Have you ever wondered what makes great yoga bolsters stand out? Like most things, there’s not just one factor. The number one quality that makes yoga bolsters rise above the pack is the balance between firmness and softness. A great bolster is firm enough that it bends only a miniscule amount, but is soft enough on the outside that it’s comfy for Restorative practice.
Abraham Avelar, Hugger Mugger’s bolster master of the past eight years, has found the perfect combination of firm and soft. In order to fill a bolster to perfection, he has to stuff the cotton filling into the cover as tightly as possible. This means that the covers have to be able to withstand seam-splitting conditions. (Despite the tremendous pressure on the fabric and seams, my Hugger Mugger yoga bolsters are still going strong after decades of use!)
Upholstery-grade fabrics help subdue the stuffing, but the heart of our long-lasting yoga bolsters lies in the people who make them. And Trina Roettger, our sewing lead, guides the process.
About 14 years ago, Trina first stepped into the Hugger Mugger Yoga Products warehouse. She trained for her position as sewing lead under Cindy, who headed the department for 12 years. She sewed here for 2-1/2 years before taking a hiatus and fortunately for us, returned in February 2013. As sewing lead, Trina organizes the production process and sets up what will be sewn on a given day. She likes to sew in the rare moments when she has time, but she spends most of her time coordinating production instead. Fortunately, she has a competent, skilled team in Maria and Kannika, our two longtime sewing experts.
Because of our yoga bolsters’ popularity, keeping up with Abraham and making sure he has what he needs is one of Trina’s biggest challenges, she says. “I have to be ahead of him. This job requires that I see the future!”
Bolsters are not all that Trina’s department makes. We also sew all our Meditation Cushions, Eyebags and Neck Pillows, Straps, Yoga Shorts, Yogatards (regular and T-back), and Jivana Ankle Leggings here in our Salt Lake facility. In the early 2000s, Hugger Mugger offered custom tie-dyed Yogatards. Trina remembers that Cindy did all the tie-dying in her horse trough. “Every time I see a horse, I think of Cindy,” she says.
When she’s not at work, Trina spends her time gardening, hiking in the mountains and enjoying her grandchildren. She also likes to play volleyball, softball—which she has coached in the past—and she enjoys shooting hoops with her 22-year-old daughter.