5 minutes with Pono’s Joan Goodman
In addition to managing the family business with sister Barbara, Joan Goodman has spent the last decade envisioning and designing accessories that pay homage to the natural elements. We sat down with Joan, and asked her a few questions amidst the accessory line’s bustling sample sale.
Front Row Mag: How did Pono begin?
Joan Goodman: It was rather spontaneous planning; the button business wasn’t doing as well as before. I was talking with someone at one of my Italian factories, and he asked what it was that I really wanted to do, and I simply replied: “I want to make horn bracelets.” That’s how it began.
FRM: Tell us the meaning behind the name.
JG: When I was eleven, I watched Endless Summer and wanted to go to Hawaii. When I moved there, the first person that I met at work was my soon-to-be best friend for life – Pono. Her name in Hawaiian means “righteousness.”
FRM: What is it about horn that fascinates you?
JG: It’s the fact that it’s a natural element, much like bone or wood. It is a part of the “inexpressible ground.”
FRM: How do you decide to re-purpose these materials into jewellery?
JG: It’s a bit difficult to explain, but it just comes to my brain. A lot of my inspiration comes from light; light is one of the most important things and it can be seen in both the process of making the pieces and in the end product.
FRM: Lastly, what’s your favourite thing about New York?
JG: The fact that there are 8 to 10 million people in the city, each having their own philosophy, religion, and set of beliefs.