Nearly two years ago, Kansas City-area yoga instructor Amy Morrison quietly designed three T-shirts and began wearing them to the classes she taught—just to see how people would respond. Students asked where they could get the slouchy tops with yoga-inspired sayings and started placing orders before she even had shirts in stock. Once she did, all three styles sold out in a day. NamastAmy was born. Fast-forward to today and the line now has 12 designs—including tees, tanks, sweatshirts, hats and baby onesies—that still sell like hotcakes.
But despite a résumé that includes studying fashion in Paris and a role launching Baldwin denim as general manager at Standard Style Boutique/Baldwin, Morrison wasn’t entirely confident about starting the line. “I remember laying in bed with a lot of fear and resistance thinking: ‘how can I seriously do this? I don’t have enough time, I don’t know what I’m doing,’” she says. “But I decided to do it anyway.”
She’d temporarily left fashion to teach yoga full-time when her eye for trends saw the active-wear craze grabbing hold. So she set out to combine her two loves, yoga and fashion, by producing the perfect tee to wear from the gym to errands, dinner or drinks—and to make yoga more accessible in the process. “Yoga can be serious and sacred and scary. I wanted people to know it can also be fun, playful and edgy.”
The shirts, all designed and printed locally, take a cue from Morrison’s love of off-the-shoulder tops and oversized muscle tanks—key pieces in the line—and she’s had a list of funny sayings in the works for years, inspired by friends, music, travel, books and her own experiences with yoga.
But the line isn’t just for yoga fans. Plenty of the personality-rich sayings can relate to anyone: Good Vibe Tribe, Chill Babe, and Epic have been some of the most popular ones.
New designs replace older ones a few times a year with some best-sellers sticking around. Next, Morrison is turning towards men’s, kid’s and accessories, and she’s expanding to sell to yoga studios across the country—all while continuing to teach 15 classes a week. “I love to share the challenges of starting a business and handling difficulties with my students,” she says. “I hope to inspire them to do whatever it is they really want to do.”