If you know me, you are certainly aware of my love for brushes and for craftsmanship, today I wanted to share a little bit more about the other projects that I have been working on, that aren’t brushes.
Today is part I, which groups the Walnut Brush Holder and the new little towel “To the Moon and Back”. It may answer some of your questions regarding the reasons why I did them and about the people behind the projects.
My motivation is always to do my best in order to create something that feels special, that resonates with you. I am not driven by the business side of this journey, what drives me is the story, the relationships and you all.
The Walnut Brush Holder
Let’s start with the Walnut Brush Holder as this was the first item that was not a brush in the product line.
We all need a little place to store our brushes, a cup, or an acrylic container, or a wooden recipient, etc, it certainly doesn’t need to be an expensive Walnut Brush Holder and we all understand that.
My main objective wasn’t to create just a storage solution for the brushes, it was to work with this very particular artisan, make use of his talent and his wood works aesthetics in order to create an art piece that we would use with our brushes.
Working with him surpasses my wildest creative dreams! These are moments that I wish I could share with you.
I am forever grateful to Mr Iwata for his determination to make this brush holder an extraordinary piece and to all of you, because without your understanding and appreciation this wouldn’t have happened.
It was challenging, it’s an item with many pieces and many steps, handmade, it required a long production time and since it’s made by someone truly special and renown, the production cost is obviously very high. I seriously hesitated to pursue with this project due to the cost and effort, but our connection was truly one of a kind so we had to try!!! We were fueled by our passion and we were hoping that someone would appreciate it.
I was so stressed when the Walnut Brush Holder launched that I was sick, I sincerely thought it was the end of me. Some comments said that I had lost it, and I believed that I did, but working with such a master artisan was so worth it.
It was an amazing project, we are both so grateful to you all for your encouraging feedback!!
I shared another one of my designs with Mr Iwata, he thought this new design would be so fun to work on and we were very excited. However, as we made progress, we realized we could only envision this new piece for a Limited Edition release. I will share the reason in the near future as it should be launched next week. I sincerely hope that this new design will be something that you’ll love, I am praying for that!
The Microfiber towel “To the Moon and Back”
First of all, a microfiber cloth is an essential accessory for the brushes, there are so many of them and you don’t need to buy an expensive one to get the job done, that’s for sure. I also could have released a much more affordable microfiber cloth, it would have done the job the same way, but there is a reason why I wanted this cloth to be dual sided and another reason why I wanted to work with this Company.
I actually really love handkerchiefs and little towels, it was important that the microfiber towel had also this “handkerchief” side in cotton. Handkerchiefs take me many many years back and it has nothing to do with the brushes, they remind me of my grandfather. He raised me, he would wipe my face or nose with his handkerchief every day, it was a routine and he would always joke about it.
I had the most amazing childhood, my memories are so fresh that it’s difficult to believe he is gone. I have kept his handkerchiefs preciously, they remind me of our happy moments, not that I wouldn’t remember him without them, I cannot picture him without his handkerchief in his pocket.
Combining a cotton side with a microfiber side was important to me as I have a sentimental connection to handkerchiefs but as it happens, they are also quite useful!
I was looking for a company who could help me do this. I found a fantastic Company leader in this field in Japan, I had to convince them to work with me. That ended up being quite a surprising and unforgettable process.
For my first meeting with this Company in Tokyo I was sitting in front of 3 people, it was a very Japanese style meeting and very formal. I had the feeling they weren’t interested, or maybe they just didn’t understand me… Towards the end they asked me why I wanted to do this project and I told them I had a huge collection of their products, showed pictures, and I also mentioned my story about my grand father, how much he meant to me. As I was remembering all those memories my eyes were tearing up, I felt very embarrassed, I was extremely tired and that mixed up with emotions, it made a mess. We finished our meeting and I left very confused, thinking that it went very very bad. Surprisingly, later that day I received a message from them, telling me that they loved me and that they would be honored to work with me. And here we are today.
I met them several times, learned about their processes and I wanted to make sure I could trust them, they were very transparent and we built a very special relationship.
When I told my mum about my first meeting with them, how it went, she sent me biscuits from Spain so that I could take them with me to Japan and give them to my contacts as a thank you present 🙂 We took a pic for my mum of course…
Working with amazing people means everything to me. I want to meet the people I work with, I want to get to know them, be able to ask any question and feel comfortable with them.
A project like this sounds like something that should be cheaper, but it depends who you work with and who you are. When you are a small OEM company you’ll have more costs associated with the project. If you go to larger companies, the ratio “cost per item” can be much reduced. I agree it’s definitely not cheap for a little towel, but it reflects the actual costs and not some kind of greediness.
The illustration on the handkerchief side (the cotton side), represents little rabbits hopping towards the moon and back, with the moon, clouds, sakura flowers, traditional Japanese elements that I adore. It took time to get to that design, but it had to trigger a strong emotional response and I did not stop until it did.
It really is about the story, about the connection with the people that I work with and all of this is only possible if I have a sincere connection with you in the first place. I always said I could never thank you enough and that is a fact.
If you have any questions about the usage or the process, or anything else, please do not hesitate to ask! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your trust, also for your precious support and for your patience!
THANK YOU !!!