From Wall Street to Onesies: Pallavi Golla’s Entrepreneurial Journey

By Aire Reese, Pittsburgh, PA

When Pallavi Golla had her first son, Vyan, in 2015 she never thought her own problems as a first-time mother would be the start of a business venture. Pallavi was born and raised in the Franklin Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh. After graduating from Sewickley Academy, she attended NYU Stern School of Business majoring in Finance and went on to work in hedge funds for many years before attending business school in California.

Pallavi Golla relaxing in her home with her sons Vyan, Kalyan, and her dog Bodie.

After returning to Pittsburgh, Pallavi and her husband Mukul Patil started their family with their first son. She enjoyed taking Vyan on walks in a stroller but noticed that while she stayed dry in her activewear leggings and T-shirts, he would get hot and sweaty in cotton baby clothes. Their time was cut short because he would get heat rash. At night, traditional sleepwear would make him sweaty and fussy.

Pallavi started to wonder whether the same fabric used in adult active-wear could be used to make better baby clothing. She quickly realized that  technical synthetic fabrics for adults were laced with harmful chemicals that would not be safe for small children. “There were adult companies pushing the limits on fabric technology,” says Pallavi. “But for children, there wasn’t anything new or innovative.”

Today, Golla is the founder of Lark Adventurewear, a premium e-commerce brand that makes clothes for children, and also for adults now, from a proprietary and sustainable Softek  bamboo knit. The touch & feel of this fabric is something you must experience personally. It is buttery soft, temperature-regulating, UPF 50 sun-safe, and made to last.

Every product Pallavi and her team design is laser-focused on the following: functionality that makes life easier for parents and more comfortable for kids. And her customers have taken notice.

Kids in Lark Adventurewear’s clothes.

Since its founding in 2017, Lark Adventurewear has gained a loyal following on social media with over 60,000 followers and a passionate customer base extending from size 3-months through adult 3XL. Her company was featured in Vogue India, Inc Magazine and Forbes. But Golla is more interested in what her customers say. Hearing stories about a child having less eczema symptoms, a 6-year-old sleeping better through nights in Lark PJs, or providing the “best joggers I’ve ever had” to a tired mother is the feedback that keeps her working harder.

What once started in the spare bedroom of her home as she packed orders with her two small children has blossomed into a fast-growing e-commerce business with a warehouse in Central PA. Lark is on track to triple its year-over-year sales in 2021. While the road to success hasn’t been smooth, Pallavi says “I’m continually learning and trying to make better products for my customers. The best advice I can give anyone interested in pursuing a business idea or creating something new is to enjoy trying, failing, growing, and experimenting to learn what works.”   ∎ — END


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