The word SAJA in Indonesian means only or just. For me it captures the whole brand essence in one word. With SAJA the idea was always to experiment with and explore the concept of minimalism. I wanted to go back to the basics: to make exceptional footwear that looks simple and pared down but actually pack a punch on the details. Things that are JUST right, can be the ONLY one you need, and JUST plain quality you can see and feel *chef's kiss* Plus, I liked how it sounds, and it's easy to pronounce and spell. Win-win-win.
That is the simple short story behind the name, you can stop reading here if you want. But like I said how the name represents the brand, there are a lot of details and thought that went on behind the scenes as you will see with everything we do at SAJA. What is essential is invisible to the eye. And if you're like me and loove to read about things that happen behind the scenes then read on.
I have been subconsciously setting up the building blocks for Saja for about 5 years now. But the name was decided quite recently. I remember it was sometime in November 2019, I was walking down the street in New York with a couple of friends and talking about the name Saja for a brand I wanted to build. My friend thought it should be spelled with 3 As (Saaja? Sajaa?), we decided against it. I remember it was a fairly natural process choosing the word Saja to be in the name, everything just fits. This was huge for me because I am one of the most indecisive people I know, I obsessively look for meaning and constantly modify creative decisions. So when it was that seamless, I took it as a sign and knew it was the right choice.
The next part of the process, however, was not so quick. Initially after deciding that the name will contain the word Saja, I went through many different versions of it because my brain thought that 'just' Saja surely would be too short, could not be trademarked, too hard for SEO, since it was a common Indonesian word, the domain was not available, the instagram handle was not available aaaand the list goes on. It was a typical brain overdrive creating problems when there are none (hey there, meet my brain!) So for a while Saja was Saja Series, and then it was Saja Studios (even here I went down another brain spiral: plural or singular?!). For a while I was the not-so-proud owner of about 10 Web Domains containing the word SAJA.
Only during an early brand strategy discussion/brainstorming did the name dilemma came up and Evi (incredible genius behind Evi O Studio) said something along the line of ,"I think it should be just SAJA. We like how it sounds and the word looks good design wise." Something to do with the double A peak, I can't remember the exact words, it might also be Kait (also creative extraordinaire from the Studio) who said it. But just like that, we are back to the beginning, back to only the essential. Cue the clouds opening and chorus sounding. Lesson here: most of the time your first gut feeling is right, go with it and make it work. But if you're still not convinced, ask an expert like I did. I'd like to think that was my Zuckerberg 'Facebook' vs. 'The Facebook' moment (if that really did happen)
Till next time x