You know these Koinobori fish in my kitchen? When I first saw them on the internet I was really in love with the idea of having one in my new kitchen and finally - in winter 2018 it moved in. It was not only about these colorful fishes - Kois - which are made carefully and painted by hand in Japan it was also a very special story about meeting people and this week it ended up in a cool collaboration: I was allowed to create a very special selection of beautiful tableware from Japan for Ohayo in Copenhagen, that you find in their online-shop right now.
How did it come to this? Well after I have shown the Koinoboris on Instagram Ohayo was sold out and we got in contact, wrote some mails and one day we said we will meet in Copenhagen. When my husband and I travelled to Copenhagen in September 2019 we visited them and if was so nice to meet them. The team behind Ohayo are three friends: Benjamin, Mika and Niklas. We talked a lot that day and I came out of that shop in the city centre of Copenhagen with a shopping bag full of souvenirs and lots of ideas for the future. I was also very happy to find these inspiring people and something new and it was my pleasure to support them as it was a matter of sympathy and growing together.
When getting back to Copenhagen (Copenhagen is really one of the most inspiring places for me) last September we met again and had a nice Japanese evening with beer and sake and a new idea: we planned to join up and spread Ohayos idea. I was quite happy to be part of this idea because I like to tell you something very frankly and honestly: I already supported many smaller labels in recent times and I love to do that. But Lumikello itself is a small growing label too and every support I give costs me time that I cannot give to other projects. I am prepared to do that in some cases but I would be happy to participate if it works out for the label - also financially. So when Ohayo asked me to join this project it was not only about a cool collaboration it was also the first time that a smaller label created a win-win-situation for both. But this is only possible because we like each other and trust eachother and the product is outstandingly beautiful. I only support what I really love.
So long story short: here is my little interview with Benjamin, Mika and Niklas from Ohayo. The three friends from little Japan in Copenhagen and later on my photos I took for the beautiful tableware collection:
Who are you and how was Ohayo founded?
We are three friends who met in Osaka in 2012 where we studied design. Back then, we lived in buildings facing each other, and each morning Benjamin would lean out his window and scream “Mika! Ohayooo!!”. We had the idea for the store back then, but we did not open the store til 2017.
Whats your opinion? What makes Japanese art and design in Europe so special. Why did it become so trendy?
Danes have a very close connection to Japanese design – whether they realize it or not. So many of what we consider Danish furniture classics are highly inspired by Japanese design and the same goes for architecture, ceramics and art. Japan has a rich design tradition and offers so much more than minimalist design. Mika’s dad actually came to Denmark in the 70ties to work for Royal Copenhagen, he now has a studio in Tokyo where he combines Danish and Japanese traditions in his unique pieces.
You once told me that Producing and finding products in Japanese seems to be quite tricky. What makes it so special and how do you deal with that issue?
It is definitely easier to do business in Japan if you have close friends or family there to help you. The “codes of conduct” are very different from Denmark and it is easy to make a faux pas… the only problem is that the Japanese are too polite to correct you.
When coming to Copenhagen one day, what are your tipps for finding a little Japan in Denmark?
That is actually a very difficult question, restaurants and museums are still closed down – our store only recently opened up again after the lockdown. There are some good ramen places (ramen to biiru, Slurp), a Japanese tea parlor (Sings’ tea house) and a good place to get Japanese bar food (Jah Izakaya). You should definitely visit our store in central Copenhagen (Naboløs 3) and we will make sure to have more recommendations.
I am sure you will. Thank you so much for the interview and making Lumikello more colourful.
Here are some photos I took from the items of the Ohayo x Lumikello selection.
All glass items are one of a kind and ceramics are glazed by hand and differ a little from eachother.
Love to mingle and mangle the glassware and porcelain with my porcelain.
The red Bonboniere is one of my favorite pieces.
Beautifully glazed tiny bowls.