Stojo makes earth-conscious, collapsible reusables that make sustainable living easy. Founded by three fathers dedicated to leaving behind a better planet for future generations, Stojo is on a mission to end disposable culture - one reusable product at a time. Read our interview with Stojo Co-founder, Jurrien below!
1. Tell us about Stojo, what inspired you to start the company?
"Hey! I’m Jurrien, CEO & Co-founder of Stojo. Stojo started out as a kick-starter project, we wanted to create the world’s first collapsible, leak-proof, reusable coffee cup. It happened to launch the same month that my son and first child was born. The moment I held him I felt this deep yearning to do something bigger with my life. I wanted to actually do something that would make the world a better place for him and I saw in Stojo a bigger opportunity to launch a brand that reflected my values and was dedicated to this mission of ending disposable culture. And that was the inspiration."
2. Where did the name Stojo come from?
"The name Stojo comes from the name “sto your joe” being slang for coffee. Ultimately the reason we picked Stojo and spelled it the way that we did was because it reflected our deeper appreciation for both Japanese and Scandinavian design traditions which I think are reflected in our brand ethos and specifically in the way our products look and feel."
3. What’s your ultimate goal and mission?
"The ultimate goal for Stojo is really to create a tupperware 2.0 for millennial and Gen Z consumers and what I mean by that is the wide adoption acceptance of the brand but using sustainability principles, circular design and regenerative business practices and we think that you can do good, create jobs, and have an impact and create a profitable business all at the same time."
4. Describe your first major victory at Stojo.
"Looking back, our first major victory at Stojo was really when the buyers from the MoMA Design Store came knocking. They wanted to put our Stojo collapsible pocket cup in the MoMA Design Store in the gift shop and that was pretty awesome because I’m a huge fan of MoMA Design and all things having to do with art."
5. What has been your biggest challenge in building this business?
"The biggest challenge for building this business has been getting out of my own head and just going out day after day after day and doing what it takes to create a business from scratch. Really overcoming the negative voices in my head, I think a lot of people can relate to that because there are so many things going on in everybody’s life. It’s so easy to make excuses and I've definitely struggled with that. I would never do it differently and I’m so glad that when times are tough I forged ahead because I’m really proud of the company that my team and I have built together."
6. What is your advice to anyone starting on their own entrepreneurial journey?
"This might sound a little cliche but it’s great advice so I would offer it up here. For anybody trying to start their own thing, no matter what it is, I would just say go ahead and do it. Whether you make it or fail, no doubt you're going to learn things about yourself and you're just going to learn in ways that you never would if you hadn’t started out in the first place. I’d say just go for it."
7. What are some of your favorite brands to follow along with?
"A few of my favorite brands: Oatly (@oatly), hands down, I love their product and branding. It’s simple and you don’t forget it. It makes you laugh, it makes you think. I also love Patagonia (@patagonia), talk about a brand that’s been able to stay true to itself, focus on product, it’s customers, customer service, quality, and then continuously innovate and bring sustainability into everything that they do. All while doing the right things and supporting the planet and doing good with their resources as they scale."
8. What’s next for Stojo?
“What’s next for Stojo? Well, in 2021 we launched a collapsible salad bowl and that’s our first product entering into the food storage category. What you are going to see throughout the remainder of the year is an extension into the reusable food containers: some better improvements on our collapsible water bottle, entry into the kids line (we’ll launch for back to school) and next year, we will be introducing an entire line that we call Stojo Elements that is based off of recycled materials and really flexes heavily into circular design. We’re really proud of that”