I met Joy Jaynes through a mutual friend a few years ago when she was living in Belgium. Since then, she's relocated back to the United States, gotten married, and launched the successful lifestyle site Mornings Like These. Since its inception, MLT has amassed a following of like-minded readers and contributors from around the world. We recently caught up with Joy to chat our favorite topics: travel, design, and breakfast.
How did you come up with the idea for Mornings Like These?
Mornings Like These had such an organic birth. I was at a low point in my life and was frankly quite depressed. Each day felt the same and the stresses of life were consuming me. I was riddled with anxiety and it was depleting to someone in their early twenties. One weekend, I went on a trip to the beach with some girlfriends and it was just what I needed to unwind. Albeit brief, those short few days changed the direction I decided to take my life. I woke up one morning bright and early before the other girls and stared out at the ocean from the 33rd or 34th floor (I don't recall). I opened the window and let the salty breeze in through the window. Leaning my head back and closing my eyes to enjoy the feeling of that moment, I remember thinking "I need more mornings like these." In that moment, my eyes shot open and I created the brand without question or second thought.
Tell us a little bit about the photos you chose- where do they take place? who took them? what do they represent?
I took all of these photos. I'm not a photographer by any means, nor would I ever solicit myself as one, however when I get an opportunity to take a photo and capture a moment I'm experiencing, it preserves emotion for me. To you, they may mean nothing. For me, they represent a time where I distinctly remember saying to myself, "never forget this." I either woke up or went on a hike, shared breakfast with someone, baked with someone, woke up next to someone I love, any number of things. They represent my awareness and gratitude for the life I have.
I know you lived in Belgium and you've travelled quite a bit. Have your travel experiences influenced your own morning routine?
I would certainly say yes, my routine has changed. While I don't manage to make the time each day, I have some favorite practices that I only developed through traveling. In Lille, France, I fell in love with coffee brewed in a Moka pot thanks to my sweet friend Holly. In Lier, Belgium, I fell in love with a simple breakfast of meats and cheese on bread. Not just any bread, though. Fresh, wholesome bread from a nearby bakery. In England, I learned how I like to take my tea and in Edinburgh I learned you can hike up an extinct volcano at 8 AM in a dress after a snowfall. I think that last experience may have contributed to why I feel so full of energy and eagerness to do and see things at early hours. Mornings always feel so full of opportunity now.
A big part of people's morning routines/rituals involve the objects they're surrounded by. Why do you think design is so important to our way of life?
I believe design is such an important aspect of how we live and who we are because quite simply; it is a direct representation of just that. How we live and how we see ourselves. Design is aesthetic consciousness and it is, or should always be, intentional. I think life is a lot like that. Those who pay attention to how they organize, style, and "design" their lives live at a heightened consciousness and thus, feel more joy from their surroundings.
Where is your favorite place to spend the morning?
That's a tough one because I love all sorts of places. My whole goal with Mornings Like These is appreciate what the day gives me, wherever I'm at. I feel hopeful lying in bed. I feel excited driving in the car. Getting ready and smelling the coffee brew. I feel romantic sitting in a cafe. It's all promising. Is that silly?
What are your hopes for MLT in 2015?
I want to get the online shop running at full capacity. I plan to have my volunteer sector of MLT in full swing. I want to collaborate with more people and brands and travel for these opportunities, too. My long term goal is to have a storefront/event space and also travel the world and have breakfast with a different person every day. Lofty goals and dreams, but it's what I want so why not?