• JOYN Travel Collection Diaries

    JOYN Travel Collection Diaries

    Our preCOVID adventures... Our JOYN team is willing to do a lot for something we believe in. In this case it meant taking four, 8 hour long buses, 2 flights, an auto rickshaw, about 8 hours in a car and finally a Camel ride to shoot our new Travel Collection, Off the Grid

    We first started this journey based on a conversation with a beautiful lady named Aditi, whose embroidery company, RUAS, works with artisans from the villages in Kutch, Gujarat. Being a team always up for an adventure, we were dying to see how we could collaborate with this brand. The spark in Aditi’s eyes when she was talking about visiting all these villages had us convinced that there was something in this idea that we absolutely needed to explore. 

    For good measure, we took along with us our JOYN model, Sarah Hambley and our Travel Collection, and started planning a shoot. We also had in tow our production assistant Joseph Saladi, our photographer Sean Tuckey and our new collaborator and volunteer Tash Ritz - co-founder of a high end bag company called ARNA, and - my two year old (teething) daughter, just to keep things interesting. 

    Our journey, as always started in Rajpur, our hometown. We took an overnight bus to the Capital City where we stayed a few days to collect some camera gear and to get our leather shopping done at the remnant markets. Our first flight was to Ahmedabad, a city famous for its textiles among other things. We landed and after a bit of respite at a beautiful breakfast place, we were met by Aditi and on the road again for our second 8 hour bus ride. We arrived in Bhuj, travel worn and slightly dizzy from the not so glamorous journey. We booked into a run down old guest house that had the stories of many travelers trapped inside its dilapidated walls. I wondered what kind of people came to a place like this, and over the course of the next few days we got to hear some of their stories. 

    The very next day we woke up early to get ready. One of the artisans that Aditi worked closely with was getting married and kindly allowed our group to attend. It was a sensory gift. All the women were adorned in every colour imaginable, and we crowded into a tiny room to greet the bride. The men and women had to be separated according to the customs of the village so our group split up and enjoyed the different celebrations on either side of the property. It was a long day in the heat, and I sat at the back of the chatting throng of sari-clad women to breastfeed my child, I looked up and found that there was a woman breastfeeding her two year old girl too. We exchanged knowing glances and spoke a mix of Gujarati and Hindi and hand gestures to each other. Language didn’t matter, we had already found a connection. 

    Later that afternoon we visited some other crafts villages to understand what this place was all about. We learned that art was literally oozing out of every corner of this place, everywhere we went there were weavers, and sellers and embroiderers. This was a hub of creativity. We were humbled to be in the presence of people who for generation after generation had learnt these skills and passed them on. Why didn’t more people know about this? 

    We had two requirements for our photoshoot - It had to be shot in the famous Raan Utsav desert, and it absolutely had to feature the beautiful desert beast, the camel. The man who gets anything and everything done, Joseph Saladi (aka Jo), had both of these things sorted within an hour. Camel - check. Salt pans - check. We were ready. We traveled another hour and a half into the desert, found a camel named Valam Yogi who Jo would later fall madly in love with and began shooting. The setting couldn’t have been more magical, as the sun set we all had so much warmth in our hearts, it was perfect, this day was perfect. 

    The next day we went to a village where Aditi was forming relationships with some new embroidery artisans. Her goal is to get their art into markets. Most of the artisans are women, who have very little access to the outside world. Aditi works hard to make their hard work pay off. The village houses were clean and cool and had a charm that is hard to express in words. It was so quiet and quaint and I felt myself longing for the simple things in life. As the lady of the house cooked a meal for us, her husband showed us their product. Later Aditi was able to choose colours for her new collection and put some more orders in for RUAS. We stuffed our faces with the most beautiful food. Our next stop was what we had built this trip on all along; a meeting with Laxmi, an artisan who Aditi has worked with for years, and has a special fondness for. I could immediately see why. This lady was hard working, business savvy, and had an amazing eye for colour. We conceptualised a collection together and she caught on to our ideas immediately and put her spin on them. This was a match made in heaven. We spoke colours and fabric and concept over chai and snacks and went home. 

    This was our last day in Bhuj. 

    We were all travel worn and weary and ready to be home in our beds, but all of us shared the same deep gratitude to have had this experience of a lifetime. 

    We can’t wait to share the outcome of this trip to Gujarat with you, we hope we can make you feel how it felt to be there, in the ancient city, surrounded by creativity, surrounded by history. We want to bring that into your home somehow, if you’ll allow us. 

    Our Travel Collection has traveled many miles. We’ve worn it in for you, tested it’s capacity and we have the photos to prove it. 

    Where will you let this Travel Collection take you? 

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  • JOYN's commitment to Fashion Revolution

    JOYN's commitment to Fashion Revolution
    We don’t say this lightly; we are IN on the Fashion Revolution. Because we live and work with our artisans; many of whom have grown up in challenging and vulnerable communities, we have seen firsthand the potential for abuse and mistreatment of humans and the world’s resources. We would like to be at the front of the wave that is pursuing change. 
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  • The Story Behind our Spring Prints

    The Story Behind our Spring Prints

     An interview with our print designer Rashmi Tyagi

    One of our favorite parts of doing what we do is working and collaborating with various artists. We collaborated with illustrator and print designer Rashmi Tyagi @findingmili on our SS2020 collections. 

    We asked her a few questions about what inspired our Spring prints.
    Read on to really get to know the story behind our product. 

    Why is nature so important to you?

    Nature is the silent witness of divinity. An ongoing prayer. It’s important to me to see God beyond the realm of right and wrong, beyond the prescribed conditioning and beyond the compartmentalizing and boxing of religion. Nature is where it’s all set free and that’s where I can find God and that’s where I can express that which most resonates with me. 

    What is the most magical thing about nature? 

    I’ve learned that all nature is devoid of judgment. It’s something Ram Dass used to say about walking into a forest and you’ll never see two trees comparing themselves to each other. You’ll look at a tree and you see it’s attributed and you understand why it’s a little bent away from light or why it’s so tall or why it’s shedding all its leaves. You understand when you’re in nature because that’s what we are made of. Walk into a room full of humans and boom, judgment is the first instinct. Nature points us to a space of no separation and that’s the most magical thing about it.

    What is the most magical thing about nature? 

    It’s my belief that every story is relevant that has always pushed me to make art. I use art to document these everyday moments for the story they are and also make sense of what these days are about. 

    How does it feel to see your designs as wearable art through the JOYN collaboration?

    It’s a fantastic feeling. I’ve always thought about the functionality of art and wanted to make art more accessible in our day today. This collaboration with Joyn has been a phenomenal exploration of that space and knowing all the wonderful ways that this helps the community means everything to me. 

    When we talk about spring what do you feel? 

    Spring is my favorite season so I’m glad you’ve asked me that question. Everything comes alive and everything starts anew. That energy is so compatible with our inner child that you can almost feel the bounce in steps, the chuckle in the corner of the streets and the uncontainable joy. It feels like a dip in cold freshwater surrounded by color and freedom. Dancing under the sun and sleeping under the stars. Just magical. 

    Why is Rajpur so special to you? Can you provide a short history of your upbringing in this region?

    My family has been here for a good 50 years now. My father and his brothers were brought up here, they raised their children here and we were one of the first few families to move to Rajpur for almost 30 years now. From all the stories I’ve been blessed to hear, Rajpur was this isolated island of its own. And up until very recently, it was still very isolated. I spent the first 22 years of my life growing up here and frankly being completely obsessed with this place. Rajpur provided seclusion from the rest of the town. I loved coming back home from school because the temperature would drop post the Mussourie diversion and the mountains felt so much closer. As a kid, I would do anything to be surrounded by the mountains. In my mind, I would think of them as God’s velvety robes and the concept of a mountain valley was basically a hug from god. I would wander around, go on treks, walk endlessly up and down Rajpur road, and it’s safe to say I’ve explored every inch of what used to be old Rajpur. The colors, the calmness and the spirit of familiarity fed my curiosity as a child. It was just so lavish, so abundance and so close to nature. Beauty in its rawest form. Like Ruskin Bond felt about his days in Mussourie, I feel about my days in Rajpur.

    How do you feel about spring as a time for growth, blooming and femininity? 

    It’s a time of renewal. It’s when all the Winter shedding and hibernating and healing have been dealt with and all you’re left to do is start again. Life is more circular than we think, and spring somehow completes the circle for us to now finally celebrate. When we celebrate life, we grow out of ourselves and allow ourselves to bloom.

    What does starting again mean to you?

    It’s an opportunity we get every day. And thankfully we all have this innate optimism that no matter what tomorrow will come again and again. L.M. Montgomery said, ‘Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?’ Isn’t it just so nice?

    How did it feel to be part of the You Bloom campaign for JOYN?

    I’m very excited to be part of this campaign and represent values that I share with JOYN through my art. 



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