Nov 01, 2006 10:30 PM  By

The Y Catalog

The desire to bring awareness to the notion of seva, or the spirit of service, inspired the launch of the Y Catalog of yoga products in September. Cofounder Keri Lassalle says the company’s mission is to stimulate awareness of the importance of “doing our part for our environment and for those in need, both inside and outside the yoga community, while meeting your shopping needs at the very highest level.”

The first of three drops of the 44-page debut catalog mailed on Sept. 15; all told 200,000 copies of the issue will be mailed. Catalogs were sent to 42,000 subscribers of Yoga Journal, which gave the Y Catalog names in exchange for inserts in the catalog. The rest of the names for the drop were rented.

In addition to eco-friendly yoga mats and apparel, the Y Catalog sells energy bracelets, spa items, music CDs, and yoga books. There is certainly an audience for such items, Lassalle says: 15 million people in the U.S. practice yoga.

Lassalle expects 30% of the sales to come from apparel, with an average order size of $80-$100. She predicts the most popular items will be Earth shoes, which sell for $100. The Santa Monica, CA-based company plans to donate 10% of all sales toward a global or charitable cause supported by its vendors.

Product category: yoga apparel and accessories First mailing date: September 2006 Size of distribution: 200,000 Target audience: yoga enthusiasts Frequency: quarterly Competitors: Gaiam, Hugger Mugger, Kripalu Number of pages: 44 Size: 10-1/2″ × 8-1/2″

Phone: 866-462-9642


Calgary, Alberta-based Fitterfirst, a manufacturer/marketer of exercise gear, started out in 1985 selling its goods primarily at fitness trade shows throughout Canada. In 2001 it launched a Canadian catalog and e-commerce business. But it wasn’t until this year that the company decided to mail into the United States.

Not that the U.S. is a new market for Fitterfirst. “In fact, when I started with shows and leaflets, I had no Canadian sales even though I was based in Canada,” says company founder/president Louis Stack.

In September, Fitterfirst dropped 155,000 books in the U.S. Of those, 40,000 went to names on the house file and the rest to names rented from co-op databases, says Stack. The U.S. catalog is the same as the Canadian edition except that it’s priced in U.S. rather than Canadian dollars.

Fitterfirst’s products include exercise balls, weights, exercise mats, and items for children. Stack says he expects the average order size to be more than $100.
Tim Parry

Product category: exercise gear Target audience: baby boomers, active families Competitors: Gym Ball Store, Power Systems Number of pages: 48 Size: 8″ × 11″ Phone: 1-800-Fitter1