Sourcing goods in Japan? Movin’ from block to block lookin’ like a bag lady hoarding her goods with the energy of a cracked-out, sugar-induced kid on Halloween. I walked up and down the streets of Tokyo stopping in every corner convenience shop, purchasing their entire inventory of pencils, sketchbooks, and notebooks. Every block seemed like a test - can I do it, can I walk one more block, find more goods, AND carry everything back to the hotel? Or do I turn back now?
Never would of imagined that so much magic was waiting for us at every convenience shop in Tokyo. Our first stop after checking into the hotel was to buy some bottled water. The shop looked and felt very much like a 7-11 or a gas station shop, but it wasn’t just a pit-stop shop. In the small space, they managed to carry all the essentials and more. Inventory was low in quantity but extensive in what they stocked.
I walked up and down the aisles amazed at their selection. A fresh cooked meal? BOOM! Fancy shampoo? BOOM! Boxers or briefs? BOTH! DOUBLE BOOM! Started to think I could spend my entire trip in this very store. Then I stopped, my mouth dropped, and I freaked - Muij supplies in a convenience store? WHAT? I wanted to buy their entire inventory of Muji for our Japan Kit. But after the initial rush, I opted not to buy all things Muji. I love my stash of Muji goods but Muji seems very familiar and too easy.
Instead I chose woodcase pencils, gold-foil stamped with ‘Matured’. A matured pencil meaning that it’s lo-fi? I can handle that. I grabbed their entire inventory of pencils off the shelves and asked the clerk if they had more in back. He found a few more packs. Score!
Movin’ on to another chain of convenience shops, I freaked again when I found the sketchbooks – so elementary in design and perfectly lo-fi. I also fell in love with a notebook with ruled sheets – the perfect balance of delicate design and functionality. The front cover has a built-in pocket, an example of how space is defined to create something practical and functional. Wasn’t gonna stand another 20 minutes staring at the two options, wondering which version to go with. I bought both.
And then it happened again. Could I freak out any more? Yes. Pencils stamped with ‘GOLDEN SWORD’?! Oh, hell yeah – how many people can claim that they be packin’ a golden sword? Gangsta.
Spotted packs of label tabs - the elementary colors, the weight of the tabs so perfect for both the sketchbook and notebooks. Love all the labels in various colors next to the sketchbook and love that they create another area of space for the notebook that previously didn’t exist.
Rush after rush. Hi-fivin’ nonstop. People confused about me freakin’ out over lo-fi office supplies in their local corner spot. Total randomness to them but complete victory to me.