There is a new love in my life. Meet Native & Co, an independent homeware store specialising in handcrafted products from Japan and Taiwan. Until now, I think that Japanese and Taiwanese homewares have been misrepresented here in the UK. Aside from Muji which to me conjures up stationery and perspex office storage, for the most part we are still stuck with the stereotype of painted fans and crockery with geisha motifs – it’s difficult to find those quality pieces without a struggle. At least, that’s what I thought before I spent a little time exploring this beautifully styled space.
Founded by product designers Chris Yoshiro Green and Sharon Jo-Yun Hung, Native & Co is bringing authentic Japanese and Taiwanese designs to the forefront from its quiet location just a stone’s throw from the bustling Notting Hill Gate and Portobello Road. You’ll see I’ve taken a lot of photos. That was deliberate – there was so much to take in and I couldn’t not share it all with you!
Each and every piece has found its way here through a real labour of love – trying to source handcrafted pieces like these is impossible to do from a laptop, their makers don’t have access to email. It’s a slow process and Chris and Sharon have worked hard to build relationships with craftsmen on site visits when they find time to fly out in person.
The day to day running of the shop includes amusing challenges in trying to get quick messages through to their craftsmen in Taiwan with no email or having to translate design drawings from one language to another and still end up with the same product. But these are the stories that make Native & Co so unique and endearing-they take the word traditional seriously and that comes across in the pride they take in all of their products.
Particular favourites of mine included the table and stools, designed by Chris and heading for production as a soon to be staple piece of the Native & Co collection. I really fell for the simplicity of the Japanese maple bowls and Magewappe bentwood cups, seeing them styled on an open shelf in my “one day” kitchen. In fact, it was nigh on impossible to find anything I didn’t love, a sign that these are pieces that will blend into any interior, regardless of the style or need to completely redesign your home to fit it.
So, have I opened your eyes to something new today? Hope that I’ve sparked your curiosity enough to visit them in person, or if they’re too far for you then spend a happy half hour swooning over their online shop – the tableware is out of this world.
Thank you for having me Sharon and Chris. See you soon…