The Sarastare siblings had grown up in Riispere in the Taamras mountains and were experienced skiers by the time they were at Kollejia. Unsure whether to try and make a living from their hobby as competition skiers or find conventional jobs, they on a whim designed and sold t-shirts to the ski community in the town during the summer break. The two split the design process between them, with Kelli doing the women's and Kuupo the men's, and printing on a home-made screen printing rig made from old nylon tights and a paint bucket. The brand name was coined almost by accident when Kuupo noticed that Inglish visitors often assumed that the street name 'Jõki tee' meant a humorous t-shirt (tee simply means street in Karolian, and Jõki means river). Kuupo sketched out a logo based on a 'Cambric' font from a favourite childhood book of myths and the brand was born. The designs were well liked and the pair soon sold their original stock.
Having established the brand, Kuupo was particularly keen to design his own skis, which would be made from a new composite plastic. They recruited other friends to advise on the design process and ensure the skis had plenty of real-world testing. part of the main marketing effort was for Kelli to actually use a pair in a competition, which she won, helping to boost the company's profile and reputation. At the time the internet was just beginning to take off in Karolia and the pair decided to market their goods online via the new medium, setting up [jokiski.kom.ka]. This proved a shrewd commercial move as the extreme sports community were amongst the earliest adopters of the web, and gave them an edge over their competitors as well as keeping marketing costs down.
Today, Jõki is amongst the leading ski companies, and trades internationally. Many successful competition skiers and snowboarders use their equipment.
As well as the original t-shirt designs, which have never gone out of stock, Jõki also sell:
- Helmets and pads
- Ski jackets
- Other jackets