study, like typical printed harem pants, embroidered cross body bags ($13) and beaded bracelets ($40).
Masson is the guinea pig for everything before it's put on the shelves, wearing a sample of each of the products to a full day of classes to see if they meet the quality check criteria: fast drying so students can go run errands after practice, comfortable, breathable as the heat in Florida is more than enough, sturdy, not sliding off with each movement, and finally, cute.
Pappas initially opened White Orchid Yoga after finding in the Ashtanga practice a way to heal from her son's unexpected death and wanting to give others a chance to heal too. This pay-it-forward mentality is also incorporated in the boutique that only features products made in the USA using ethical practices. Smaller brands like Karmic Sugar from North Carolina and local artists' yoga-inspired work are also given a platform for exposure being sold at the store.