Makers Corner: Moji Kajubi

In the lead up to market day, 2nd & 3rd November at The Factory, Dalston AND 7 December, Etsy Made Local Tottenham, we’ve been catching up with the amazing makers who will bring their handmade items to market.

Today we caught up with Tottenham native, Moji Kajubi, co-funder of ARA Natural Skincare.

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You’re fairly new to making skincare products, can you share how you are preparing yourselves this Christmas?

This is our first year in business so we’re very excited to be part of Etsy Made Local Tottenham. As we are Christmas rush virgins, we have been asking others for advice. The advice that has stuck in our minds the most is try to be as prepared as possible, including sharing when our last postal dates.
As we are relatively a new business, markets are a great way for us to connect with those who have a passion for natural skincare products, and instantly discover opinions surrounding texture, scents and what matters the most to our customers and tailoring our products.

What is your connection to Tottenham?

We have a strong connection to Haringey and Tottenham, our family have lived in the borough for close to 50 years. We’ve grown up here and still live locally. I think we are really lucky as it’s close enough to central London but you have lots of green spaces and places like Ally Pally. There has been lots of change in that time and it’s interesting to see new places popping up especially all the places to eat, drink and spend time with friends.
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Can you share what inspired you to become a maker and what you are doing to limit your impact on the environment?

We started making skincare products as we wanted to ensure that the products we and our families used did not include harmful chemicals or man made products. With this ethos in mind, we try to build sustainability into our processes with little touches such as our packaging, we use glass jars so they can be reused, paper bags, brown paper wrapping etc. I’m sure there is more we can do, we use bubble wrap to project items when we post – although we try to reuse what the packaging came in. We routinely review how we can make our products as sustainable as possible and actively build this around our business activities.
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Thank you so much for speaking with us. You can find the lovely Moji at The Factory, Dalston on 2nd and 3rd November, and Etsy Made Local Tottenham (Tottenham Town Hall) on 7th December 2019 along with many other talented local makers. It’s going to be a bumper handmade only market! Pop the date in your diary!

Makers’ Corner: Neja of Geo Fun Designs

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Who is Geo Fun Design?

My name is Neja and I’ve recently started my own brand of polymer clay jewellery called Geo Fun Design, inspired by geometric designs that combine unique features with a dash of quirkiness and elegance.  My studio is based in London, but I am originally from Slovenia and have been living in the UK for the past 4 years.

What inspired you to become a maker and please describe the making/designing process?

I’ve enjoyed creative projects and getting my hands messy ever since I was a teenager, when I would buy clothes and jewellery in high-street shops and add my own personal stamp by adding handmade elements or entirely transforming what, in my opinion, were items that lacked that special ‘je ne sais quoi’. Designing and making jewellery using a variety of media became a more pronounced passion of mine during my 20s, but it wasn’t until very recently that I decided to take my hobby to the next level and start my own business. At the moment I only sell on Etsy, but hopefully I will make my jewellery available on other platforms in the future as well.

Colour is key in all my designs – I mix all the colours myself and, unlike many polymer clay artists, I condition the clay using my hands, twisting and shaping it in a number of different ways to achieve unique and quirky colourful patterns. I also believe that while streamlining the creative process is necessary for brand development, leaving some room for experimentation and allowing oneself to just go with the flow while on a creative streak actually yields the best (and most unexpected) results. This is why all my designs are truly one of a kind and can not be replicated.

What is it like owning your own business or like many, juggling multiple jobs?

Although extremely challenging and exhausting at times, I do feel that being able to unleash my creativity is vital for me as it enables me to balance out my day job, which can be quite intellectually challenging and tiring. This is why, after a long day’s work, I like to just get my hands on clay and let my mind unwind.

Can you impart a quote or words of wisdom to inspire?

“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.” (Terence McKenna)

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