Manduka: Peter Sterios
Peter Sterios discovered yoga by accident when he was in college, and wound up—also by accident—launching a multimillion-dollar business around it. He used yoga to ease neck strain and loosen his hamstrings, but eventually became a serious practitioner and teacher, running his own studio in central California. In the late 1990’s, before the proliferation of yoga brands, Peter came across a mat that was thicker and more durable than any he’d seen. He anticipated there would be growing demand for quality yoga gear, and decided to take a risk: ordering $25,000-worth of mats to store in his garage and sell to yoga studios and students. Over the years, he grew the business by targeting prominent yoga teachers who became IRL influencers, effectively spreading the mat by spreading the mat. Despite early cash flow issues and many personal challenges, Peter helped grow Manduka into one of the best known yoga accessory brands in the U.S.
This episode was produced by Kira Wakeam, with music by Ramtin Arablouei.
Edited by Neva Grant, with research help from Katherine Sypher.