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  • Cecile Corral

Joy and Jake cash in on 'lifestyle'

Joy & Jake, the company started 18 months ago after Joy Haizen and Jake Jacobson moved from New York to the warm weather here, has emerged as a home textiles and specialty gift lifestyle brand and license property.

The company's current product line, decorative pillows and gifts, is on the shelves of about 45 upscale retailers nationwide and in Canada and Puerto Rico, according to the couple.

But giving the company an extra push into the home textiles industry has been its recent strategic alliance with 35-year-old bath and beach towel, bedding and kitchen towel manufacturer and importer J.R. United Industries, based here, to create new collections of upscale and specialty store bath and bedding products and loungewear.

The alliance will help industry newcomers Joy & Jake benefit from J.R. United's healthy roster of key retail partners as well as provide the company with a new 2,000-square-foot studio/showroom space in J.R. United's Aventura offices and warehouse facilities here.

"We'll help J.R. United recreate and restructure its corporate brand and product development," said Haizen, who worked for more than 10 years in the garment industry before forming Joy & Jake and becoming its chief creative officer.

Salo Grosfeld, president and owner of J.R. United, said that after more than three decades in the industry, now was the right time to refocus his company's marketing strategy.

"Lifestyle packaging is the future of this business and the industry," Grosfeld said. "With the help of Joy & Jake, we will give our customers what they are looking for."

For both companies, the alliance represents a milestone — Joy & Jake's first licensee and J.R. United's first licensing partnership.

The two collections J.R. United will produce for the union are "Joy & Jake" label goods targeting upscale and possibly high-end department stores, and the "hip 'n humble" collection targeting specialty stores like Linens 'N Things and Bed Bath & Beyond.

"Our goal is to create lifestyle-oriented product that has an intrinsic value to customers but also has a fashion look," said ceo Jacobson, formerly the owner of 10 Party City retail stores in New York and New Jersey.

With competition growing fiercer for placement at the specialty-store level, Joy & Jake feel they are well positioned to thrive in the marketplace.

"None of our competitors are a lifestyle couple, and none address the male and female points of view equally as we are able to by being both a couple and business partners," Jacobson said. "We are uni-gender."

Added Haizen: "Our strengths complement each other, and together we make a powerful package."

Both Haizen and Jacobson said the company's goal is to add more licensees and produce home textiles in all categories — mainly throws, rugs, table linens, kitchen textiles, window treatments, shower curtains and bath accessories.

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