This week, we announced the four finalists of our Style + Substance campaign, and we’re sitting down with each of them to learn what makes them tick, what inspires them, and why they think they have the most Style + Substance of all!
The founder of The Ja Joint, Carly Day was inspired by her farming heritage to introduce authentic Jamaican food products to Australians. As the first brand of its kind in the country, the Brisbane-based organisation’s business model serves not only to showcase the unique food fare of Jamaica but also to elevate disadvantaged refugees through a culture of encouragement, training and employment.
“A quote from Bob Marley – ‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds’ – is the essence of our brand mission,” explains Carly, whose business is the only organisation in Australia to be endorsed by the Jamaican Consulate.
“We actively seek ‘crew’ members that have an entrepreneurial flair, not traditionally academic and have seen a few bumps and obstacles in their life from a young age. We make them feel at home, valued and encourage their uniqueness. We don’t want robots, we want creators.”
Indeed, the platform the brand has created is enabling organic growth and opportunities for youth in a country where opportunities are minimal for refugee communities.
“Our vision is to inspire our ‘crew’ and elevate their mindset to what is possible for their future.”
“In five years time we will be employing over 300 full time crew members in Australia and New Zealand, cooking Jamaican food with a conscience by the thousands and giving an entire new lease of life for our crew members.”
Carly also aims to form strong partnerships with other socially conscience brands such as Grill’d and Pie Face to bring Jamaican flavours and product lines to the masses.
What does Style mean for Carly? “Style for me is about being true and authentic to who you are and appreciating everyone else’s style and quirkiness.”
Think Carly deserves $10,000 towards The Ja Joint?
Check out the other Style + Substance finalists here and vote for your favourite. Go into the draw to win one of three $250 cash prizes, just by voting!