company_name =Gaia Online, Inc.
company_type = Public (nasdaq|GAIA)
genre = Lifestyle
foundation = 1988
founder = Jirka Rysavy
location_city = Louisville, Colorado
location_country = USA
location = 833 S Boulder Rd
key_people = Chairman and CEO
President and COO
Chief Financial Officer
Gaiam is a "lifestyle company" that creates media content, information, experiences and products that appeal to consumers interested in any aspect of living more healthfully and lightly on the planet.
The company coined the term Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (
LOHAS), encompassing everything from renewable energy solutions to yoga, inspirational films to eco-travel, and organic foods to eco-friendlyapparel and furnishings. As described on the company website, "Gaiam is a provider of information, goods and services to customers who value the environment, a sustainable economy, healthy lifestyles, alternative healthcare and personal development."
Gaiam is probably best known for fitness media, such as their award-winning yoga videos taught by well-known instructors such as
History of Gaiam
Gaiam was founded in Boulder,
Coloradoin 1988 by Jirka Rysavy, a few years after he founded Corporate Expressto market recycled paper products. At that time, Rysavy was involved in three separate LOHAS companies, all within one block of each other in Boulder, Colorado. His vision was to serve the "conscious consumer", a group subsequently named the " Cultural Creatives" by sociologist Paul Rayin 1996. Ray's research distinguished a group of educated consumers who make purchasing decisions based on their values. Paul Ray now serves on Gaiam's board of directors.
Originally a catalog business, Gaiam now has products in stores world-wide (Target,
Borders Books, Whole Foods Market), and is growing a strong e-commerce sales channel as well. Gaiam catalogs include:
* Harmony ("environmentally friendly home and lifestyle products")
* Living Arts ("fitness, wellness and personal development")
* Real Goods ("solar living products")
* Explorations ("consciousness and spirituality related media").
In 2006, Gaiam launched the Gaiam Community [http://community.gaiam.com] as a way to help people connect with others interested in a healthier, greener and more fulfilling life.
Acquisitions and expansions
Gaiam is actively expanding into overseas territories. In 2003, it bought a 50.1% share in its
UKdistributor Leisure Systems International (LSI). LSI subsequently changed its name to Gaiam Ltd. In May 2008 however the UK directors of Gaiam Ltd bought back their share of the business and changed the company name again to HAB International Ltd.
In 2005, Gaiam acquired the media assets of GoodTimes Entertainment Inc which included brands such as GT Xpress, The Firm and
Gaiam acquired Real Goods [http://www.gaiam.com/realgoods/] in 2006 and now www.realgoods.com sends users to Gaiam. This acquisition expands the Gaiam product line from things like yoga mats and green cleaning products to large "off grid living" items like solar power invertors and tankless water heaters.
In 2007, Gaiam acquired both Lime.com and
Zaadz.comfor a greater community presence.
In 2000 Gaiam acquired Real Goods, a California-based company specializing in the production and distribution of
solar powersystems, other renewable energy equipment, and off-grid/sustainable living products. Gaiam supports environmentalismas a part of its "conscious consumer" vision.
Gaiam (pronounced "guy-um"), is a fusion of the words "Gaia" and "I am". Gaia, mother Earth, was honored on the Isle of
Cretein ancient Greece 5,000 years ago by the Minoan civilization. This civilization valued education, art, science, recreation, and the environment and believed that the Earth was directly connected to its existence and daily life. The concept of Gaia stems from the ancient philosophy that the Earth is a living entity.
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