Candid Chats with Rachelle Tan

Candid Chats with Rachelle Tan


Interview by Mame Frimpong

“Creativity has always been my way of exploring and communicating and is one of the reasons why I was drawn to the concept and story behind Joybox." 

With career experiences spanning Thailand, Kenya and the U.S., Rachelle has experience in eco-consciousness, travel, and how it intersects with the expression of creativity. This experience has lent itself to her role as Creative Director at Joybox. A part of the team since Joybox's beginnings, Rachelle has helped craft a timeless and relevant look to communicate Joybox’s dedication to fulfilling your gifting needs from the logo to the visuals on the site. With an eye for detail, Rachelle ensures that everyone’s skillsets, hard work and playfulness show in the presentation of products. Rachelle took some time to tell us a bit more about her background, connection with Joybox and how much she enjoys giving you the best gift experience. 

Joybox: Tell us a little bit about your career before Joybox? Did you have any experience with gift-giving, or sustainability?

One of my first experiences where sustainability converged with my creative work was back in 2016 during one of my first years at university. I was selected as one of the talents for a project called “passport to creativity” hosted by Adobe. I got to travel with a team to Masai Mara Kenya to document and learn about the wildlife, diverse ecosystem and the ongoing conservation projects (more specifically the mara cheetah project). The outcome of the project was an immersive installation in downtown LA where the public were invited to walk through projected tunnels to see all the work we produced during our time there. It was an experience where I realized how powerful creativity can be in translating, showcasing and highlighting the story behind a place or issue.

After graduating university I briefly worked at the UNESCAP as a design consultant before transitioning into full-time freelancing shortly after! Freelancing allowed me to explore projects that aligned with my beliefs and creative style which I have allowed me to develop and expand as a designer. Having grown up in Thailand I have gotten a greater understanding of the environmental situation here concerning the use of single-use plastic, etc. Although it has already improved from many years ago, I think we still have a long way to go in reshaping consumer behaviour to become more eco-conscious. 

Joybox: What inspired you to work for Joybox? What do you find innovative about the company?

Joybox is one of only a few gifting companies based in Thailand or Asia alone and is slowly paving its way in the industry which makes it both very exciting and challenging (but in the most rewarding way). Not only is Joybox a gifting company but it is a business devoted to creating the lowest environmental impact possible through gifting - this extends to materials we use, products we source and artisans we collaborate with. Traditional gift culture is notorious for producing one of the highest amounts of waste (especially during the holiday season) and what I find most innovative about Joybox is that they are turning this on its head by saying that it is possible for gifting to not only be beautifully packaged but also sustainable at the same time!

Joybox: What do you enjoy most about your role at Joybox?

Being a part of Joybox from so early on was a very rewarding experience because I was able to help form Joybox’s brand and identity right from the beginning. Being able to creatively explore and develop new directions and avenues with Joybox is always exciting and we are constantly learning and expanding as a team/brand. 

Joybox: Tell us a bit more about the logo process. How do you think the logo represents Joybox? What is your favourite thing about it? 

The Joybox logo has been constructed using a serif typeface. [There were] tweaks made to it to meticulously encapsulate classic and modern features which alludes to the storytelling element of Joybox as well as Joybox’s modern take on gifting. However, the combination of filled and outlined type has multiple meanings for Joybox. At first glance, the outlined box celebrates the joy and passion behind the products that fill our boxes. However, if we look further, the multiple layers below reveal the deeper meanings behind the logo. Sustainably; the negative space encapsulates the importance of treading lightly and minimising our carbon foot. Socially, it refers to the community of sustainable gifters we hope to nurture. And in terms of storytelling, the space created in the type represents the creative space and outlet we hope to be for artisans to tell their stories and showcase their craft.

Joybox: Do you have a favourite product or favourite product story?

I really don’t have one favourite product or brand because all of the products are so one-of-a-kind! I do have an affinity to handmade products especially homewares like candles, ceramics, etc. and particularly love how no two pieces are ever the same. As a creative, supporting small businesses and local artists is something that I am drawn to and owning special pieces from different artists makes it that much more sentimental. 

Joybox: What are you most looking forward to in regards to Joybox's future?

Joybox has many ideas for its future - stay tuned for what's coming next!