Photograph by Jeremy Kramer
In 2006, Joya Logue, a former pharmaceutical sales rep and new mom, wanted a stylish way to carry just the essentials: diaper, changing pad, and wipes. And like many an entrepreneur, when she couldn’t find what she wanted, she designed it herself. The good press Logue’s Joya Baby diaper clutch received from magazines like Real Simple and Vogue Japan told her she had definitely found a niche in the market. And when Daily Candy featured it on their website, Joya Baby blew up. “Until Daily Candy, I had been doing all the sewing, working from 9 at night until 3 in morning,” she says. But with a second child and big brands introducing their own versions, Logue’s great idea was becoming a great big headache; she needed to scale up quickly or get out.
“I wanted a hand in the creation, but I was so small, and in order to compete they would have to be mass produced in China. I was about to have my third baby and it was too much,” says Logue, who stopped production in 2011 and officially closed Joya Baby last year.
Now, with her oldest son entering Walnut Hills, Logue brings her painterly eye and entrepreneurial spirit to a new line: Rajovilla. Named for a house in the Punjab region of India that has been in her father’s family for over a century, Rajovilla is a collection of clutches (diapers optional) based on Logue’s own watercolor designs, which she hand paints, then has printed onto fabric using eco-friendly inks. Logue then cuts and stitches together each bag. “I wear a lot of black, white, and solids. I like having this fun material in an accessory,” says Logue. Idlewild Woman in OTR quickly took notice and has several versions for sale.
Logue starts by experimenting with colors and patterns, drawing inspiration from the architectural details of Rajovilla. “In India color is endless, but there are also a lot of muted tones,” she says. “I love vintage textiles and I wanted to pull out some of those simpler hues. I also want the designs to look organic and slightly imperfect.”
Logue, who majored in biology, describes herself as a hobby painter, but her avocation has paid off. Her Instagram feed has netted watercolor commissions from national clients like Whole Foods (for their Eat A Rainbow healthy eating campaign) and the new fabric and sewing e-magazine Stylo. Nine years after Joya Baby, expanding Rajovilla to someday include garments and home goods doesn’t seem as daunting as it once did; her kids are older and there are more resources at her disposal. “I had a hard time finding someone in the states who could manufacture the diaper clutch,” she says. “Now there are blogs and websites to help makers.”