Hi! I'm Nicky, the founder of Gecko.
I trained to be a yoga teacher, but diverted for a career in international marketing instead. I followed this career path all the way from my native Southern California to Lisbon, Portugal. But after four years working in my fast-paced agency job, I was burnt out and completely disconnected from my yoga practice.
Then, 2020 happened. And like many others, I turned to my practice to keep sane. Confined by the walls of my apartment, my yoga mat gave me the ability to create space in my mind and body. I gained a newfound appreciation for my mat- my secret weapon for cultivating peace, perspective, positivity, and play.
That’s when it occurred to me: if my mat is so personal to me, why don’t I know what it’s made of, or where it was made?
So I dove into research mode, and found out that my yoga mat, like most, was made from a low-cost, non-biodegradable synthetic material. It was mass produced in a remote factory, shipped across the globe, and given a 10x retail markup before it ever reached me.
This gave me pause.
If our mats are the only thing we need to practice yoga, why do we act like the principles of yoga don’t apply to them? Why is it that we expect more from our straws, than we do from our yoga mats?
So I went searching for something better. My time living in Portugal had introduced me to the world of cork. Since I already knew the language, I decided to go straight to the source, connecting with local producers and manufacturers to learn more about this versatile material. I discovered that beyond being fully renewable, it’s naturally non-slip. In fact, the more you sweat, the grippier your hands become on the natural cork surface- just like a Gecko.
Shortly after, I quit my marketing job to start Gecko. In 2021, we launched with our flagship product, the OG "Original Gecko" Cork Yoga Mat.
My goal for this brand is not to make yoga accessories out of cork, but to make us more connected with our practice. To help us practice better yoga, in every sense.
See you on the mat!