what i submitted to mission small business.


hi loves!

so as most of you know, the past few weeks i was scrambling to get votes for this grant for $250 k! i found out about the contest a little late, and couldn't get the 250 votes to qualify to be judged by the deadline. kinda a bummer, but i totally trust there are so many other opportunities out there for purusha! so no worries!

it was, though, super fun and interesting to submit an application that asked a lot of questions i hadn't really thought about in depth. i mean, i've never really thought, what could i do with $250,000 right now?! so yeah, i liked answering the questions and it got me thinking hard about what i envision purusha people to become.

it's kinda long, but i thought i'd share my application with you. it's also helpful for me to look to this as time moves forward, and to consult it now and then as my business grows and changes. so here it is!


    • Type of business entity
      sole_proprietor
    • Number Of Employees
      1
    • Number of years in business
      3
    • Tell us about your business; how successful is it and why is it unique?
              my business is awesome. it has grown steadily over the past 3 years, doubling profits (at least!) each year. purusha people is a success because it caters to a billion dollar market that grows immensely every year- YOGA!
      
      more and more people get turned on to health, wholistic healing, and sustainable forms of exercise now more than ever before. and what better way to stay inspired to take care of oneself's body and mind than to dress the part? we all know that clothing you feel good in encourages more opportunities to exercise- run, hike, practice yoga and pilates, or go to the gym. with all the health problems america has- diabetes, heart disease, obesity- i feel really good creating products that inspire people to live a healthy active lifestyle.
      
      purusha people is unique because it's not your standard black somewhat boring active wear, nor is is your overly bright and saturated tie dye yoga duds. the clothes are fun, yet classic and simple enough to be worn for years to come. it's not fast trendy fashion, or just the typical black yoga pant. purusha designs are derived from world culture, nature, the universe, science, philosophy, and from YOU! 
      
      my products are handmade in the USA with love and care. my goal is to create and distribute active wear that harms no living being in the process, so you can feel positive and joyful knowing what is hugging your skin, SO close to the body, is free of suffering.
      
    • How is your business involved with the community you serve?
              besides being the owner of purusha, i am a yoga teacher. so i contribute to the community by sharing what i know about yoga, and hopefully inspiring others to live a happier, healthier, more aware and open minded lifestyle.
      
      purusha people is worn by many yoga teachers and yoga students. its a grassroots business that doesn't advertise, and is spread mostly by word of mouth- by seeing people in yoga classes or on the street wearing purusha.
      
      purusha is not as involved in the health/yoga community YET because of lack of funding. i have never borrowed money and have built purusha with only my own savings. with money from this grant purusha would love to expand to hire employees and provide them with a happy safe place to work, earning a better than average wage and being treated with respect for their hard work. i'd like the place of work to have a daily yoga class, healthy lunch served, and good hours and great pay. with the product being 100% made in the USA, my business supports the community by providing jobs and introducing yoga to all that join the purusha family.
      
      purusha would like to be involved in the community it serves by donating a portion of all sales to bring yoga (as well as a nutrition class) to public schools and to have a free yoga class for the community once a week taught by amazing teachers.
      
    • What would a $250k grant mean to your business plan and how will you utilize the funds to ensure long-term growth and stability?
              part of my plan is explained above so i will continue from there.
      
      purusha has grown slowly and steadily from only word of mouth, but i would like more people to know that a company like purusha exists. a portion of the money, around $25 k would go to advertising- on google adwords, facebook, in print- in yoga journal magazine, LA yoga magazine, SHAPE magazine, instyle magazine, seventeen magazine, etc.
      
      right now i make all the clothing myself! i know this is not sustainable, and i honestly don't want to continue in this short-term manner much longer because i cannot meet the demand. i would like to get my profit margins up by decreasing my manufacturing costs. to do this i need to have purusha's clothing manufactured in LA by a business that specializes in dyes, textiles, screen printing, and sewing. most manufacturers will produce clothing in small runs, but costs go down when larger orders are placed. so i would like to have more purusha clothing made here in the USA, in conditions that are suitable and safe for employees. where i decide to manufacture i would like to teach a yoga class myself to the employees. around $50 k would be used on manufacturing at first, as not  to overproduce.
      
      some of the money i would like to use to hire a team of people i work with closely. i need another clothing designer to bring additional creativity and fashion to the table. and i would love to hire my dad to work on customer service and shipping (he works customer service right now, but we want him to work with me instead!). whomever i hire, i want purusha people to be a family environment, but also a place of mutual respect between the employer and the employee.
      
      remaining money would be saved for further advertising, manufacturing, and hiring in the future. above is basically a 5 year plan. as purusha continues to grow, with your help and money, i would ultimately like to open a work space of purusha's own- where all manufacturing is inclusive (as mentioned in the question of community). i know the overhead for running this sort of production is high, so i realize there are steps to take before this happens!
      
    • What types of challenges can you identify with your plan and how will you overcome them?
              typical challenges in retail are gaining market share. i know i have some large competitors- lululemon, lucy, nike, hardtail, zobha, etc.
      
      people care more and more about where a product is made, and by whom. an advantage purusha has over its biggest competitors is that my clothing will never be made in china, only in the USA. both lululemon and nike manufacture overseas in terrible conditions. zobha and lucy, though smaller companies, also manufacture overseas in areas where it is very difficult to oversee that the products aren't being made by women that work 18 hours a day for less than 10 cents an hour.
      
      purusha meets the challenge of gaining market share by being a somewhat trendy product, yet still a classic garment that can remain a staple in one's wardrobe for years to come. many designs by competitors are either too on trend- tie dye/hippie/etc, or too trendless- boring limited colors and styleless cuts that have no unique appeal.
      
      purusha people also plans to eventually use only organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, tencel fibers to be as sustainable as possible and remain gentle on the planet. my competitors do not use organic materials (at least not often), so this provides an advantage as more consumers are demanding eco-friendly products. this presents the problem of higher costs on textiles, but with larger orders, we can keep the costs down. 
      
      i realize manufacturing in the USA presents the problem of higher costs as well, but people are willing to pay more these days for one quality product that lasts a lifetime rather than 5 cheaper items made in china. in a time when the economy is down, companies like whole foods are soaring, because people care about quality and humanity as we become educated about the choices we make. people are willing to pay the extra dollars for food that is cruelty free, so why wouldn't the same be true for the clothing we put on our bodies?
      
    • Describe the talent on your team and how they make your business successful.
              well, right now, the team is me! i will make my business successful because i am not afraid to adapt my business model to whatever changes come up in the industry. a business plan starts out one way, but as time moves and the business grows, not everything will be exactly as planned. so i am ready and willing to always adjust my point of view and not get set in my ways. this doesn't mean i will ever compromise my values for purusha people, but i that i will be open to the universe's plan for purusha. i am a compassionate, organized, humble (yet here i am talking myself up!), creative person that seeks to be an entrepreneur that is also an eco-preneur. the definition of a great business, to me, is one that makes a profit, but not at the expense of any living being's health and happiness. i believe a business model should focus on creating a beautiful and functional product, with the case of the planet's long term sustainability always at the forefront of every decision made. 
      
      i seek to have people with these values working on my team, and to spread this message to all that experience purusha people.
      
    • Additional relevant information you would like to share
              i graduated from st. michael's college in burlington, VT in 2005 with a degree in philosophy. i was told by my favorite professor that 50% of fortune 500 companies are founded by those with philosophy degrees. professor tumulty, thank you for your encouragement and i hope to be a part of that 50%! i adore yoga (obviously), laughing, open mindedness, sewing, colors, art, and business. i feel that purusha people encompasses all that i love on this earth, and i am confident about life's plan for me.
      
      thank you SO much for reading and for taking the time to learn about my vision for purusha people.

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