Tuesday 7 April 2015


“I have a few favourite spots in my home, and the front porch right now is my absolute favourite. Winter and the snow are finally over, and the sun is shining warmly over our Victorian porch. We live in a home that is over 130 years old in a walkable part of town. 
It has the most gorgeous veranda, which is like an additional room for us for at least 
eight months out of the year. We share meals here, spread a quilt and play games, 
entertain friends and spend time reading on the porch. It's a bit of a luxury in an 
otherwise busy schedule with three active boys.”

There are many incredible elements to Joya Logue’s story as a mother and the woman behind Rajovilla. Her story starts out familiar enough - she left the corporate world, working in pharmaceutical sales and marketing - to become a stay-at-home mum. But the reason behind her decision relates to the ordeal Joya went through as a result of her second son's food allergies - a compelling story. Perhaps even more remarkable is that during her sleep-deprived and stressed-out state, Joya started to create a range of baby-related bags - precursors to the beautiful clutches that she has become known for. And it's worth stating that she creates these herself - from hand-painting the designs (which are then printed professionally using eco-friendly inks) to cutting and sewing each one, and making the gold cotton tassels. After a long process Joya, who lives in Cincinatti, Ohio, has found a way through her sons' allergy stories, and is now juggling her creative pursuits - including an illustration series for Mabo Kids - and sporting schedules. Joya says she's acutely aware of how fleeting every stage of their development is, though. “Having a bit of an age gap between my younger two has really made me realise how fast they grow up,” Joya says. “I try to soak in as much as I can, and stay in the moment with each of my boys, one who is almost a teenager, another who is almost double digits and the youngest at four years old.” You can see more of her work and her family's story on her Instagram feed.

1 As a child I used to wear... mismatched clothes. My mom liked to say that "Joya dressed herself! And she has her own style!". Some days I was wearing all lace dresses and tutus with mismatched sweaters and knee socks, other days I was wearing my coveted, handmade Batman cape, which my boys get a kick out of. They enjoy the childhood photos showing me on a bat cycle. And my mom just recently found the cape that my youngest now wears around the house.

2 My bedroom was... girly and pink with Laura Ashley bedding, matching curtains and wallpaper. I had a canopy bed, and shared a room with my oldest sister. My bed was usually covered in dolls. And later, posters of The New Kids on the Block and Stefan Edburg adorned the walls.

3 When I was a teenager I used to... sew embellishments on my denim shorts and stitch up costumes for Halloween with my girlfriends. One Christmas, my parents gifted me a Bernina sewing machine and my first reaction was tears. Even though I enjoyed sewing, I was slightly jealous of the music CDs and clothes that my sisters received that year. Well, that sewing machine ended up so well used during college and beyond as I made my own slip covers for furniture, throw pillows and eventually the entire nursery for my oldest son. I wore that beautiful machine out, it just took some years after high school!

4 After high school I wanted to be... a pediatrician and wanted to eventually volunteer as a doctor in India. I did get started on that path with my Bachelor of Science degree in biology, chemistry and psychology. However, as you know, that is not the path I ended up on. 

5 A seminal moment was... meeting my husband while in college - we attended different universities - through good friends. To be so young, at the time, and now fifteen years of marriage later, so happy and perfectly matched is quite a blessing.

6 I never thought I would... be a working artist. For many years, a career in the sciences was my top priority. I'm thrilled to be pursuing an art career, and my love for watercolor, that was always shelved as a hobby.

7 I've learnt to... cook several different versions of one meal to accommodate two of my boys with severe, food allergies. I've also learnt to accept that there will always, always be dishes in the sink or on the stove. When you cook this many meals a day from scratch, it's a pretty constant state of dishes.

8 I know... that I'm raising kind children. 

9 I share because... I enjoy the community and conversation with other creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, mothers and fathers. It is a unique situation, at this time, that one can share their work, their art, with others around the world in an instant way. I'm so inspired by others and have forged many wonderful friendships that have become in real life friendships with this thing we do online. However, I do struggle with keeping some privacy of my family. I enjoy sharing small family moments, but many times I question whether I should only share my work. I'm still thinking about this.

10 If I had an unexpected morning to myself I would... have coffee on the porch and catch up on my half-read books and magazines. But who am I kidding... I would be distracted and antsy soon after, and feel the need to paint. 

image courtesy of joya logue of rajovilla

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