By Mark Ambrogi
Jessica and Kevin Lynch are used to being on the go.
Jessica was a cheerleader at Carmel High School and the University of Michigan. Her husband is a former Michigan hockey player now playing for the Indy Fuel.
So when their daughter, Ella, was born in June 2016, the couple began thinking about baby clothes that would mirror their active lifestyle.
“Being a mom today, we don’t get dressed up every day,” said Jessica, a 2009 CHS graduate. “I wear my workout clothes every day, whether I’m running errands, working out or at home with her. You want to sit on the floor and play with your baby. It seemed silly to dress her all the time when I looked like I did. As a mom, you don’t have time to dress up. So we came up with this concept so she can look like me.”
So they decided to launch YogaBaby clothing.
“It’s really soft fabrics, moisture wicking so they dry really quickly,” Jessica said.
YogaBaby launched in mid-December with the clothing and accessories for baby girls and toddlers. Jessica said they plan to launch a clothing line for boy babies soon.
“We came at this with a purpose of having our babies look like their mothers, and they’re really comfortable,” Kevin said.
Jessica said the baby clothes are easy to put on.
“Jackets for babies, you can’t even get them in their car seat, they’re so puffy,” she said. “The fabric of (our) jacket is so stretchy, it’s easy to get on.”
The couple began by doing Facebook advertising and reaching out to family and friends.
Kevin takes care of the accounting. They both work on marketing, purchasing and sales.
“We see eye to eye on a lot of things, so it makes decisions easier,” Kevin said.
Jessica searched for someone who could help design the clothes. When she found Ashley Yochum, who graduated from the Art Institute of Indianapolis with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, she knew it would be a good match. Yochum is working out of her fiancé’s house in Olney, Ill.
“When Jessica first talked to me, I was most excited about the untapped market we were getting into,” Yochum said. “At the moment, there isn’t anything in the industry that competes with us. We really have started a new trend, and we learn along the way about the ups and downs of this new branch of athleisure wear for babies. YogaBaby is taking to the Internet by storm, and we have far surpassed our expectations for the business right away.”
Yochum works to come up with new designs for different collections and seasons.
“This is especially exciting because of the lack of competitors in the market. Jessica and I come up with new outfits that have never been seen before in the fashion world,” Yochum said. “People can’t often say that they have been a pioneer in fashion, but I truly believe we are one of a kind.”
For more, visit yogababyclothing.com
Finally at home
Kevin has been playing professional hockey for four years and has played for several different teams.
“We’ve moved like a total of nine times in three years,” Jessica said.
They decided to move back to Carmel when they learned she was having a baby to be near her parents.
“It puts your life in perspective when you have a baby,” Jessica said. “Family really matters. We lived in great places. But there is something about the Midwest, the work ethic, the people are nice. This is where we wanted to be.”
Kevin, from Grosse Pointe, Mich., said it helps to be only four hours from his family as well.
“With the baby coming, we wanted to have a home base,” he said.
So the decision was made before he signed with the Fuel last summer.
This is his first year playing for the Fuel, which is affiliated with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
“It’s a great organization,” Kevin said. “The fan base is tremendous.”
Kevin was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NHL entry draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets but chose to go to college. He still has hopes of reaching the NHL.
“One of the reasons we started this business was to give me the flexibility to play hockey as long as possible so I can go for my dream,” Kevin said. “Hockey doesn’t last forever, and we wanted something we could do afterwards.”
Being an entrepreneur runs in Jessica’s family. Her father, Ted Gelov, is the chairman and CEO of Carmel-based Heartland Food Products Group, which acquired Splenda in 2015.
“I worked for my dad’s companies the prior two years, and Kevin and I really wanted to start something on our own,” she said.
Jessica, who majored in communications and entrepreneurship at Michigan, met Kevin when they were sophomores. They graduated from Michigan in 2013.