7 years of Heyjow: Joana looks back – and looks to the future with gratitude and optimism
At one point in the past 5 months, you might have spent some time reminiscing past milestones, trips and other experiences – what with us spending more time at home and having space for introspection.
Modern Parenting recently gave Heyjow’s Chief Jeweler Joana Gube a chance to share her story to their readers where she recounted the brand’s beginnings, shared her personal favorites from past collections, talked about being a mompreneur, and expressed her gratitude for the present and the future.
Here are some snippets from her interview, which also serves as a ‘thank you’ note to 7 years and 35k followers on Instagram:
On Heyjow’s humble beginnings: “Heyjow started in my small studio condominium in Salcedo Village. Looking back, I realize that the misfortune of not having a job forced me to pursue my creative passion because it afforded me time and gave me the drive. What a blessing that challenge ended up being.”
Heyjow Chief Jeweler Joana Gube
On creative inspirations: “A lot of times, the inspiration of my creative process comes from nature — the supreme demonstration of masterful design. When I witness the vibrant colors, textures and sounds that surround us, I can’t help but think about how to incorporate the concept into a design.”
Heyjow’s current collection aptly called “7” is an expression of this inspiration where vibrant nature-inspired elements are juxtaposed with minimalist details. The collection features a rich combination of crystals, pearls, wood and hardware – and offers innovation in the form of multi-wearable pieces.
Pieces from the 7 Collection
“I admire so many jewelry brands, and love how each one adds to the rich diversity of fashion accessories that’s available out there. Beyond the jewelry industry, local fashion and beauty brands such as Aranaz, Zarah Juan, Rajo Laurel and Happy Skin, and local handicrafts and architecture inspire me and stimulate my creative juices,” Joana adds.
On her design process: “I have to adapt to the styles and tastes of my beautiful clients evolving rapidly, I have to be careful about not doing the same thing over and over, while staying true to my signature style. I have to ensure that I’m consistently building on my learned skills and experiences, as well as introducing fresh ideas to the Heyjow style and design tapestry."
On her top 3 collections: “The Summer Symphony Collection is something I’ve been doing every year since 2014. Summer is my favorite season and I get to be playful with my designs as I get access to a rich array of colors, textures, positive vibes, and themes.”
Pieces from this year's Summer Symphony Collection
“The V Collection was launched on my fifth anniversary. This collection expanded my brand from the boho aesthetic into classic and minimalist pieces with a modern edge. It made me more diverse and pushed my creative boundaries.”
Minimalist pieces from the V Collection
Models Rina Santos and Luci Villaruz were the muses for the V Collection
“My fourth anniversary collection, which we called Savanna, is also special to me. It was inspired by South Africa’s exotic landscape. It boasted of bold pieces that embodied unorthodox elements like cascading leather tassels juxtaposed with feminine hardware. We really moved our signature layering style forward in this collection.”
Maggie Wilson-Consunji was the perfect muse for the Savanna Collection
On challenges and creative solutions amid the pandemic: “Shipping has been a problem for us and we’re working hard with our shipping partners to ensure that our clients receive their Heyjow pieces in a timely manner. On the upside, we have been blessed with years of experience online, so we haven’t had to struggle to move the brand amidst all the other challenges that this extraordinary period has brought to all of us.”
Joana collaborated with Shimmer Prints to create new packaging for her 7th Anniversary Collection
As someone who is inspired by interior design, Joana thought of launching a social media campaign called #HeyjowQuarantineCorners, which gave followers a peek into the homes and business spaces of entrepreneurs, creative minds, and influencers – and includes short and inspiring anecdotes about quarantine life.
The ECQ also gave way to a collaboration between Heyjow and another designer-driven local brand. “During the ECQ, I collaborated with an exceptionally talented designer whom I greatly admire, Zarah Juan, and we worked on The Uhay Collection — a limited edition set of face covers that featured native Filipino botanical and grain designs,” shared Joana.
Joana collaborated with designer Zarah Juan for the Uhay Collection, which features masks with enchanting botanical prints
On being a mompreneur: Joana is a mom of two — Isaiah, 4 and Lily, 2. Finding balance between being a mom, wife and entrepreneur is a day-to-day challenge – but solutions are always at hand."
“My business is something I am so passionately and emotionally invested in, and it’s impossible to set a 9 to 5 limit on my creative ideas and explorations. I find that it is so important to get all the help I can get, whether it’s hiring new employees for the business, getting support from my family and friends, or just drinking a tad bit more caffeine or cocktails.”
Joana pictured with her husband Jacob and her kids, Isaiah and Lily
On her big vision: For Joana, having a 5-year plan, especially in this time of great uncertainty, would prove to be inflexible. Instead, she wants to keep an open mind and continuously nurture her creativity.
“My general plan has always been to be constantly creative, to explore and push beyond the current trends, and to be adaptive to the shifts that time brings. I believe that this business philosophy, more than ever, will help me navigate these murky waters. I’d like to collaborate with other designers, artists, and creatives for future collections. Those are so much fun, and the process is always filled with so much creative and positive energy.”
“To all the Heyjow clients — I’m eternally grateful for your love of the Heyjow brand. Your continuous support gives me the reason and drive to push through the most challenging of times. You are my Reason. Thank you.”