JOYN started here, in a small, sleepy village at the base of the Himalayas, with a mix of beautiful mountain people from India, Nepal, Tibet and beyond. People from many different backgrounds, religions, languages and cultures come together daily to create art, build community and live out their dreams. We started our color mixing and block printing operations here and continue to expand into vegan leather and cotton stitching, with Tsering Yankee heading our Rajpur Division. Our non-profit headquarters, JoyCorps, shares our property here and diligently serves our community with access to medical care, vocational training, childcare, micro-loans, life-skill training, counseling and much more. Rajpur currently serves as our Headquarters and handles all of our in-country design and product development, QC, legal work and logistics.
We partner with Suneli, a passionate business woman who shares our mission and values. Suneli works in the heart of a slum community, providing opportunities to those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to learn this valuable trade. She and her team are our exclusive leather manufacturing cooperative. They source our leather directly with our family-owned partner who specializes in leather surplus markets.
We’ve recently opened a division of JOYN in LA, to be closer to the fashion action. Jennie Teubner, a powerhouse and ray of human sunshine, leads our team in all our branding, sales and marketing efforts. We partner with local designers, content creators, and marketing professionals to bring JOYN directly to your screen.
We strategically positioned our Distribution Center near the heart of the country, in a small-artisan town in the hills of the Ozarks. Inexpensive rent and easy distribution across the states made this a great choice - it’s also where our Founder met her husband. We have a small, but strong and dedicated team. Carrie Fisch leads our distribution, QC and customer service and Hannah Aspinwall manages our daily operations.
Our Founder has begun our new operations in another village, nestled in the mountains on the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. After almost 6 years of living in northern India, Melody and her family moved to this new region in the summer of 2017 to continue expanding JOYN and its model of reviving traditional art forms and connecting makers with healthy markets. Our new line of products coming from hill tribe groups in this region will launch in the fall of 2018.
JOYN is the brainchild of marketing veteran and entrepreneur Mel Murray, who has completed a decade’s worth of work with global companies like Walmart and Procter&Gamble. Although JOYN was born in 2011, Murray has worked to create jobs for marginalized communities in Asian countries for nearly 14 years. Under Mel’s experienced hands, JOYN has grown and now employs over 300 artisans, with 50,000 handbags sold annually in over 400 retail stores. JOYN partners with locally owned and managed cooperatives to keep manufacturing at a community level and encourage local leadership and personal development with marginalized and trafficked victims. Mel’s passion is to partner with locally owned and managed cooperatives to keep manufacturing at a community level and encourage local leadership and personal development with marginalized and trafficked communities. She has an obsession with handmade textiles from around the world and continues to lead all design efforts for JOYN. Mel also founded and leads JoyCorps - a non-profit dedicated to serving entrepreneurs who choose to live and work among marginalized communities. JoyCorps equips these entrepreneurs with the resources and skills they need to build successful businesses and empower their communities to thrive. Mel’s ultimate goal is to change the fashion industry from the inside out. Her vision is to create pockets of manufacturing all over India and Southeast Asia that are locally led, putting work back into the hands of the makers, defying the “fast fashion” industry of sweatshops and underpaid laborers. Mel currently lives and resides with her family on the border of Myanmar and Thailand, and spends each day actualizing that vision.