Westporter Solves Ancient Yoga Puzzle

We can send a telescope squintillions of miles into space, and receive images back showing the birth of the universe.

We can ask Google how many zeroes are in a googolplex, and get481,000 answers in 0.38 seconds.

But we cannot make a yoga towel that doesn’t slip when we sweat.

At least, we couldn’t until recently.

Finally, that problem — one that has, presumably, bedeviled yoga practitioners for 5,000 years (thanks, Google!) — has been solved.

It took a Staples High School graduate to do it.

Nicole Rothschild, with her mat and invention.

Nicole Rothschild grew up here. A Wrecker soccer star, she went on to Cornell University. She was hired by Goldman Sachs as an investment banking analyst, and associate in the urban investment group.

But Wall Street wasn’t for her. Nicole joined a startup, then started on a backpacking trip in Japan and Patagonia.

When COVID hit, she returned to Westport. Doing yoga at home — instead of her favorite spot, Kaia — she had time to wonder about something.

Why did her towel always move around under her hands and feet? Wasn’t there some way to secure it?

Google did not provide an answer.

Surprised there was nothing in the vast yoga marketplace, she began tinkering. She talked to people who had created products, and found Ran Lerner, an industrial engineer in Israel. (He had helped a friend’s mother with her own problem: how to keep guacamole from turning brown.)

Nicole’s requirements: a clip had to be flat, so it wouldn’t disturb the yoga practice.

It had to be heat resistant (hot yoga rooms get hot). 

It had to be small, and unobtrusive.

Working together — well, on different continents — he helped Nicole devise a clip to hold the towel in place on the mat.

It may not rank up there with sliced bread. But for yoga practitioners, it takes the cake.

So does the name.

It wasn’t easy. Finally, Nicole came up with perhaps the greatest name since Wonder Bread.

At the end of a yoga session, the teacher often says “namaste.” The Sanskrit phrase means “I bow to you.”

So … Nicole calls her product “Namastay.” Pronounced the same, it gives the clear idea: This yoga towel will stay.

Nicole trademarked the name Her utility and design patents are pending.

She hoped to manufacture Namastay in the US. Despite scouring the internet, she could not find a company here that could do it reasonably.

So she’s worked with a firm in Hong Kong. They went through several prototypes, and now have one they like.

A Kickstarter campaign raised $25,000. That was enough for tooling, and an initial order of 2,500. The first shipment arrived in November.

Nicole also worked with a design firm on branding (colors, fonts, a website and more).

“Every step is a new challenge,” she says. “But a lot of kind people gave me 30 minutes of their time to help get me where I am.”

Kaia Yoga bought the first 50 clips, for their 8 locations.

She’s figuring out now how to get the word out to yoga studios, and home practitioners.

After coming this far — figuratively and literally (from Japan and Patagonia), Nicole should be able to solve that one too.


4 responses to “Westporter Solves Ancient Yoga Puzzle

  1. She’ll be sitting next to Mark Cuban on Shark Tank in a few years. Great story.

  2. Very clever idea!

    And at home, you can use it to keep your open bag of chips fresh!

  3. Victoria Capozzi

    Here’s Nicole’s website

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