Love and Light
Illumination is a delicate thing. Like collaboration, it can take intentionality, an understanding of the environment and a sharp eye to make it most effective.
Lafayette’s Boonies Design + Fabrication knows a lot about light and creativity — their hand-cut, custom-welded and powder-coated chain candlesticks embody both. Available in deep blue and warm pink colorways, and three sizes, the candlesticks are selling throughout North America.
Founded in 2016 by Justin Roy and Jayna Anderson, Boonies is a husband-and-wife team. The couple eloped to the Ozarks in September. They began making furniture together after about two months of dating. Roy, who grew up in Youngsville but moved to Los Angeles to be a professional skateboarder, was building sets for the film industry when he met Anderson, who was working in local parks. Together they began working on furniture and art together while living in the desert outside of Palm Springs.
“I do think California continues to inspire us,” Anderson says. “I feel like my aesthetic is much more SoCal than East Coast.”
The couple returned to live near Roy’s family in south Louisiana and soak in the slower pace of life they grew to love in the desert far from Hollywood.
As collaborators, Roy is process-oriented, while Anderson prefers thinking big picture. Her motivation is to reach the finished vision.
Boonies’ sunbeam plant stand began as a wall hanging in Anderson’s head. After the first was completed out of scrap she just had lying around, Roy was looking at it and turned it sideways. He suggested it could be a plant stand.
“We have very different viewpoints,” Anderson says. “A lot of our creativity comes from one of us looking at the other’s idea and saying ‘Well, what about this?’
The candlesticks began as a dichotomous design in Anderson’s sketchbook: A rigid, masculine chain in a hyper-feminine color, crowned in light.
Though she laughs at the thought of pink being her favorite color — it’s far from it — the blushing hue has proven to be the most popular shade for the candlesticks.
The couple’s products are available in 50 shops nationally and in Canada, including in Louisiana at Genterie Supply Co. in Lafayette, and Three Threads in West Monroe.
They recently completed a custom shelving system for Lafayette’s latest farm-to-table hotspot Scratch Farm Kitchen.
Once a Boonies piece arrives in a buyer’s home or business, the final step of collaboration begins. The design, décor and light-play surrounding her work vary from location to location, of course, and Anderson appreciates the uniqueness of her connection to customers more and more.
“I love seeing our candlesticks and plant stands in homes, and I’m constantly surprised by what people have done with them,” Anderson says. “I know personally, I really get excited about the styling and creativity these can spark.”
A veteran glass blower and herbalist — she has her own line of beauty and wellness products called 5th Dimension Herbs — Anderson keeps centered by continually creating.
“It’s easy today to live above your shoulders and get stuck in your head. But when you make something with your hands it pulls you back into your body and connects you with the Earth.”
You’ve been described as ‘Swamp Hippies.’ What inspired that nickname and what makes it ring true?
Justin has this long wild hair and heavy laid-back vibe about him. My hair is arguably just as wild, and I’m usually doused in some mix-matched rainbow outfit. We stick out a bit. A lot of people will ask us if we are hippies, which makes me laugh. We were never sure how to answer the question, so when my friend from Philly called us ‘Swamp Hippies’ we decided to embrace it.
What is the most challenging aspect of design for you?
Sometimes the most challenging aspect of design isn’t coming up with the idea but nailing down the execution. Especially, we when step outside of our comfort zone to create a challenging design. Making the initial drawings and 3D renderings is the easy part. Bringing those designs into a physical form is where things can get tricky!