Sigrid “Sigi” Goerndt remembers well her childhood spent on Crabapple Lane in Barrington Hills. She attended and Elgin Academy, while her sister went to . From kindergarten, all the way through age 23, Goerndt lived and breathed Barrington.
“All of our roots are there,” she said. “Every time we visit, we try to see our old home.”
Goerndt attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, all while working two jobs.
“I wanted to see what I could do with my art background,” says Goerndt. “I never knew I’d get into apparel design.”
She landed a job in the showroom at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, which led to an opportunity at the Apparel Center as an administrative assistant for Levi Strauss & Co., the company famous for Levi’s jeans. Goerndt got her first big break designing apparel for Levi’s and traveled the world for them.
“Having that experience in Chicago was a huge part (for me),” Goerndt said. “Chicago is a style-conscious city. It’s a cool city to be creative.”
After working with Levi’s for 10 years, Goerndt says she found an opportunity to design for Eddie Bauer. Another 10 years later, and a downturn in the economy landed her in the unemployment line. Goerndt was determined to stay in the apparel industry but said she now wanted to be her own boss.
“Who wouldn’t want to own and run their own business?” laughed Goerndt.
In December 2010, she moved to Austin and co-founded Yoga City Apparel with Danielle Pruitt.
“Danielle was into yoga and needed someone to design a line,” recalls Goerndt. “We felt there was a lack of quality yoga apparel with great value out there.”
Through homework and research, Goerndt says she was able to create a line of fitness apparel for women that, “Maintained a modern edge, allowing women to transition effortlessly from one activity to the next.” Goerndt says her inspiration for the designs came from quality and attention to detail.
“You can buy clothes that are inexpensive,” Goerndt said. “You wash them a couple times and they fall apart. For a great price, we wanted something that you could have with comfort, quality, and style.”
Using the knowledge she acquired at Levi’s and Eddie Bauer and testing their designs with fitness instructors around the country, Goerndt said she was able to create 12 main pieces they wanted to take to production.
“For us, those are the people who live and breathe this stuff,” she said. “It was important to get feedback about the product.”
The feedback on her designs has been incredible. In December 2011, the complete line of yoga tops, pants, and accessories was manufactured and launched on their e-commerce website, www.YogaCityApparel.com.
During the time Goerndt attended school in Barrington, their family was friends with the Konicek family. Mark and Leanne Konicek are slated to open Barrington Running Company in July 2012.
“I kept in touch with Mark’s sister and told her about the launch of our new line,” says Goerndt. “Through their family, there was discussion. Mark and Leanne eventually contacted me.”
“We’re bringing in her line,” said Mark Konicek, co-founder of Barrington Running Co. “We’ll be the only ones in Chicago who will be carrying it.”
For Goerndt, having apparel she designed is a dream come true. “It’s very humbling to know that I’ve been gone for many years but to come full circle is very cool,” she said.
Yoga City Apparel prides itself in their customer service and 100 percent money back guarantee. “We give all of our attention to our customers,” she said. “We’re very hands on. We take every bit of feedback from our customers.”
Goerndt and Pruitt eventually plan to offer a men’s apparel line and expand the availability of their clothing into other studios and shops around the country.