think local

At the West 4th store we have a feedback board in our fitting rooms. When guests try on gear, we ask them what works and what would make the gear more suited to their practice. We write everything down on the board and in our monthly call with the lululemon design team we talk about the feedback we’re getting. It’s really cool when we see some of that feedback make it to a new product.

We have more formal research and development programs, of course, and our ambassadors are a big part of that. But for us R&D is something we do everyday. Our goal is to create components that help people lead healthy, long, fun lives. The more we know about how they’re using our product, the better we can support them with features and function that will help them meet their goals. The only way to do that is to talk to them about what they need.

Conversations are a huge part of what we do. When we talk about yoga pants, we’re really talking about creating the lives we want to create for ourselves. We talk about connecting to what’s important to you. From there you can make choices and set goals that will lead to the life you want. Every time we have an authentic conversation with someone in our community, whether they’re an ambassador, a guest or a coworker, we have the opportunity to share these ideas.

West 4th Ave is a bustling strip in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. We love being a part of this vibrant community. Last year we partnered with our friends at Semperviva Yoga to offer a weekend of workshops and yoga on beautiful Galiano Island for the Kitsilano 4th Avenue Business Association. We did classes, went on long hikes and talked about our vision and goals.

Some people were surprised we offered the retreat free to other businesses. They commonly asked, “Aren’t some of those businesses your competition?” We don’t see our neighbours as competition. We see them as ourselves. Separation is an illusion — when we believe there is a divide, we create unhappiness. This is core to who we are.

The retreat was an incredible bonding experience. We’ve built deeper relationships in our community and gave our friends the tools to build their ideal lives. What’s really cool is how this will ripple out. Goal setting shifts how you look at your life and that, in turn, shifts how others do, too. It’s inspiring to see people achieve their goals. Change one person and you can change a community.

Being the first lululemon store doesn’t make us more important but we do feel a certain responsibility. We honour our roots by living authentically and sharing our culture with our community with love and generosity, just as we did when we opened the doors in 2000.