Fashion / Shopping

Baby Goats Invade Austin’s Most Important Mall — and a New Store Revolution is Set to Follow

Sidewalk Air Conditioned Dog Houses Add Even More of an It Factor – Inside Hill Country Galleria’s Makeover

BY // 09.28.18

Of all the workout trends, goat yoga is hands (or hooves) down the cutest.

Hill Country Galleria is rolling out an eclectic mix of new stores opening this fall, including athleisure favorite Lululemon, Austin-based upcycled tire footwear company TREDAGAIN, Flip’N Art gallery featuring art by local artists, women’s lifestyle boutique Lanai, and GOGA — its first goat yoga studio.

Lanai is set to open in October, featuring women’s apparel with a “vacation inspired” aesthetic, heavily influenced by the owner’s previous life in Hawaii. Local artist Chacasso opened his first gallery Flip’N Art in early September with a focus on “happy art, happy walls and happy prices.” The Austin-based TREDAGAIN will open in October and feature its unique shoes manufactured from APX, a recycled rubber substitute made out of car tires that have already gone through a full life cycle.

In addition to these new openings, Hill Country Galleria, located west of downtown Austin in the Bee Caves neighborhood, also recently installed two DogSpots. These are technology-enabled, temperature controlled sidewalk dog houses that offer a safe and secure solution for pups that discourages pet owners from tethering their dogs on the sidewalk or dangerously leaving them in cars.

Hill Country Galleria is the first Texas shopping center to offer this unique pup-centered amenity.

This fall, Hill Country Galleria will also house two seasonal openings — Spirit Halloween and Springfree Trampoline.

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But back to what had us squealing over these new additions, goat yoga. GOGA, a yoga experience aided by baby goats, is now open for goat yoga classes and will expand to full yoga studio offerings including hot yoga and other yoga styles by mid-fall. In anticipation of GOGA’s  first physical location, PaperCity talks all things goat yoga with GOGA’s co-founder Rachael Phillips.

Here’s what we learned about the cutest workout trend in the land:

GOGA started as a way to help Hurricane Harvey victims. GOGA was founded by Rachael Phillips and Trey Kitchen right after Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas. Phillips and Kitchen wanted to find a way to raise money for Harvey victims, and Phillips had been bugging Kitchen about goat yoga since meeting his mother, Roxie, and her goats a few weeks prior. Phillips says that Kitchen finally called his mom to pitch their crazy idea to her, and being the crazy goat lady that she is, she agreed to partner with them.

Goat Yoga isn’t just a trend. “When GOGA first was getting started, we thought it was going to be a fad that people really just did once for the Instagram photos,” Phillips says. “Over the last year we have found that it is so much more than that. People often leave GOGA saying how therapeutic their time with the goats was, or how it was exactly what they needed after a long work week.

“We have also had several customers that were in the middle of dealing with extremely hard life situations (from cancer to family deaths) that have come to experience the healing benefits of combining yoga with baby goats. It is also surprisingly great for yogis who practice regularly because it is a reminder that it is OK to laugh during yoga and not to take themselves too seriously.”

You don’t have to be a yogi to participate in GOGA’s offerings. GOGA’s classes are very beginner friendly, led by some of the most experienced yoga instructors in Austin who are uniquely adept at balancing yoga with baby goats. In fact, what makes goat yoga even more perfect for beginners is that “it allows people who have never tried yoga (and likely would not ever have) to be introduced to the practice in a much less intimidating way.

“Because of this, we do everything we can to make sure that both newcomers and regular practitioners alike feel comfortable in our classes” Phillips says.

Trying Yoga for the first time can be scary, but it is a lot less scary at GOGA. “The baby goats add a humorous nature to the class. There has yet to be a GOGA class that did not include a ton of laughter,” Phillips says. “Yogis are encouraged to stop doing yoga at any time to pet or cuddle with a goat.

“Because GOGA classes are more lighthearted and less serious than most regular Yoga classes, it helps ease those who are new to yoga into the practice.”

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