When I first heard about the #BoldBrilliantBeautiful project from Amy of This Heart of Mine, I immediately wanted to participate. And then some inner thoughts took precedence over my initial excitement to be more bold and be more of me, and I questioned everything. But you know what, I am ready to quiet the negative voices that have been holding me back from trying new things, from being true to my passions, for being ME. Some of these voices are from people I know (some I know very well) who have been critical or negative in the past or uncomfortably silent, and some of these voices are internal. Either way, I am moving beyond them. About six months ago, I decided to challenge myself to ignore the negativity and associated actions of others. I decided to not allow the negativity around me to consume me, change me or affect me in my day to day living. I guess the next step would be to finally get those thoughts and voices out of MY head. There are plenty of supportive people in my life and their encouragement is steadfast.

So how am I going to be more BOLD, more BRILLIANT, more BEAUTIFUL this year?


I am going to look at my past (both personally and professionally) and see the GOOD, and I am going to say OUT LOUD:

I am proud of myself.

I am proud of my roles as wife and mom. I am a great wife and mom!

I am proud of my commitment to my boys and their food allergies from day one when that meant things like giving up entire food groups for a year or taking a financial loss to stay at home with them.

I am proud of my inner strength to get through hardships like financial strain from starting a business, moving to a new city for a new job, stress, illness and poor family relationships.

I am proud of my faith and my values. It is because of my faith in God, in my husband and kids that I know we can do and get through anything. We do it together, we always have.

I am proud of having a creative idea (or many) and having the guts to start a company!  I am proud of learning the ropes of product design, manufacturing, PR and running a business all by myself. I am proud of all the customers who LOVED our product, the magazines who continuously wrote about joyababy and all of the stores around the world that carried it.

I am proud that when I need to put my family first, I do it without even knowing. I am proud of myself for trusting my instincts.

I am going to look for the successes ahead, and take the failures or mistakes in stride.

I am going to surround myself with family, friends and fellow creatives who are positive people. People who encourage others to do their thing, whatever that may be.

I am starting to believe finally, that we don’t all have to agree, we don’t all have to be the same, we even don’t have to place the same value on something, to be supportive.

All of this will take time and I will practice. But saying it all out loud is the first step.


Thinking about Rajovilla and this space here has me shuffling things around. I dabbled over the last year with different types of posts, never really finding my rhythm. I also have spent the last 9 months creating something new behind the scenes. But I have hesitated for whatever reasons in sharing it with the world. (Negative voices in my head?) I have been asked to collaborate on projects with other amazing creators and entrepreneurs, and yet I have been slow to say yes. (Self doubt?)

I think I know why now. Initially, I thought that the timing wasn’t right, or thought “look how rough our fall season was” with illness and other issues. And those are part of the picture along with the negative voices. But really after serious reflection,  I realized that I couldn’t fit “being creative and sharing it with the world” in my top priority of “mothering” three boys and taking care of my family life. I wondered how those two could coexist at the top.

And that is when I had an “aha moment” through a conversation with my older two boys at the dinner table this week. I was visibly upset and annoyed that I recently saw a blatant copycat out there of joyababy. The boys asked to see the copy and responded “how can they do that?” and we talked about design and patents and the importance of being original and honest. And then my ten year old said “Well Mom, let’s just start a new company! We have so many ideas and you have so many ideas.”

And you know what? It may be as simple as that. My boys (and my husband) know me, they know I love to create. They know I love to paint and sew and design. And they love to be a part of it all. My kids want to be mini entrepreneurs themselves. Last summer when I made a new pie recipe, they wanted to sell pie slices at the local farmer’s market. They got out paper, pens, did research and planning. Another dinner table conversation was about opening a family restaurant and bookshop. They even sold decorated ROCKS for charity from our front porch.

My husband and my boys are my biggest fans! They get me, they share in my enthusiasm.

I can be ME and keep my top priority of taking care of my family. Because I am part of my family. We need to nurture each other.


Rajovilla is more clear to me now as well. It is my new brand. I will be finishing that collection I mentioned above and releasing it fearlessly into the world, (or somewhere close). My Rajovilla portfolio will share my ongoing projects and dare I say it- freelance opportunities and collaborations to paint, create and inspire. I think I will say YES moving forward. The Rajovilla journal will be a little different. It will not be full of tutorials, party ideas, DIY recipes and crafts. I love making, crafting and cooking. And I will still be doing these things as usual at home and sharing some photos here and there, but it doesn’t come natural to me to write it all out, all the time. There are many amazing and wonderful creatives out there that do this SO WELL. At church last Sunday, on the Feast of the Epiphany, the priest said something that made me stop trying to quiet the three year old, “What if we all see the spectacular in the ordinary?” Being authentic to me here at Rajovilla would be writing and sharing photos about everyday living, simple joys and happenings. Writing about the spectacular in the ordinary. Maybe it will be an extension of my Instagram photo stream that I enjoy so much.

Lastly, I want to continue to dream big. We want to travel as a family. A big dream of mine is to take my husband and three sons to India to visit family and Rajo Villa. I want to be able to document my India, as I know it through my photographs and paintings. I want to give life to my childhood journals that lay in a box. I want to continue to be inspired by my culture for design. This may take some time to financially be able to afford a family trip and time away from work, but I look forward to the possibility in the future.

I want the Rajovilla brand to be rich with culture, vibrant like life, down to earth and fun. I want it to bold, brilliant and beautiful like me.


Join me in visiting all of the women who are part of the Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You.  project:

imagine gants
casa crafty
Made with Moxie
this heart of mine
The Southern Institute
small + friendly
Kids Stuff World
Classic Play
Even If Nobody Reads This
Maker Mama

Will you join us? Let everyone know you are joining in by sharing a photo of yourself with the hashtag #boldbrilliantbeautiful on Instagram and Twitter. Search the hashtag and visit these blogs to find other women like you (and me) who are looking to make 2014 their best, most authentic year yet!

About the Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You. project:

Throughout the year, I’m joining forces with some of my blogging friends to motivate and encourage ourselves and others to be bold and step out from behind the lens, projects, and mama status to show ourselves. That’s right, we’re doing something just for us.

And we’re inviting you to join us! Each of us has something bold, brilliant and beautiful inside—whether it’s a dream to ask for a promotion, wear those sparkly shoes in the back of our closet, or start a non-profit. The #boldbrilliantbeautiful project is a support group for all of us seeking to be real and vulnerable. No judging, no questions, just support and words of encouragement.

Be a part of the project by using #boldbrilliantbeautiful on Instagram and Twitter to find other women like you, who are looking to make 2014 their best, most authentic year yet!



  • January 10, 2014 at 11:02 am // Reply

    I love this! You have so much to be proud of and we could all take inspiration from you when it comes to tuning out negativity. I can’t wait to see and read the new Rajovilla!

    • January 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm // Reply

      thanks Carla! it’s been a challenge to tune out the negativity, believe me. I’m going for it though! happy to be in good company with this project.

  • January 10, 2014 at 11:31 am // Reply

    I love it Joya!! Let go of that negativity and go for it!!

    • January 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm // Reply

      thanks Amy! I’m very thankful that you invited me to be a part of this project and for your leadership in making it happen!!

  • January 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm // Reply

    I think the recurring theme with all of us in the #BBBYou project is our own self doubt. You are an amazing creator, a beautiful mama! hurray for a girl power team!

    • January 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm // Reply

      thanks Kelley! girl power team for the win!

  • January 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm // Reply

    Oh what a great thought…let go of the negativity!! Fantastic! You are amazingly creative and i can’t wait to see what this year brings for you! :)

    • January 10, 2014 at 11:57 pm // Reply

      I’m excited, and anxious of course ;)

  • January 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm // Reply

    This is absolutely beautiful. Honestly, such beautiful writing.

    I am so excited about this project! And I’m especially excited to see how it unfolds for you.


    • January 10, 2014 at 11:57 pm // Reply

      thanks Jen!

  • January 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm // Reply

    Oh Joya can I just come be a part of your world? I am SO excited for what the future holds for you, because I know it will be amazing and because with a family like yours behind you – you can do anything!

    As for the future of Rajovilla, I am glad you are finding your way – I can’t wait to follow along with all of it.

    When I look at you, all I see is bold, brilliant, beautiful!

    P.S> We should start a center for mini entrepreneurs :)

    • January 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm // Reply

      Yes you can, we are in this together! And yes my boys would love a center for mini entrepreneurs!

  • January 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm // Reply

    Love hearing all the things you’re proud of–I need to make my own list! I’ve had my own share of negative voices keeping me back for a while–feeling motivated by your post already!

    • January 11, 2014 at 12:02 am // Reply

      Thanks Amy, it was harder than I thought it would be to write it all out. I think I started to let other people’s opinions cloud my thoughts and my own beliefs. I might have to print this out and hang it up so I can remind myself often.

  • January 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm // Reply

    So beautiful Joya! There’s so much talent and creativity in your family, they definitely take after their mama! I cannot WAIT to see all that awaits you in 2014. I have a feeling that all that talent is going to bubble over and burst forth in the most wonderful of ways. Looking forward to watching it all happen. xoxo

    • January 11, 2014 at 12:05 am // Reply

      Thanks Deborah. My boys are a creative bunch, I hope I have influenced them with my passion to create! I’m excited for the year ahead too. xox

  • January 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm // Reply

    Yes, Yeeessss and YES! Believe in yourself. xxx

    • January 11, 2014 at 12:06 am // Reply

      Thanks Celina! :) You have helped me believe in myself with our latest creative collaboration- so thank you! xo

  • January 11, 2014 at 1:11 am // Reply

    You know what I like most about this entire post? Is how completely clear you sound. How strong you are about your vision, at least in terms of what values you want your brand to reflect. You speak with conviction. Deep conviction. You realize that you can be your individually creative self simultaneously with being the family woman you are. This is wonderful. How I look forward to meeting you in person one of these days! I know you can succeed. We are all in this together!

    • January 13, 2014 at 10:05 am // Reply

      thanks BP! Now the real challenge starts to make these clear words and vision a reality! :) I look forward to meeting you in person one of these days soon too!

  • January 11, 2014 at 9:31 pm // Reply

    What an inspiring, heartfelt post. You are so strong and beautiful and it just shines through your writing. I am so excited to be doing this project and looking forward to what the new year holds for you!

    • January 13, 2014 at 10:08 am // Reply

      Thanks Stephanie! I am going to try to continue to be strong through the process. I am sure there will be setbacks. I think with the support of the BBB project and with positive people in my life, I will persevere!

  • January 12, 2014 at 12:50 am // Reply

    As I read this I was cheering you on, agreeing with you, shouting, “Yes! Me too!” in my head. This is so gorgeous, Joya. It’s exciting to me that you are at that place where you can leave behind the negativity, embrace the positivity and create your own version of what is right for you and your family, based on what you feel God is leading you to do. I think you’re awesome!

    • January 13, 2014 at 10:11 am // Reply

      Jenny- thanks for cheering me on! Yes, “create my own version of what is right for me and my family”- that’s it!

  • January 13, 2014 at 12:12 am // Reply

    That was beautiful Joya, just like you. Proud of you and your family and can’t wait to see what the next year will bring. I do agree with you, I love surrounding myself with not only creative people, but positive people. Life is too short for Debby Downers. You go guuurl!

    • January 13, 2014 at 10:20 am // Reply

      Liz, You are one of those people who have supported me with positive encouragement and enthusiasm from day one, thank you for that. You are SUCH a giving person. I watch you support your family, sisters and friends, and it makes me want to be a better person.
      And I am proud of you too. I have been inspired by you, with raising a beautiful family, being a great friend to others and for starting Linens by Liz!
      As far as Debbie Downers- yes- ba-bye.
      xo joya

  • January 25, 2014 at 6:11 am // Reply

    I love the list of all the things you are proud of. What a great exercise! Love your energy. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • February 13, 2014 at 11:33 am // Reply

      Thanks Racquel for reading. It has already proven to be a great exercise for me, as I repeat to myself what I wrote when I am feeling discouraged or challenged.

  • January 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm // Reply

    Joya, beautifully written. I admire your creativity and talent. I can’t wait to see what comes next for you.

    • February 13, 2014 at 11:31 am // Reply

      Thanks Judy! Thanks for reading and commenting, it means a lot to hear from old friends :)

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