Jimnojean is a new online retail destination founded by Keagan Carlin, focused on offering shoppers a curated selection of decor, art, beauty and lifestyle products.
Visitors to the site can expect to experience a thoughtful consumer journey from order to delivery, with a special focus on items like packaging, and a transparent approach to sustainability within the business.
According to Jimnojean, most of the products available on the site are designed and produced in Africa with a strict list of criteria in place to ensure that "only the best" quality items go live.
This is also the first time that many of the brands stocked on the site will be available to consumers via an online retail channel.
Current brands on the platform include Carry Ann, Dayfeels, Pichulik, Suki Suki Naturals, Waif and Wass Skin.
Here, Carlin shares the inspiration behind the business and what consumers can expect.
Jimnojean is an unusual name. What does it mean?
My husband and I were brainstorming names for the store and I was looking for a name of African heritage that meant something to me. Greg suggested Gymnogene, a beautiful rare bird found in parts of South Africa, that has now been re-named the African Harrier Hawk.
I thought the word had a great ring to it and it resonated on a personal level because of my deep love for the bush. I reworked the spelling and here we are today!
You come from a brand background. Talk us through the Jimnojean journey from idea to actualisation.
Jimnojean was still an idea when I moved back from Dubai to South Africa. I was determined to make it happen so the first thing I did was start approaching potential suppliers and stockists in order to plot out a business model. Once I did the homework and fleshed out the plan, Jimnojean was truly born.
I realised very quickly that I would need to work fast to get the show on the road and five months later we’re ready to launch. I’m very proud of the brand, what it stands for and of what I’ve been able to create thus far as a one-man business. Creating the brand identity as well as the look and feel was by far the most challenging yet enjoyable part of the process.
Where did you look for inspiration when designing the brand’s distinctive look and feel?
The Jimnojean aesthetic came really naturally to me. As I’ve grown older, I have realised that I know exactly what I like and how I like things to look. I wanted something bold but more importantly feminine, so I started with the logo and it all fell into place from there.
What makes the Jimnojean shopping experience unique?
The thing that makes Jimnojean unique is that 99% of the product offering is created and produced in Africa. We are focusing heavily on quality of product, not quantity, and shining a spotlight on a distinctive offering not currently found in the mainstream market. We’re proud to say that most customers probably wouldn’t have had the pleasure of exploring a curated collective such as this before.
How do you go about curating brands for the platform?
We have a strict list of criteria for ranging product for Jimnojean. We consider everything from the quality of item, market saturation of the specific product, price points and most importantly a fresh aesthetic. We are working to curate a unique luxury offering of truly special African products.
With sustainability being a big focus focus for Jimnojean, how are you planning on implementing an environmentally aware business practice?
In this day in age, how can one not be focused on a more sustainable future? Sustainability is a fundamental part of the Jimnojean business model and we are on a journey to try to make the brand as green as possible. Focus areas include the packaging, environmentally recyclable and where it isn’t, we’ve made sure the consumer can re-use it in a functional way.
A second area of focus is on the product delivery from us to the consumer. As a conscious step towards using less plastic, we’ve chosen a courier company for all Johannesburg deliveries that does not wrap packages in plastic. It’s not all perfect but we’re striving to meet our sustainability goals every step of the way and we will always aim to be transparent and ethical with our business choices.
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