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Spot the Latest Trends

Spotting trends can put your business in the money for the long haul.

This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Start Up.

Once upon a time, yoga was a purely spiritual practice. Although this remains true for traditional practitioners, it stands to reason that today's breed of yogis is decidedly different--with decidedly different gear to match. "They're not necessarily deeply spiritual, but looking more to do yoga as another form of exercise," says Jennifer McKinley, co-founder and general manager of Plank, a Charlestown, Massachusetts, maker of chic, high-end yoga mats, totes and other accessories. Launched in 2005, the company projects sales of $750,000 for 2007.

Plank is but one example of a company that spotted a trend--yoga enthusiasts who want more than a muted blue mat on which to pose--and acted on it. Part art and part science, this kind of trend spotting is truly the key to entrepreneurial success. The good news: It's not as difficult as you might think.

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