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Even if you're not the workout type, the new Juja Active boutique is carrying something for you. "We named the company Juja Active rather than Juja Fit because our products aren't just for people dedicated to exercising," founder and longtime yogi Jen Russo told Racked when we checked out the store at 40 Prince Street earlier this week. "They're also for people who are simply living active lives, running around trying to get everything done." That's pretty much everyone in New York right now, no?
The concept for the brand came to Russo during her previous career as an investment banker, which required a lot of travel. "I'd go to yoga studios all over the country where I'd find great product from these smaller brands. I realized that there wasn't a retail space bringing all of these studio brands together under one roof.
"It's all about discovery here," she continued. People walk in and tell us that they've never seen any of the brands that we carry." Most of the store's collection is comprised of small and independent brands started by yoga instructors and women, like Kira Grace, Noli, Pheel, Mia Brazilia, and W.I.T.H. (our personal favorite), but you'll find a couple more mainstream brands like Prismsport in here, too.
Additionally, one of Russo's main goals was to have a shop that's accessible for everyone, "Our price points are a bit lower than our competitors — we will never sell $350 leggings." So that means prices are around $50 to $150 for a pair of leggings, $50 for a sports bra, and $55 for an ultra-soft yogi sweatshirt.
Inside, it's sleek and white, with bright fluorescent backlighting, which lends itself well to all of the vibrant prints. "The wilder the print, the faster it flies out," Russo explained. "People don't come in here looking for black leggings, they want something different." And different is what you will find, which will help it stand out amongst likeminded neighborhood businesses, from Athleta's newest shop to Tory Sport.
And while coming to Manhattan this season wasn't part of the initial plan — the first store only opened this past summer in Southampton — she was prompted to speed up the process due to unexpectedly high demand. "We listen to our customers and instructor community, and they were asking us about opening up in Manhattan all summer." It probably didn't hurt that Russo found the perfect space right in Soho — the very neighborhood in which she practices yoga.
The store quietly opened its doors this past Sunday, but keep your eyes peeled for an official grand opening party. Down the line, Juja will also be hosting events to benefit non-profits that help women and young girls — just another big part of the brand's mission.