Jun E Caniel

Style: Fashion at Jun E Caniel boutique fills ecofriendly niche

In Business, Culture, Daily Inspiration, ECO-Friendly, Fashion, Journal, Jun E events, JUN E LOVE, Love, Motivational Speaking, T-Shirts, Thoughts on May 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

http://fayobserver.com/articles/2012/05/20/1173344

By Mike McCray
Staff writer

Jun E Caniel Owners Jay and Tiya Caniel didn’t expect to own a store so soon.Since June 2010, the couple has sold an eco-friendly line of dresses, T-shirts and hoodies, along with smaller accessories and body products. They sold the clothing at assorted retail stores and wherever they could. When they envisioned opening a freestanding store, they wrote 2015 on a vision board as their goal. But last fall, Jay noticed a space tucked behind Zorba’s restaurant on Raeford Road and knew it was the one. He called his wife, who was in Savannah, Ga., at the time, to tell her the news.

Since opening in February, the first-time business owners said the process of opening Jun E Caniel has been a learning experience.The Caniels put sweat equity into transforming the space, which was formerly occupied by the women’s boutique Epiphany. Handpainting the walls and redoing floors, they’ve made the boutique consistent with their own eco-friendly and sustainable sensibilities. The Caniels won’t bend on their sustainable mission for cost-cutting measures, either. They use premium organic and eco-friendly fabric for their shirts and hoodies. Even the wallets are fair trade products from India, with attached explanations on the people who made them and where they’re from.”There’s a certain consciousness that our customers have,” said Tiya, who is 30. “An awareness that goes beyond just liking how a design looks. They can appreciate the whole environment of the store, and they can appreciate our message.”

www.jcaniel.com The pair have been together for 14 years, since they were freshmen at Winston-Salem State University. They got married seven years ago.They movedwww.jcaniel.com to Fayetteville in 2008 when Jay was hired as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Fayetteville State University. After two years at the university, he moved on to focus on Jun E Caniel.”The word Jun E means greatness; that’s what we created it to mean,” says Jay, who is 31, of the store’s name and mantra.For some, the spontaneous decision to chase a dream earlier than expected would be jarring, but it has become routine for the Caniels. The couple was living in Green Cove Springs, Fla., when Jay, teaching and coaching at a local school, convinced Tiya, working as a juvenile probation officer at the time, to get married during their lunch break one day.

Tiya balances out Jay’s energy with more practical ideas, but the couple’s shared vision is on display in the space. The natural light and bright colors awaken what could feel like cramped space. “I come up with the whole puzzle, and she is very great at getting to the puzzle piece by piece,” Jay said.”We operate in our strengths,” Tiya said. They hope their brand helps people “find their ideal self.” They hope to build a sense of community from within the store that extends into the local artist community, whether it’s through displaying and selling local art or eventually selling locally created products.

The clothes themselves feel vibrant, even when they’re not in bright colors. Many of the designs created by Tiya have a tropical vibe that meshes well with Jay’s roots in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was born. The boutique was recently approved to sell Toms shoes, a brand whose philanthropic mission provides a pair of shoes for a needy child somewhere in the world for every pair sold. Toms is usually selective in the stores that carry it and evaluates each store to ensure the missions of both entities are in sync.

www.jcaniel.comThe couple hopes to add athletic wear for yoga and basketball in the future. As far as new designs, they expect to incorporate a lot more color and abstract designs.”We loved the cute designs, but we want people to dig inside,” Jay says. “It’s really about people discovering the gold that’s inside them. We want to build a community of greatness.”Want more?

Jun E Caniel is at 1009 Marlborough Road in Fayetteville. Go to jcaniel.com or call 920-3051.

Twitter: @junecaniel, @JayCaniel, @Tcaniel

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.152644821460863.33400.100001460374759&type=3#!/pages/Jun-E-Caniel-Boutique/119873338137759

Tumblr: http://jcaniel.tumblr.com/

http://fayobserver.com/articles/2012/05/20/1173344

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  1. Reblogged this on JAY CANIEL and commented:
    JUN E!

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