RTS Reply: Thanks for that information Ryan, something else to do that I didn’t know was available.
I actually wrote a short piece about Mountain Jade in the Souvenir Shopping section of the website and can’t believe I missed that.
To add to what Ryan has said, Mountain Jade is into its 2nd generation of carvers now with John Sheehan Snr – the Founder of this business – supported by his three sons, John Jnr., Joe and Jacob. I wonder if there is a story behind all the J’s?
The company not only employs carvers, it also trains them too.
The business has grown from one retail store to three, located here in Rotorua, Auckland and Hokitika and there’s also an online store.
Jin Hong Zhang (Dracky), the co-founder and business partner of John Snr, helped to forge relationships with China, his home country. They ended up building a huge jade carving factory over there that employs a lot of local Chinese.
From what I can make out, these two men are very up there and well thought of internationally, in terms of their knowledge, passion and commitment to the jade industry.
This passion for jade has taken them to jade fields around the globe including Russia, Canada, China, Australia and locally in New Zealand to find the highest quality jade.
Wanting to assist others, John Snr and Dracky were instrumental in setting up The New Zealand International Culture & Trading Association. Their vision was to "encourage cultural and business exchange opportunities."
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