This past weekend we held a three-day exhibition entitled Kumu at Nalata Nalata. Oji Masanori and Daisuke Tsumanuma and Kenichi Yamada of 10¹² Terra flew in from Japan for the international debut of their new works at our store. It was an honour to have them in town for a week and we had a blast giving them a tour of New York as they have so graciously done for us during our visits to Japan.
We held the opening reception for the event on Friday and thus the exhibition set-up commenced the day before. Here are some photos of the products post set-up the morning of the opening along with some photos of the shop as guests began to arrive near the evening and into the night!
Although Oji Masanori and his friends, Taku and Noriko (owner and curator of the soon to open Kumu in Tokyo) were incredibly jet-lagged, they fought through it like champs to greet guests and introduce the new Jicon vessels and diamond sake decanter designed by Oji himself.
Attendees even had a chance to test the Jicon vessels for themselves as Natalie, Sujin and Aimee served sake throughout the night with the diamond shaped decanters. The three different stemmed vessels provide a unique sake experience as the shape can influence its perception, aroma and taste. Sakaya in East Village provided the premium sake served and each bottle matched a different region of Japan where the products showcased were manufactured. The crowd favourite was the lucid blue Taisetsu Junmai Ginjo from Hokkaido.
Kenichi and Daisuke (pictured above) had a stunning display of 10¹² Terra showcase boxes, terrariums and vases. Their latest series, the “Showcase Long” was unveiled for the first time with an incredibly positive response! The concept of this series aligns closely with their other works that highlight the evolution of plant life. The idea is to first place a single fresh flower stem on a pin that protrudes from the oak base, and then flip it upside down to observe the flower dry while enjoying the progress. When it is fully dry, flip the case again and the flower will naturally stand upright! These will be available in both copper and black online soon!
Thank you so much to everyone who was a part of this exhibition and especially to the following makers for their generous support: Jicon, Futagami, Takahashi Kougei, Hayashi Kougei, 10¹² Terra, Mother Tool, MokuNeji, RetRe, Daiyo, Onami, Ibazen, Akarino-Tane, To-Mo-Ni. The products featured at the exhibition and within these photos will be available online soon.
Special thanks to Armando Rafael Moutela for capturing photos of this special event for us!
場所と場所が組む - “Connect
Announcing an upcoming event we’re very excited to be hosting in collaboration with Oji and Design.
This special exhibition entitled, KUMU, is about connecting one place with another while embracing each other’s culture and community. We’re thrilled to be welcoming Oji Masonori and friends to NYC for the second time now and can’t wait to showcase their beautiful designs at Nalata Nalata! Everyone is welcome!
The three-day exhibition will kick-off with an opening reception and sake tasting event on January 23rd. Meet the designers behind some of our favorite products while trying a selection of sake from regions of the designs being exhibited.
Details are as follows:
Poster designed in collaboration with Megan Hall of Basislager Atelier.
We’ve had many milestone events last year and can’t wait for what’s ahead… Happy 2nd Birthday Nalata Nalata!
So we opened up our first storefront on 2 Extra Place recently! As many of our closest family and friends know, Stevenson and I are pretty superstitious and hold a few spiritual customs to heart. One such ritual is to have our new projects and endeavors “blessed” by holding a small ceremony. With the opening of the shop, we were lucky enough to have Steve’s Dad, Dr. Aung, available to perform the ceremony. Steve’s parents flew in the morning of our opening day and pulled up in a cab just as we were ripping off the paper that boarded the windows during construction. Pretty symbolic for two incredibly superstitious individuals! Dr.Aung walked around the space while bestowing good energy and good wishes to every corner of the shop… It was a casual event but a meaningful one nonetheless. Just wanted to share some photos from that morning!
With a sense of overwhelming triumph, we finally find ourselves with the very first Nalata Nalata storefront up and running in Manhattan. It has been a long journey to this point, and one we couldn’t have done without the ongoing support of our loyal online customers. Meeting our clients in person has been one of the greatest joys of having a physical store thus far. We put a lot of heart and soul into every detail of the buildout and are excited to unveil the final product with these photos taken just before opening our doors for the first time.
Visit our new storefront at 2 Extra Place, on 1st street between 2nd avenue and the Bowery. We’re excited to show you around!
Meet Jacob and Ari, the talented couple building our custom made cabinets and shelves for our new Manhattan storefront! We’ve briefly mentioned them in our Journal recently but wanted to show everyone a sneak peek of all the incredible work they have been doing for the buildout.
I first met Jacob at the wood-shop when I was completing my masters at Pratt. He is a magician with wood and one of the few woodworkers I trust implicitly. In the past Jacob had helped me construct a few glass and wood side tables I designed and a few years down the road, we’re working together again, although the scope of this project is much larger. To help with it all is his girlfriend Ari, also a maker at heart, an industrial designer and a superb wood finisher!
Angy and I took a drive to Staten Island a couple weekends ago to visit their wood-shop, which was converted from a cool building erected in 1911. When the garage door lifts to reveal a glimpse of our display tables, we are completely elated! The details are just as we imagined and the two different finishes of white oak looked even better in person than in our sketches. We can’t wait to reveal the final products. The cabinets will be transported and installed at 2 Extra Place this week, a few finishing touches will be added and we’ll be open soon after!
Thank you again to Jacob and Ari for being such a huge part of our first storefront!
We’re well on our way to completing our new Nalata Nalata storefront on 2 Extra Place and wanted to share some progress photos we took to document the buildout. Here is our photo diary from the past month or so, highlights of which include the installation of our wood floor, the construction of our shop walls, and many, many trips to the hardware store.
In no way could we be doing this just the two of us. We’ve had many helping hands including my Dad’s, who has come all the way from Edmonton to direct the build out. He is well experienced in all kinds of construction, particularly retail spaces as this will be the 5th store he’s helped build for his children. Needless to say, we’re incredibly grateful for the help. When this baby finally gets up and running, we will celebrate long and hard! Knowing that a great deal of effort was put into the space from a lot of friends and family, the opening will feel that much more rewarding for us.
Can’t wait to set the first product on our custom made shelves! More about the amazing people behind our cabinets and displays next, plus an announcement about our opening date. Stay tuned! Nalata Nalata, 2 Extra Place, New York, NY, 10003… Coming soon.
When we began Nalata Nalata, we launched online but there was always hope that one day we would open a brick and mortar location. Steve and I had always dreamt of owning a shop together. The two of us would talk for hours about a place we could build together and fill with our favourite things.
This was years ago when everything indeed felt like a distant dream but as the years went by, we actually found ourselves coming closer and closer to having a shop of our own. We evolved our tastes and interests. We plunged into the online shop. The gears started shifting and a lot of questions became answered… All but one! WHERE would we place the physical store?? Back in Canada? Somewhere in our hometown of Edmonton? Close to family in Vancouver? Brooklyn? Manhattan? We hunted long and hard, narrowed down our options and when we found a little retail space on the corner of Extra Place last year, we decided to try a little test run of sorts. We opened up a temporary pop up shop on November 15th, 2013 just off the Bowery and were overwhelmed by the response! Everything about it felt right and the second we closed the pop up, we knew we had to make steps towards opening it up again, only this time permanently.
After a lot of deliberating, we feel like now more than ever, our little nook in East Village feels like home. We’re thrilled to announce that 2 Extra Place will officially be Nalata Nalata’s first physical location! We’ve already begun building out but there’s still a lot more to go! We hope you follow us on our journey to the finish line during the upcoming weeks before the opening and if all goes as planned, we’ll be up and running just in time for the holidays.
As fall approaches, and the leaves begin to hit the ground, I’m suddenly more aware of all the surfaces I walk upon on a day-to-day basis. In such a pedestrian friendly city like NYC, you can’t help but notice the changing landscape as you crisscross different paths. Surfaces can look vastly different from one setting to the next and this has always been fascinating to me. Here are some photos I’ve taken over the years during walks around town – everything from parks, pavement, crosswalks, coffee shops, our home, our studio, grocery markets and cobble stone streets. My favourite of them all being the glass blocks on the sidewalks in Soho. When coal was the predominant energy resource, many buildings built underground vaults to store stacks of coal and often these rooms were very dark. The solution to the darkness was to create the ceilings out of glass blocks to let in light, which is now what you see on many of the sidewalks on Broadway. Despite all the pedestrian traffic in the area, these are the little things about New York that make it so special. Hey New York, it’s ok to look down every once in awhile!
A quick word on a small thing that makes a big difference…
Steve and I are HUGE packaging nerds. Well designed boxes and bags gives a product an added special something and is also a sign that what it holds must’ve been created with just as much consideration as it’s encasing. In Japan, packaging is so important that artwork is in part evaluated based on the box that it is delivered in. Most of the time, these boxes are made from kiri wood and the nicer the box, the more valuable the artwork.
Some of our favorite packaging comes from brands like Futagami, Kaico, Jicon and Tamanohada. During an interview, Oji Masanori reaffirmed our love of Futagami packaging when he had brought up the fact that he himself had designed it. Little details like perfect-fit boxes, embossed logos, copper staples, waxed wrapping, washi leaflets and beds of shredded paper makes a world of difference!