This series features various personalities who either live or work in our neighborhood.Our hope is that through this series we will begin to foster a greater sense of community among the residents of the neighborhood by getting to know thy neighbor.
Our inaugural article features a sit-down with Frederick Bouchardy, the founder of JoyaStudio.
We walked into Frederick’s studio on an October afternoon and it was a beehive of activity. Since its founding in 2006, JoyaStudio has grown considerably and now distributes its collection to more than 300 stores globally in addition to acting as a private-label producer of scented products for over another 100 companies.
It was obvious that Frederick and his employees were extremely busy preparing for the upcoming holiday season, so we were thankful he was able to spend an hour with us speaking about topics ranging from his company to his experiences in Wallabout.
Frederick, thank you so much for meeting with us today-we first wanted to give our audience a bit of an introduction to JoyaStudio. Can you give a brief description of your business and detail a couple of projects on which you are currently working?
Thank you so much for having me. Joya is a fragrance design studio, so we offer an inline collection of perfumes, candles, diffusers and soaps. We also act as a creative agency that develops and produces scent identities for artists, designers, retailers, hospitality groups—essentially companies that want to express their mission and values via this beautiful and untouchable thing called fragrance. We are gearing up for a crazy amount of holiday launches, as well as newness, innovations and more of our own offerings in the new year.
Over time how has the market for custom scents changed?
I’m not quite sure. My company is relatively new, but custom fragrance is an ancient art form. Furthermore, we have only recently begun offering bespoke sessions for private clients. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the “rules” have changed—that fragrance lovers and novices alike have perhaps become more open to fragrance profiles with character, to the unexpected, and that they are more likely to look past traditional or common brands for a more personal connection.
I know that you have read that you are very passionate about sourcing your ingredients. Can you speak about whether the local area can help you at all in this quest and if so, the companies with which you have relationships?
Absolutely. As a manufacturer, it’s critical to look beyond certifications to truly understand what are the effects of your investment in specific resources. One of my first suppliers, Ares Printing and Packaging, occupies a large space in the Navy Yard and has for decades. They produce beautiful work and continue to be friends and vendors to this day.
It is wonderful to hear that you have established relationships with other local businesses and that Wallabout can serve as an asset to JoyaStudio. You were gracious enough to provide AllaboutWallabout with a tour of the impressive facility. Please tell us about the space and how you have utilized it? What can visitors buy on-site?
The truth is I picked the space mostly instinctively. We had been working out of an industrial facility closer to Bed Stuy but needed more space, independence—a flagship, really. I drove by our current location on the way to the airport and ended up visiting what was essentially a large empty box—a former rigging garage from the late 19th Century. The history and flexibility appealed to me, and I envisioned how all of our operations—small batch perfumery, candle production, porcelain slip-casting, mold-making, modeling and rapid prototyping—might all take place under this roof. A few years later, visitors are able to experience our vision and processes—and to shop our collections, limited editions, collaborations and rare, third party offerings we have sourced from both near and far.
How long have you had ties to Brooklyn and specifically Wallabout? How has the neighborhood changed since you have been here? How do you see the neighborhood evolving over the next ten years?
Not that long. I’m a Native New Yorker but didn’t know much about Wallabout until 5 or so years ago. This neighborhood is a New Yorker’s dream: It is one of the rare, open, quasi-industrial spots left, which means it feels full of possibility. I’m sure both businesses and individuals will embrace the opportunity over the next ten years. It remains to be seen whether tourists will follow, but I imagine so since Wallabout by car is one of the most conveniently located neighborhoods of all.
What are your favorite spots in the neighborhood to frequent? Has the neighborhood helped shape your business in any way?
I’m a fan of Putnam’s, Il Porto and Samui. My business is an early adopter in the neighborhood. I was much more than happy to try to establish a destination, to see if our audience would come to us to experience our world—but Vanderbilt Avenue especially is changing and growing quickly. The rest remains to be seen, but I think it’s important—in the world of fragrance, which is all about story-telling and romance, but also design in general—to embrace the unexpected and keep some things a mystery.
We would like to thank Frederick and JoyaStudio for their time, and we recommend you pop in to have a cup of coffee and see first-hand the amazing work that they are producing! Below please find various shots of JoyaStudio and we would like to thank Studio Dubuisson for such wonderful photographs of the space.