G and J Max by Joyeuse Uwitonze.
Meet Joyeuse Uwitonze is the founder and CEO of G and J Max, a company that is on the mission to change Rwanda’s interior design industry through making modern home decor pieces from raw materials available in Rwanda.
Joyeuse has always been a curious kid and had a sense of business. “Growing up, my mother had a shop. During holidays my mother would always ask me to keep the shop for her because I knew how to bring in clients and be patient with them.” After high school, Joyeuse got a scholarship to study at Akilah Women Institute, and she majored in Business management.
Joyeuse always knew that she wanted to be a businesswoman but wasn’t sure what business she wanted to venture into. “Before graduating from university, I worked for a company that dealt in manufacturing. That is where I learnt all about manufacturing different items from things available in Rwanda.” Joyeuse
In 2019, Joyeuse and a friend brought together a group of women and presented them with the idea of a business idea they wanted to start. “I and my friend Gloria Ishimwe thought about starting our own business that makes home decor and kitchen items. We approached a few of our friends to help us shape our idea. ” Joyeuse said. Later on, Joyeuse got an opportunity to be trained in business Planning by the Digital Business Program and it helped her bring her idea to life.
Currently, G and J max produce hand-made carpets, cutting boards, Painted frames, wall-hanging decor, wooden laptops, Table cloth, Table runners, Bed runners, and pillows. Joyeuse has high expectations for her business and in 5 years to come, she hopes it will be a factor that will be able to satisfy Rwanda’s market of home decor and kitchen items.
Joyeuse’s advice to young people, young women and young entrepreneurs like herself is to be bold enough to put their ideas into action. “If you want to be somebody, wake up and pay attention. Don’t let the negativity you see around hold you from achieving your dream. Just do it! You can’t know what it will turn out to be if you don’t try it.” Joyeuse concludes.