Moms and Dads
Heyjow: Mompreneur Joana Gube On Creating TDF Jewelry and Accessories
Nailing the boho layered look we lust for just got easier thanks to Heyjow
The saying “Find something you love and you will never work a day in your life” is something that Joana Ballesteros-Gube, founder of Heyjow took to heart. Heyjow is a local brand that creates Instagram-worthy jewelry and accessories that you’ll want to wear all the time. We’re talking chunky gold chains, semi-precious beads and kitschy charms that ooze layer after layer of perfection.
How It Started
“I’ve been designing and creating jewelry since college, it has always been my passion. I always dreamt back then to make a living borne out of my deep love for making jewelry,” shares Joana.
In 2013, Joana found herself in between jobs, frantically applying in several companies.
With the encouragement of her boyfriend (now husband), Jacob, she decided to take her love of designing and creating jewelry, and turned it into a business. “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,” Joana expressed.
Heyjow pieces are very wearable and easy to mix and match. It stands out, but it’s not loud. “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,” Joana explains.
“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,” she excitedly adds.
Through The Years
In a span of eight years, Joana Gube has created over a hundred Heyjow collections. “I’ve honestly lost count! I’m either designing pieces for the next collection, or adding new pieces to an ongoing collection, and before I know it, she candidly shares.
When asked about what top three collections are closest to her heart and why, this is what she came up with:
“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.
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.
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.”
For her seventh year in the business, Joana’s 7 collection consist of pieces inspired by life indoors, and her perspective from the inside looking out and looking forward. “The sight of flowering plants, towering trees and even just a little patch of green has given new meaning to the nature-inspired elements that Heyjow has been known for. We positioned minimalist elements against vibrant, nature-inspired components in this collection and I think the outcome of that design concept is absolutely beautiful,” Joana proudly shares. Her love for indoor plants and interior design also inspired this collection.
Heyjow is in the business of fashion, so constant innovation is required to stay relevant in the game. “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,” Joana explains.
In the time of a pandemic, as with all businesses, big and small, especially for entrepreneurs like Joana, the challenge to stay afloat is another added factor to consider.
“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,” shares Joana.
During the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), to inspire everyone to stay home, Joana launched a fun social media project on Instagram called #HeyjowQuarantineCorners and it showcased how entrepreneurs, creative minds, and influencers were productively spending their time in the comforts of their home. And for the Heyjow clients, Joana encouraged them to wear their Heyjow pieces — bold accessories, layered necklaces, earrings, etc. to add a vibrant ray of positive energy while they are on their video-conference calls.
“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,” Joana gushed.
On Being a Mompreneur
Joana is a mom of two — Isaiah, 4 and Lily, 2. She admits that finding the balance between her passions in life — her business, motherhood and wifehood — is challenging. As with any mompreneur, drawing the lines between her roles is pretty difficult because they are all being done simultaneously at home. “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.”
The landscape of the entire world has changed dramatically with the pandemic. And we are all affected some way, somehow. Joana is not an exception. “It is quite strenuous to make a rigid and inflexible plan for the next five years. 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,” she optimistically shared.
A Message from Jo
“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.”
To order, please visit: www.heyjow.com; Instagram: @heyjowph