Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: FAQ: What Does YALA Mean?

Woman relaxing by a window, wearing a Delia Pajama Set.

FAQ: What Does YALA Mean?

YALA is a women-owned, women-led business with a tradition of friendship and encouraging each other beyond our perceived limitations toward greatness. But have you ever asked yourself, ‘What does YALA mean?’ If so, you are not alone!

YALA is a word used far and wide. It is a province in the southernmost tip of Thailand, a national wildlife park in Sri Lanka, and a jewelry brand in Africa.

So why did we also choose this word to encapsulate our brand, and what the heck does it mean?

What Does YALA Mean?

In short, yala is an expression of encouragement used across many cultures and exchanged on all continents. It is akin to phrases like, ‘Let’s Go!’ and ‘Onward and Upward!’


During a rebrand in 2005, our world-traveling founders wanted a name that spoke to the joy of travel and discovering new cultures. Something that celebrated that the farther they traveled from home, the more connected they became to all of humanity.

Fast forward to 2019, when two long-time YALA employees and besties purchased the company despite the obstacles that so many female entrepreneurs face. As Rachel explains when asked about this process:

"We were two women with no assets and pockets full of debt. We were both single moms who worked hard to make ends meet for a long time. So we didn’t fit the ideal business loan profile. But we had a ton of experience working with YALA and a lot of grit, so we pushed forward until we got a “YES!”


Today our namesake encourages us to keep moving forward, despite the obstacles. It is such an important reminder that we emphasized it in ALL CAPS and added our twist with an acronym as a nod to our past and an optimistic vision moving forward: Your Adventure Lies Ahead.

It reminds us that nothing is static, life is ever-changing, and we can honor the past while creating new definitions for a brighter future.

That is something to embrace. That is something to celebrate. YALA!


Learn more About YALA


So glad you told your story. It is truly inspiring to hear about women owned companies and how they get started.!! You go ladies!!

Sandy Wahl

I’ve enjoyed the story behind your brand name ever since the founders transitioned from Dreamsacks to YALA back in 2008-ish. But your reference to “Sri Lanka, India” makes it sound like Sri Lanka is part of India. The island nation of Sri Lanka is very close to India, but it is an entirely separate country, with its own language, currency, etc. Just FYI. Keep up the great work and the great adventures!

Fred Hornaday

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

All comments are moderated before being published.

Read more

Turning Waste into Resources
Giving Back

Turning Waste into Resources

Why add to the landfill when we can contribute to doing good? One source of unnecessary waste within the apparel industry is clothing. Returns and unsold, discontinued garments too often get thrown...

Read more
Woman reclined on a couch wearing YALA hoodie and joggers
Bamboo Clothing & Sleepwear

Inclusive Sizing 2023 Update

Inclusive Sizing Matters YALA has created clothing and bedding for over two decades focusing on comfort, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. Those standards still guide us, but...

Read more