The City Magazine Since 1975

Gettin’ a Grip

November 2017
Gettin’ a Grip
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Look for Yoloha’s flagship shop to open soon on James Island

Founder Chris Willey (left) with his brother, Michael, and dad, Cliff, in the shop

“It’s in the name,” says Chris Willey of his James Island enterprise, Yoloha. “Combining ‘yoga’ and ‘aloha’—we just like to have fun and spread good vibes.”

When the Delaware-born business moved to town in 2016, it was focused on creating yoga mats and props (like wheels and blocks) from cork, a material that’s naturally nonslip and antimicrobial. With the help of a team that includes Willey’s wife, Peta; mom, Lisa; brother, Michael, and father, Cliff (both former aerospace engineers who aid in product development); and yoga instructor Mason Steele, the enterprise’s offerings today are sold in stores across the U.S. and as far away as Barbados and Denmark and have earned attention from the likes of Yoga Journal and Outside magazine.

Ahead of the game, Willey actually discovered cork’s sporty qualities a decade ago when searching for materials to add grip to the surf and paddleboards he was building. This month, he returns to his roots, opening a flagship retail space for Yoloha with offerings expanded to include Evolve paddleboards topped with patented cork pads. “We’ll be doing SUP demos, rentals, and lessons in addition to yoga classes,” says Willey. Look to yolohayoga.com for details.