Tess at Pop Up Portland
As we've recently returned from Pop Up Portland, a Portland-themed tradeshow in Tokyo, we thought it would be fun to do a blog post about our ongoing and evolving relationships in Japan...
Aaron preparing cards for the show.
The love between Japan and Pacific Northwest makers is a strong one. Personally, we've always been inspired by Japan and there's a shared interest in craft and attention to detail that goes both ways. Our first trip was endlessly inspiring and we spent our off time combing through books stores for Japanese lifestyle magazines and craft books, buying up gifts from the 100 yen store and marveling at the beauty and detail in everything. We visited every Muji store we could find and favored the Muji café for meals. Our biggest takeaway from this trip is that Porland is HUGE in Japan--it's like its own brand and some people came by JUST because they were curious about Portland.
The food is always a highlight for us. Look at that sashimi!
This recent trip was our 3rd trip in 3 years and with each visit there's a growing momentum and we feel a little more woven in there. We're grateful to the relationships and friendships we've made. Relationships are so important in Japan and every time we go we learn more and connect more deeply. The venue of Pop Up Portland (in a beautiful old train station!) was great because it was less formal than normal tradeshows and we were able to take more time with conversations and visit with people. Plus, the organizers worked hard to really target invitees and match them up with companies that would work well together.
Venu Maache Ecute--the 100 year old train station.
Our booth, featuring Social Preparedness Kit.
Dan from Portland Design Works and Kara. In matching sweaters!
Egg Press postcards we recently designed for the Loft stores.
A few highlights from our trip!
++We had an introduction to a VERY cool organization, Tegamisha, who are also letterpress printers, publish books, put on very cool curated craft fairs, and even have a series of shops and restaurants.
++We chatted with lifestyle chain Loft about new projects. They're currently selling 3 different sets of postcards that we designed for them--one of them features a series of hand drawn NY Landmarks.
++We got to meet our friends at Box and Needle again (they came to visit us in Portland last year) whose family has been in the box and paper making business for over 100 years. We're planning to make some Egg Press designs for them which we're really excited about. The tradtional Japanese papers they make mean a totally new look and texture with saturated colors.