We started Jade Magazine 20 years ago before bloggers and YouTubers became the norm. There was no "social media" then.
In 1999, neither mainstream publications nor other media had much diversity in terms of coverage or representation. The established POC magazines were Essence and A. Magazine. Latina Magazine had only just started. Zines were a thing and there were a number of small publications catering to Asians, but not specifically for Asian women. We decided to fill that void.
When we launched the first issue of JADE Magazine, we chose to do it online so we could test the market. Looking back, we were ahead of our time being a digital magazine, but the truth of the matter is we didn't have the money to do a print version at the time.
During that time, there were plenty of successful Asian women in a wide variety of industries, but there wasn't much coverage of their accomplishments except for the few who made it really big. We wanted to address this by sharing the stories of Asian women in as many fields and in as many different stages of their lives as we could. By showing that we, as Asian women, were succeeding in finding our place, we wanted to celebrate these successes and encourage others to follow their passion.
So much has changed since we started, both personally and for Asian women overall. And even though it's becoming more common to see an Asian woman on TV, in print or in the boardroom, it took a long time to go from The Joy Luck Club to Crazy Rich Asians. There’s still a lot of work to do before we're fully represented and we hope JADE Magazine is there when it happens.
With that said, we would like to thank everyone who has been a part of our magazine all these years, especially our readers.