Today I'm so excited to share the first international studio visit - when I was in Japan I visited the very zen workspace and shop of Yumiko Sekine of Fog Linen Work. Unfortunately, Yumiko was overseas when I was in Tokyo but some of her trusty staff showed me around and made me feel welcome.
The four-level space was custom designed and built just for Fog Linen and the business seems to fill the space perfectly, with a retail space on the ground floor, event space on the second floor, office on the third floor and a meeting room and storage space on the fourth floor. Never before have I seen such neat filing & storage - I felt like I was in a Muji or IKEA showroom!
FOG LINEN WORK: HISTORY
Around 18 years ago Yumiko visited Lithuania, one of Europe's major growers of flax and producers of linen products. She was disappointed to discover that while being a major exporter of linen products, you could not buy everyday linen products in Lithuania. She contacted a number of linen manufacturers and soon began production of her own product designs in Lithuania.
Fog Linen Work now produces a large range of beautiful and functional everyday linen and household products including kitchen wares, clothing, trays and wire ware.
FOG LINEN WORK: Q&A
How long have you been in the space and where did you work from previously? 5 years. We were in another building in the same area before moving into current space. My boyfriend is the architect and he designed our current building.
How many people work in the space? I have 8 assistants, so 9 including me.
You designed and built your current four-level workspace in Tokyo. Can you talk a little about this - how did you decide how much space you needed, how many floors you needed? There was a height limit and it couldn’t be higher than now for this area and space. When we bought the space, we knew we can make a 4 storey building. So I planned 4 different things to do for each floor. 1st floor : store. 2nd floor : event space. 3rd floor : office. 4th floor: meeting, storage.
How many hours a week do you spend in your workspace? 60 hours ~ more?? Sometimes I work by myself during the weekend.
How, if at all, has the space influenced the way you? We have moved office 6 times since I started my own business. New spaces always brought something new. Before we rent the space, though this building is designed for us. It fits perfect for our store and made good balance and mood.
Which inspire you (personally or professionally)? Travelling.
FOG LINEN WORK: LINKS
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LEVEL 1: RETAIL SPACE
LEVEL 2: EVENT SPACE
There was a tea ceremony being held in the event space on the morning I visited. It was all set up when I had a look through and the class arrived just as I was leaving. What a great morning they would have had!
LEVEL 3: WORK SPACE
LEVEL 4: MEETING SPACE & STORAGE SPACE