The story of JadeYoga really starts over 100 years ago when my grandfather emigrated to the United States in 1904 and began an oriental rug business, Jerrehian Brothers, at the age of 16. He quickly turned this business into one of the most well known and well respected rug dealers in the country by focusing on quality and service.
My father followed my grandfather into the business in the 1960s and founded Jade Industries in 1974 to solve a problem for oriental rug buyers around the world – there were no high quality rug pads to go under fine oriental rugs to provide cushion and prevent them from slipping. The solution to this problem was natural rubber and Jade began making natural rubber rug pads to go under area rugs.
In fact, the birth of JadeYoga really brought yoga mats full circle as one of the first known yoga mats was a rug pad. As the story goes, B.K.S. Iyengar was in the United States doing a demonstration on an oriental rug, but he was slipping – a student took away the rug – leaving the pad and the first yoga mat. Strangely, the yoga mat that became the norm from here was made with cheap, imitation plastic – or PVC. It was also annoyingly slippery – almost useless for most practices and likely toxic.