Last month, the Paper House team traveled all the way to Japan to see the sights, hear the sounds, and learn more about the country’s ancient culture.
Why did we travel halfway across the world to look at paper?
We believe it’s important to always be discovering – to understand what’s useful and trending, not just from our computers and in our own space, but globally. To be inspired, as artists, by new cultures & their lifestyles; by materials, makers and processes that were developed literally hundreds of years before us. And, to bring that knowledge and creativity back with us to develop a new product line that will totally blow you away! This product line will be a perfect fusion between old and new, between us back home and our experiences here.
Nowhere in the world have we seen such a love for all things paper than in Japan. From sublime elegance to whimsical kawaii, the culture celebrates stationery, crafting, origami and writing like no other country.
Perhaps it’s because of the intimacy that comes from living together so closely that so many Japanese choose to communicate through physical means, like stationery. As a hard-working society, paper, stickers, diaries, and planners allow them to show a playful side of their disciplined lives. The adorable characters they love are like avatars, allowing them to have fun and laugh together.
There were so many types of crafts here that we don’t often see in the US. We saw many aisles devoted to resin crafting, epoxy jewelry and decor, miniatures and even leather-crafting. We were surprised to see the difference in space devoted to paper crafting versus other types of crafts. In the states, we’re much more heavily focused on scrapbooking and paper crafts. We’re excited to see what opportunities there are for us in new and different product categories!
In one store called Loft, we even saw two customers actively shopping for Paper House stickers while we were standing right there! Seeing products we’ve designed in such a major retail space, halfway across the world from us, was incredible. It was amazingly inspiring and humbling at the same time.
Unlike Hijemi Castle, it’s certainly difficult for paper goods to last for half a millennium (even with acid & lignin free materials!). But we hope and know that our products—especially scrapbooks—give people the tools to pass down their memories and share their legacies with their children, grandchildren and beyond. We’re not building a castle per se, but we’re so thankful to be a part of helping people build their stories.
Having shipped about fifteen pounds of assorted products back to the states from the trip, we’re definitely bringing a considerable piece of our experience and those new ideas home with us, and we can’t wait to share with all of you what we’re planning. Stay tuned!
-Shaena, Sean, Roni, and Don
Paper House Productions