The story of Diamond Teak grew out of a desire to help and serve others. Kevin and Christine Yardley, two magna cum laude Harvard graduates and newlyweds, both volunteered to teach english for the World Teach Organization in Costa Rica. Because there was no guarantee of them being stationed in the same area, Christine became a teacher in the program while Kevin began dedicating his prodigious energy to protecting the environment in an entrepreneurial way.
Costa Rica’s bio-diversity includes 5 percent of all known species in an area the size of West Virginia. yet Costa Rica had some of the fastest deforestation rates in the world, so there was a desperate need to offset this environmental destruction. “The reforestation effort in Costa Rica has done a great deal of good,” explains Kevin Yardley. “But if you look at El Salvador or Haiti, countries that are 99% deforested, they have little prospects . . . A country without trees has no future,” he states. The Yardleys’ environmental spirit led them to envision a way to protect the environment while creating jobs to empower the local community. According to the Costa Rican Ministry of Natural Resources, Diamond Teak is having a positive impact in Costa Rica through their reforestation efforts.
In 1992, Diamond Teak bought their first degraded cattle farm and began planting teak. In addition to farming teak, they have planted seventy other species including endangered native trees such as mahogany, purpleheart and cocobolo rosewood. Their 12 plantations protect more than 1000 acres of primary and secondary jungle and provide safe havens for an incredibly diverse selection of flora and fauna. Kevin explains that while Costa Rica has phenomenal beauty, it’s no place for the faint of heart. Eighteen species of poisonous snakes and countless biting insects, venomous spiders and scorpions roam freely.
Kevin has seen the impact of logging in the rainforest and the widespread harm that it produces. This is why Diamond Teak adheres to internationally-recognized environmental principles and works with leading organizations to certify the sustainable sourcing of the wood in our beautiful furniture. We plant our own trees! The end result is the finest teak wood furniture made from the best wood hand-selected by master craftspeople.