Chunky semi-precious stones and soft leather are the secret of Rawjoy’s unforgettable style. Designer Jenna Engledoe tells us more about her business.
How did your business start?
About 10 years ago, after resigning from a permanent job, I knew that I needed to express myself through making something with my hands. Jewellery had always been a hobby. I picked up my pliers and just started playing around with ideas.
Rawjoy was born over a few years of creating different designs and showcasing at various markets. Joining with the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) was the best decision that I’ve ever made. The support, guidance and programmes available were amazing, and I know if I need any advice in the future I can go and see them. I applied to be part of the CCDI collective shop at the Watershed, which was such a learning experience. Every time I thought that I wasn’t ready, the CCDI assured me that I was. As my contract finished there, I was offered my own space at the Watershed. I’ve been so blessed by all these amazing people who gave me and our brand Rawjoy a chance to make a dream come true.
Why did you choose this area for your business?
It chose me. I was interested in sharing space with another creative person and I ended up with many more.
How did you find your premises?
A friend of mine informed me of the space. They were looking for creatives to create a collective working environment, which was exciting for me. Hannah Lavery from Hannah Clothing leased the floor of the premises and has created a beautiful collective studio space for all of us to work in.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
It’s situated close to my suppliers and my shop at the Watershed. I love working from my studio and being surrounded by like-minded creative souls. For the first time, I have a network of support and I’m surrounded by a positive atmosphere daily. It’s given me the space to grow my business.
Who are your neighbours?
In the studio there are ceramicists, clothing designers, jewellery designers and artists. Outside the studio there are an array of different businesses, from car repairs to fitness gyms, nursery schools, schools and apartments.
What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?
All I know is that because we have a sharing space, it’s very affordable for the size studio I have to work in.
How many people go through your store each day?
We’re currently more of a working studio, but we do see clients by appointment.
Do you have any expansion plans?
For my business, absolutely. We’d like to expand into belts and bags and eventually small pieces of furniture.
Do you operate online as well?
We will in the next few months.
What’s your most popular item?
Currently our leather wraps and cuffs with semi-precious stones.
See for yourself:
072 286 8137
Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied