1. Can you describe abokika in 5 words?
Simple yet Unique, Craftsmanship, Contemporary, Organic
2. How did you get the idea for abokika?
I was a handbag designer back in Japan and I also worked as a leather craftsman to expand my knowledge in leather crafting. In 2012 I decided to move to the UK and was fortunate to continue my passion in a studio in London. After a while I felt I needed to do more and produce something I could 'my own'.
3. What are your favourite parts of running abokika?
The most exciting part is when I first see a completed design after countless iterations, prototypes and samples. An idea in my head is now a product!
Making repeat products is another part I love, I find it relaxes me.
4. What does a typical day look like for you?
In addition to running abokika, I’m freelance leather craftsman so my day can be somewhat random. Some days I will have to go to my place of work others I work on my business. My day always starts with a cup of coffee and something sweet, then either working on a prototype or products to fulfill a order.
5. What's been your biggest challenge with abokika?
My biggest challenge is learning to manage my business in London!
Every single day I’m learning new things and boosting my confidence with abokika.
I think I still have a long way to go but I love this journey.
6. Do you champion responsible business in any way?
I believe if you make quality products that last, people will have less reason to engage in the current throwaway culture. I take pride and care in my craftsmanship in order to deliver hand made products that could be passed down for generations.
7. Why did The London Smiths appeal to you?
When I received first contact from The London Smith, I felt good vibes and strong energy which made me excited to work with them. I was drawn to London Smiths ethos and wanted to be part of the emerging community.
8. Do you have any top tips for other budding makers?
Believe in yourself and to be honest with what that you make.
9. What are your dreams for abokika?
I'd like to abokika to be a way to bring people together, to meet, share and explore though abokika. Oh, and I’d love to have own studio someday!
10. Is there anything else The London Smiths customers should know about you?!
Fun fact, abokika is actually my name spelt backwards.