Lululemon Founders Launch Meditation Startup

lululemon founder meditation startup

I’ve been interested in meditation for a while (recently took a transcendental meditation course) so this caught my eye:

Chip and Shannon Wilson, founders of Lululemon are launching a new company focused on meditation and lifestyle called Whil.

[Our approach is] pretty minimalist compared to how people usually think of meditating. You shut your eyes, “power down” your brain, and empty your mind. While taking deep breaths, commit to one or two essential priorities you’ll focus on in the next few hours. And all of that happens inside a minute.

This strategy came from the extremely busy lives of its originators. “At Lululemon, I was like a fish who couldn’t see the water,” Chip tells us. “I couldn’t really see how fast the company was growing. It was just unbelievable. There was so much coming at me that there was no time to cool down [and] prioritize the next few hours.”

In part, the decision to spread this message came from seeing the massive amounts of stress people in the business world are now under. 

“When we were here in 2007 doing the IPO for Lululemon, we saw all these analysts — these 30 to 40-year-old guys working 24/7 — and they threw their whole lives into it,” Chip says. “Combined with how social media and technology is going, the amount of information they’re getting is leading to burnout.”

Chip also mentions he thinks meditation’s growth rate is comparable to the early popularity of yoga:

While meditation hasn’t yet become mainstream, if there’s one thing Chip’s good at, it’s spotting a trend. His first business, Westbeach, sold for $15 million after he was one of the first to spot the growing demand for surf, ski, and snowboard apparel. Lululemon was far ahead of the game when it came to yoga. They think meditation’s at the same stage.

“If I look back at where yoga started in 1998, it was never in a hotel, never in a workplace, no one ever talked about it,” Chip says. “And where it is now, I think we can see the same growth rate for meditation.

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