May 31st, 2013
The shop will be in “browse only” mode starting June 1. We plan to be back with more items and restocked with your favorites when we re-open in July/August.
If you’re new to the shop or haven’t ordered with us before, thanks for taking a look! Also, you might be surprised to learn that each and every order is personally and carefully assembled, packaged and dropped off at the post office or FedEx by me.
I know I’ll miss the daily customer interactions while on maternity leave, but I’m also very much looking forward to directing that love and attention to our soon-to-arrive little package.
In the meantime, there may be occasional updates on twitter and instagram.
See you again later this summer!
October 19th, 2012
this post is long overdue, but better late than never! back in early august (only 2+ months ago), the shop hosted a one-day exhibition in san francisco to showcase masanori oji‘s newest designs. we also extended the event online through the month of august to make the items available to those who couldn’t join us. the obvious crowd favorites were …
the tanno flip top card cases … and the jicon porcelain flower plates. we’re working on getting these back in the shop soon.
oji cheerfully chatted with guests all evening long.
the first items most guests saw when they walked in were the new jicon porcelain pieces, as well as the new futagami brass pieces, which are real collector’s pieces.
we also had the futagami bestsellers out for guests to check out. it really does make such a difference when you can feel the weight and coolness of the metal.
there was lots more displayed, so please take a look at more photos (here). if you joined us that evening, you might even see yourself!
we love meeting customers in person and giving you the opportunity to see and touch everything, so stay tuned for upcoming events around the city!
// bottom three photos courtesy of IFJ
May 31st, 2012
And here’s the final installment of Tokyo shop visit pictures. I visited a wide range of shops: some large and very similar in format to the big box and department stores we have here, while others were more rustic and eclectic like antique shops (though not necessarily selling antiques). My favorite shops though, were the teeny tiny ones that probably have a maximum capacity of 3 customers for comfortable perusing.
A few examples of these tiny shops are seen here, each between 100SF and 300SF. Shelves were naturally utilized to maximize square footage. Many also used the area outside their front entrance for additional merchandise display space or for signage to bring attention to the shop.
It’s pretty amazing what some shop owners can do with such a small space. They definitely have to keep their product offerings well edited, while maintaining attractive and orderly displays.
I’m going to keep these shops in my inspiration file. For some day.
May 15th, 2012
I noticed many shops had nice big window fronts to let light in. The windows also give you a good peek inside before stepping in. Some shops softened the look of all the glass with natural elements, while others left them as-is and more industrial-looking.
nordic living: one of my favorite shop exteriors with its wall of climbing ivy. small and hidden, this shop carries everyday household goods from scandinavia and the nordic countries.
starnet (site has music): the rustic wood window frame and door with leather door handle were a nice contrast to its neighboring office buildings. a nicely edited shop of ceramics and their own packaged food items on the first floor, and their own line of minimal clothing upstairs.
outbound: the dark gray plastered walls give this shop a cool vibe. the shop felt more geared towards men, with a variety of goods including small housewares, clothing and accessories.
fog linen work: fog linen’s new (since a year ago) location. the shop on the main floor, an exhibition/meeting space upstairs, and offices above that.
designshop: located within a residential area, an office for a webshop with a small showroom area out front.
playmountain: considering how much i had heard about the shop previously, i was a little surprised by its size. nice variety of home goods to look at though.
May 14th, 2012
During the four and a half days I was in Tokyo, I visited many more shops than any one person should. My feet were aching at the end of each day, and everything started to blur together. Next time, I need to either choose fewer destinations or schedule more days. Lesson learned.
It was definitely fun seeing the wide range of shops though. Here are just a few storefronts I thought were neat.
covent garden bazaar: a pretty large french country shop where i almost forgot i was in tokyo
hara donuts cafe: i decided not to go inside since i had already picked up some donuts next door
check & stripe: super cute and bright fabric shop that carries many liberty prints, sewing project kits and has a sewing room for workshops
a-ne cafe: two-story bakery and cafe where i had breakfast upstairs which consisted of 6 different breads, strawberry jam, yogurt, corned beef salad and my drink of choice – milk tea
more shops tomorrow …
April 14th, 2012
The shop will be taking a break from Wednesday, April 18 through Tuesday, April 24.
Any orders placed now through April 17, 2:00PM PDT will be shipped before the break. Any orders placed during the break (yes, you can still place an order!) will begin shipping April 25.
We’ll be in Tokyo for the week, looking for more goodness to add to your home. We have a few categories on our wish list as we explore the city, but feel free to let us know what you’d like to see!
p.s. I hope I’m choosing the right walking shoes for the trip. I have ~50 shops on my list to visit over the course of 4.5 days. Follow us on our adventure on twitter and instagram.
April 12th, 2012
As I prepare to visit Japan next week, I’d like to take a look back at another workshop we visited during our latest trip (13 months ago!).
We dropped in on Isao Aoyanagi at his Asahikawa workshop, which was surprisingly clean and tidy. Apparently, he had been tipped off and decided to clean up for our visit.
He kindly took the time to show us around and explain his design and production process, all of which is done on a small scale since he personally works on each piece.
Mr. Aoyanagi loves to make clocks and we could easily see that.
He also showed us one of the Tricolor Wood Desktop Chests being made. Each piece is cut precisely so that they fit together tightly without the need for nails.
I love the light layer of sawdust everywhere, evidence of detailed woodwork.
March 16th, 2012
Have you seen …
I get excited with each new arrival, but these have me especially excited! I’ve been on the lookout for good durable kitchen containers, and I think these thick porcelain Hasami containers are just the answer.
I’ve also been a fan of using charcoal to naturally filter our drinking water. We used to use bamboo charcoal, but the pieces were too wide for the water container we preferred. The Kishu charcoal we have now is great, because they slip right in to small neck bottles. Plus, the water always has little bubbles in it, which I’m guessing is from being filtered through the microscopic cavities of the charcoal.
It took me a while to move away from those nylon mesh bath sponges, because they’re so scrubby and cute. But now I can’t imagine not using our woven bath towel. And this charcoal version ups the ante on the cleanliness factor.
And good news for fellow stationery geeks … the simple but clever triangle clips have the clipping power of traditional binder clips without the bulkiness. And don’t miss the brass paper weights. Not much to say other than, look how pretty they are!
OK … that’s it for now. Have a good Friday and weekend! (Friday always creeps up so quickly, because it’s actually our Wednesday. And when most other people are heading back to work on Monday, that’s the start of our weekend!)
March 7th, 2012
If you know me, or if you’ve seen some of my pins on Pinterest, you might know that I have a great love for Chanel. The fashion house, currently headed by Karl Lagerfeld, continuously creates elegant variations based on the simple classics established by Coco Chanel. It’s actually a wild wild dream of mine to be dressed by Karl himself, in one of his beautifully well made ensembles.
And look at that! I think I may be one step closer to that dream!!
Seriously though, it’s pretty exciting to see that Madewell handpicked some favorites from the shop to feature in their Hometown Heroes collection in the San Francisco shop. The tagline they wrote up on the shop says, “Driven by a love of minimalism, this beloved San Fran boutique scours the world for CHARMING OBJECTS AND RARE UTILITARIAN FINDS.” Thanks!
Here’s a quick snapshot from my visit yesterday.
Stop by the shop to see them (and other local favorites including UNIONMADE, Eden & Eden and Mollusk Surf Shop) in person, or click here to see what else they picked.
And Karl, let me know when I should swing by for my fitting!
March 5th, 2012
About a week ago, I decided we needed a new towel for the kitchen, so I asked my husband to pick one out. I laid them out so he could get a good look at all the patterns. A little overwhelmed by all the options, he asked for a few days to think about it.
I asked him which ones he was considering, and he picked out four top contenders but still needed more time.
He eventually chose … watch the video to see! (I had a lot of fun making the video, so feel free to tell me what you think!)
// music: consciousness by abscondo
I had no idea it was such a process to choose a towel, but it makes sense when each one is so fun. And now I appreciate it that much more each time a customer places an order!
featured kitchen towels: click here … happy choosing!