As simple as it may seem, our new collection, Endless Summer, which features our brand new Movement Short and various matching tops, actually has many many layers to how it came to be. And I think it’s important to share with you all. 

I built Yoga Democracy because I wanted to create clothing for people who dared to be different; who didn’t want to be a slave to fashion trends and actually strived to wear things that expressed who they were on the inside. I have always been surrounded by powerful women putting in the work to liberate themselves from society’s vision of who they were “supposed to be” and with the utmost admiration, I chose to make clothes that I thought they would love. I hoped our clothes would represent freedom, the right to choose who we are, and choose to be happy when we wear these brightly colored, eccentric clothes. Empowering more people to live “free range” was a mission I was willing to do anything it took to make happen. 

It took me 7 years into building this company to realize that I was not living my own life in the way I am trying to uplift other women to do. Really for the last 10 years, I was so completely disconnected from my physical body, because, to put it bluntly, I hated my body. I was telling my body toxic thoughts everyday. And the first step I took to rid myself of this was realizing I had so much more to offer the world than just my physical body. And from then on I decided I didn't want to try to fit the physical mold society led us to believe was the “right kind of body.” Which, in the beginning, was amazing and liberating. But it didn’t automatically make me love my body, I just decided to hide it and ignore it, in fact I rarely looked in the mirror for several years. 

So the pendulum in my brain swung, and I put all my perceived value into what I could handle mentally. And wow I had high expectations. I became hyper focused on building this company and I really didn’t allow myself to have any distractions. These expectations were of course just setting myself up for failure because I, again, could never be enough; I hadn’t sewn enough that day (even after all nighters) or couldn’t fill the orders fast enough to keep up with the new instantly gratifying shipping expectation. I wasn’t designing enough, or I wasn’t posting on social media enough to share the meaning of new stuff I did make. I wasn’t showing my vulnerabilities to our customers enough, or telling our brand story enough. But also, the added pressure of I wasn’t emotionally available enough for my loved ones, I didn’t hangout with friends enough, I didn’t workout enough, or relax enough, or practice enough yoga… you get the point. But after like 10 cycles of burn out with no rest or recovery, I realized I put myself in this prison and I wanted to break free. 

I am learning that hiding my body from the world hid me and my spirit from the world. Because it is all the same stuff. Our cells are listening to every thought that pops into our brain. And vise versa. I needed to learn to love all of me. Because I’m learning that without the true love and appreciation for the existence of every cell in my body, then I am robotic, and my spirit cannot be used to help uplift anyone no matter how much I want to. 

I made a huge shift this year toward self-love, self-discovery, and finally choosing to live free range. I started with something very simple, playing music in the morning. Which led to playing music all day. Which led to dancing around my house when I was by myself. Which reminded me of how much dancing feeds my soul. Which led me to craving movement again. Which led to taking all my work calls on walks instead of at my desk. Which led to me having more energy when I got home from work. Which led to me going to dance class. Which led to me going to dance class almost everyday. Which challenged me to look at myself and my body in the mirror. Which led me to crave challenging myself to do things that made me uncomfortable. Which led me to WEAR SHORTS (!!!) to dance class. 

I have never worn shorts. But in the midst of learning to love my body unconditionally, I fell in love with our shorts. I realized how few options we had in the 3” length Joey Short and thought that needed to change ASAP. And after countless dance classes where I tried out this new short style and made small adjustments every time, I feel like we have a winner. I updated the waistband to an elastic-free cross over so there isn’t any unnecessary pinching and has the additional option to fold the waistband over for a low rise fit. Also, I added a little extra room in the bum cause frankly it's nice to have a little extra room. hehe

When I see these pictures of myself, I do not see a body or a face or hair or clothes. I see a person, on their way forward, toward the person I always dreamed of becoming. I see a leader, I see a fighter, I see a sister & daughter. I see laughter, I see growth, I see love, I see joy, I see hope.

I see a free range human.  

So, say hello to our new Endless Summer Collection that, to me (in addition to being super cute), represents unconditional self-love. And even though the sun will start to set earlier and earlier as summer does come to an end, the sun will not set on the message that this collection represents. 

Thank you for reading. 



July 08, 2022 — Haley Byfield

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.