Designer Profile: Jayna Anderson of BOONIES
We’ve been carrying (and really loving) design duo Jayna Anderson and Justin Roy’s custom metalwork pieces for a minute now- from hand fabricated and fringed wall hangings to brightly colored planters, each item is laboriously, and loving created hand in their studio. We thought it was high time we learned, and shared a bit more about the backstory and the ethos behind their design company BOONIES.
Tell us about yourselves please! What’s BOONIES all about? How was your design duo born?
Hi! I’m Jayna, and 1/2 of the BOONIES. We’re a design and fabrication studio located in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Our design duo was born out of a serious desire to get out of Los Angeles. I was working in administration at a modeling agency, and Justin was building sets in Hollywood. I had moved into Justin’s 500 sq ft apartment, and it was basically shelves of tools, a futon, and a bed. So we started working on little projects together making furniture. We used to sip coffee on his balcony together, sitting on this steel bench he made, and daydream about moving to the country, homesteading, living a life less reliant on mass consumerism, ditch the rat race, far from the city. One day, we were like, wait… let’s just do it. If not now, when will we? So we moved out of LA to the closest cheapest place where we more than tripled our living space and cut our expenses in half. That move provided the container for us to have this crash course in running a small business. Take risks, make mistakes, and invest back into ourselves.
What is your creative process like when designing a new piece? Are there any signature BOONIES hallmarks that must be incorporated?
Our products are handcrafted steel pieces typically finished with a pop of color. We recently really paired down our offerings, but I’d say our designs utilize color for an unexpected brightness to typical metalwork.
We just got some of your new candlesticks in (they’re so good)! Can tell us a little bit about the design process and how they came to fruition?
Justin had made a coffee table when we first met that had these chain legs. All of these bits of chain meticulously welded together. We ended up selling it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how rad that piece was. I said to Justin, I want to make a pink chain candlestick. And he’s like, ok sure let’s do it. I came to the shop the next day and he had already made some prototypes. They were made with super thick chain, and didn’t hold a candle properly. We tabled the idea to focus on some custom projects. Then someone gave us this long strand of chain, like hey can you do anything with this? It was the perfect size chain. We played around with the candle holder top and put a few together. I ordered the powder coat colors and a local shop coated them for us. They needed another design tweak after that, but that was it.
What does the work-life balance look like when your business partner is also your husband? How do you manage it? Is work life separate from your home life, or does it all spill over and blend together in a wonderful way?
We work a lot, and it inevitably will spill over into our personal time. The key has been shifting our attitude around work to not feel stressed or pressured in an unhealthy way. Our work-personal time is starting to blend in a really beautiful way, and that was always our hope. We want to promote this way of life that feels real and tangible to us. We want to learn and grow to sustain with this land, to inspire a shift in the way people consume, and to redefine what abundance means in a society that promotes over consumption and excess. Sharing that goal comes down to making meals together, caring for our home together, and working together in support of this vision. We’ve become a very close family unit with a strong love for each other in all capacities, both at work and at home.
In addition to the BOONIES, Jayna, you also have your own skin care line. Tell us about it please! How do you juggle having two small businesses?
It’s been wild! I am the person behind 5th Dimension, an herbal skin care line. It started out as a hey I made extra of these products if anyone wants one, then turned into a business. That sounds cliche, but it’s true. It’s been just over one year since I decided to put a name to it and turn a hustle into a business. I have no formal business training, so this past year was wild managing two businesses and a big move.
I take days for 5th Dimension and days for BOONIES. Justin is a huge support, and works every day at BOONIES to facilitate what we do.
I believe in myself and I believe in what I’m doing. I manifest my dreams, putting notes on my altar space, and meditating through the rough patches. I put in the work and I step away. I sleep 8-10 hours every night and cook most of my food. I take a ton of baths and try to read everyday. Essentially, I make sure I am taken care of before I step up to bat for either business, and I think that’s the only sustainable way I can manage all of this with minimal stress!
BOONIES recently underwent a brand redesign (and got its cool new name)- in what ways did your feel the brand had evolved that led to this point?
Well, we started out rehabbing furniture, turning Junk into something beautiful. So our old name, the Junkyard Co., kind of had this rogue feeling about it, not some refined curated brand, but something gritty. But as we grew, we focused on making our own work, and the name didn’t feel right for us. We’re very much into homesteading… so BOONIES felt like this fun and light way to stay true to who we are. Having left LA to become countryfolk, it was almost like poking fun at ourselves, and we loved that. Major thanks to PJ Crisanti + Matt Gribben for designing our rebrand in a way that felt progressively backwoods- just how we like it.
You recently moved from California to Louisiana! What inspired the move? How is life down South?
We really wanted to live somewhere that has a nice growing season for food, and where we could live a bit more away from other people. Now that we aren’t city people anymore, we realized how much we love our space. California just wasn’t that place for us. Justin is from Louisiana, and we felt called to be closer to family. So far, we love it here. It’s beautiful land, and I’m currently attending Herbalism School in New Orleans which is opening my eyes to deep and complex beauty of this bioregion.
What's on the horizon for BOONIES?
We recently expanded our shop’s capabilities to more technical metalwork processes, and so I’m sure you’ll see some new designs utilizing those capabilities in the near future. We’re also hoping to launch a brick and mortar shop in the future. Maybe 2020?!