I remember being somewhere between the ages of 3 and 4 when my grandmother gifted me my first ‘pet’. It was a calf, and I named her ‘moomoo’. Yes, the offspring of one of the several cows at my grandparents’ home in India. And there began my love affair with animals. During my early years spent living in India, I spent time around cows, dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds. And even after I moved to Oman at an early age, I always had the unconditional love of our dogs surrounding me. I believe it was this environment that gave me the deep compassion that I feel towards all animals. As Anthony Douglas Williams famously said, “When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.” And so it was with me. When asked by anyone, in my younger years, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer without any hesitation, “a veterinarian!”. But as is the case with many people, my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian also died an early death, when I realized I would have to study biology for many, many years to get there. And I was not about that life.
Nevertheless, the desire to help better the lives of animals in some way has always stayed with me. It has also been a few years since I also decided to pay more attention to what I was consuming, and what kind of carbon footprint I was leaving as an individual. Because the times we live in, and the kind of impact our planet is feeling right now due to our consumption habits, I felt it was only right to be more aware of the choices I was making. So, I decided a few years ago that sustainable living and consuming was the way forward for me. And it wasn’t a very difficult change to make. But the footwear industry was where I had the hardest time making a complete switch.
I felt slightly helpless because I couldn’t find shoes anywhere in the world that appealed to my taste & fashion sensibilities, whilst also helping me stay true to my mission of consuming consciously. I have always been in love with the rich, vibrant, colourful hand-embroidered fashion from my motherland (India), and I was sure that with the advancements in science, technology and production of recycled materials, it was possible to create the kind of shoes that I was visualizing in my mind. With this thought, the idea of JUJU was born.
So, I set off for India with the aim of putting together a team that would feel as dedicated to the cause of creating these vegan, handcrafted, works of art as I did. It took over a year to find the right people, but today I feel happy that despite the difficulties that were faced, the brand is here. I am also extremely grateful to the universe for bringing the right juju to me when it was needed the most to keep me going. It has been an arduous journey, but one that brings a big smile to my face today as it has helped create a product that all of us at JUJU believe in, and are very proud of.
We work laboriously every day to put together this line of shoes that stands for - luxury, comfort, durability, hand-crafted uniqueness, and ethical, sustainable fashion that supports local artisans. In our own small way, we want to contribute to a more conscious, animal-friendly world, and we are trying to do exactly that. Onwards and upwards.
The Making Process
jujus on your feet
The ethos of our brand is simple: Do good. Look good. Feel good.
With JUJUs on your feet, we hope to help you not only feel elegant, beautiful and comfortable, but also content, in knowing that you have helped sustain and celebrate local artisans and their art; you have helped the sustainable fashion industry grow; and you have helped a shelter animal in need.
We have designed JUJUs so that they may be worn with your every day attire, as well as with formal wear for grander occasions. Because each pair of JUJUs looks effortlessly elegant, classy, and luxurious. And very importantly, they are designed keeping your utmost comfort in mind, so you can always feel beautiful and confident in them, no matter the setting.
JUJUs are for the modern woman, making the statement for you as you walk into any room.
Why the name "JUJU"?
The word ‘JUJU’ stands for ‘energy’ and everything is made of energy. Energy that exudes a vibe. You could say juju is the ‘vibe’ you feel when you first meet someone, or when you walk into a room…. you instantly just know whether the vibe of that person, or that place, makes you feel good or not.
We named our brand JUJU because of our one main goal behind creating it - to spread good energy, and to make everyone connected with it feel good. And we aim to do this through our brand of luxury, handcrafted, and responsibly sourced, vegan shoes.
We believe that the good energy we spread is an infinity loop (hence our logo). Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just moves from one place to another, one form to another. It starts from one end of the spectrum with the creators, and moves to you, before coming right back at us. Because whilst it touches the lives of the artisans and the consumers, it also pays a visit to the animals we help through our sales, bringing the joy right back to us to complete the loop! With every pair of JUJU shoes that is bought, we keep this infinite loop of goodness going.
Good juju for everybody, every step of the way.
About our Founder
Jyoti Sardar, the founder and creative director at JUJU, is of Indian origin, born in India, raised in Oman. Her family moved to Oman in the early 70’s, and she completed her schooling there before moving to Madrid (Spain), and Florida (USA) for her higher education. She completed her degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida, and then went on to pursue her love for music in the Radio industry. She has spent the past decade and a half working in the industry in various positions, both on-air and off-air.
Jyoti has been raised vegetarian, and has been an advocate for animal rights her entire life. It was during a sabbatical in early 2017 that she had the idea to create a brand of footwear that would help her showcase her motherland's rich heritage, on shoes that were made from ethically-sourced, vegan materials. She was inspired by the gap in the industry for versatile, ethnic, hand-embroidered, and cruelty-free footwear.
She moved to India in mid-2017 with the sole purpose of finding and working with local artisans there, and putting together a team that shared her vision. It took her almost two years to turn JUJU into a reality. Two years well spent, she believes. Her designs fuse the ancient shoe-making traditions of her heritage with a modern aesthetic; the results are intricately detailed and exquisitely crafted, handmade works of art.
She currently shuttles between Delhi and Oman, finding her balance between work and family life.