Johi | Meaningful Furniture for Multicultural Homes
“With multicultural homes being more of the norm, we want homes to reflect that change.”
Raja and Holly, Maui residents and owners of Johi, are set on creating stunning and meaningful furniture for multicultural homes. “We see chefs fusing cultures in their dishes, and so we’re fusing cultures in our furniture design.”
The newlywed business partners, Raja (from Jordan, Lebanon) and Holly (from Maui, Hawai’i), share deep connections to their family’s heritage and want to share that with others through their design and furniture.
“Part of our mission is to create pieces that you can hand down to your grandkids. Intergenerational values are very important in both Hawaiian and Arabic cultures. It’s all about family.”
“With multicultural homes being more of the norm, we want homes to reflect that change.” In fact, you’ll notice that furniture pieces listed on their website fuse Lebanese and Hawaiian elements. This sort of inspiration and fusion of cultures is what they hope to achieve for each of their creations.
What truly sets Johi apart though from other home design businesses is the respect and care put into each product. Instead of creating factory-style items, they want to spend the time to build a product that truly reflects the owner. “We want to provide a relation between you, the customer, and us, the maker. We want to take the customer into the workshop and find a way to fuse their story into the furniture.”
While taking the entrepreneurial leap proved to be difficult, Raja and Holly are grateful for the support from friends and family. “At first, it was hard for my family to understand why I wanted to work in a shop instead of pursuing a normal 9-5 office job. Thankfully, it is now a full-on family affair.” Beyond their family and friends, they’ve also found an incredible support system in the small business community in Maui.
As for the most challenging part of their entrepreneurial venture? Valuing their work. “It’s difficult to find a balance between valuing our work properly and gauging a customer’s sticker shock. Nevertheless, we want to make our furniture accessible and provide people with worthwhile, meaningful investments that will last generations.”