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Get to know Jasmyne Koh from Dyvan Co and Juste Leather

MAIN1 Editor's Note: In this Q&A, we chat with Jasmyne Koh from Juste Leather. Juste Leather has also been featured on BizBrunei, Borneo Insider's Guide, and PechaKucha. Read on to find out about the origins of Juste Leather, and the inspirations behind her other startup, Dyvan Co. To find out more about Juste Leather, follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Jasmyne. I am the co-founder and designer for Dyvan Co and Juste Leather. I did not start out in the same field as my business. I was an Economics and Accounting student. To be honest with you, the only interesting part of my studies was my involvement in this creative project which then made me pursue a degree in Art & Design.

When did your interest in the craft of leather work begin?

It was during my travels. I noticed that leather was everywhere. The summer sales in Europe were bursting with leather goods. Even in our everyday lives, you will notice that a lot of our essentials are made of leather. That’s when I found my craft.

In term of craftsmanship, I learnt most of the skills online. Why handmade? It’s just better. Artists and craftspeople making leather products spend a lot of time and put their soul into a piece of work rather than mass producing them. So every piece of the leather goods are unique; they are never the same.

Share with us about Juste Leather.

Juste Leather is a handmade leather product company based in Brunei. The name “Juste” Leather derived from the French word “Just” meaning we are mainly working on just leather products.

Handmade leather things have better strength and durability. A lot of people do not know the different types of leathers out there. Juste Leather uses vegetable tanned leather because vegetable-tanning is the true "chromium-free" method, and does not have harmful chemicals. The beauty of vegetable tanned leather is that it was recently salvaged to provide an alternative material in fashion. It can last an entire lifetime.



How would you describe the style of Juste Leather.

There’s a saying. “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important.” This is true, especially in this period of time where people have worries from responsibilities, commitment, etc. So most of our designs are based on minimalism. Minimalism is one of the design trends that just never get old. It is classic and classy. Most of my initial designs came from my own experiences in life. Stylish practicality was my priority. Later on, we decided to take people’s feedback as reference so we can decide how we can improve our products.

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Tell us about your leather craft workshops.
Yes! We recently started fun leather craft group workshops and classes for the public to encourage and create more awareness about leather and craftsmanship. Anyone can join and try their hands at making their own beloved accessories. We are happily nurturing our growing business and at the same time.
photo 2017 07 26 14 54 19
photo 2017 07 26 14 53 54

Tell us about Dyvan Co.

The magic of 3D printing really struck me when I was traveling in Paris. At some point after seeing all the possibilities of 3D printing all around the creative scene during my travels, I was convinced that I should come back and do 3D Printing. I came back to Brunei with only $300, met up with my high school senior and said “Hey, let’s do 3D Printing”. So a group of us who shared the same interest gathered and started Dyvan Co.

Dyvan Co. currently helps students from higher institution print prototype for their projects. The students design and build their own unique prototypes with the help of 3D printing to validate their ideas and showcase them. I am happy that students in similar degrees now have the opportunity that I didn't have. We are very much a pioneering 3D printing business here. We enjoy helping clients arrive at their finished products.

Any advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?

From my perspective as a designer, find your style, your passion and build a portfolio out of it.

Also, there is a saying, “If you want to go far, go together”. I am very lucky to have met people who support me: my family, my partners, my friends and the collective community.


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