a day at kapok | a chat with co-founder wilson cho

wilson cho, with willy of our sun street store. their roles are reserved, as wilson is a hong konger living in taipei, while willy is from taiwan and lives in hong kong.

wilson cho, with willy of our sun street store. their roles are reversed, as wilson is a hong konger living in taipei, while willy is from taiwan and lives in hong kong.

wilson cho, co-founder of 日常生活 a day, first approached us last year to discuss a pop-up project for future classics at his select shop and cafe gallery in the trendy neighbourhood of xinyi, taipei. it was during that discussion with our founder, arnault, who is also his long-time friend, that the idea of doing a “store exchange” project came up.

“when we were talking, arnault suddenly suggested swapping our products instead of the typical pop-up store format. we will have each other’s items selling in our stores simultaneously, and we would run each others’ shops for a couple of days,” says wilson, who moved to taiwan 3 years ago to focus full-time on his business.

wolf tea

日常生活 a day was founded in 2012 by wilson and 2 other partners, ovan and jimmy. it was their dream since childhood to have a space of their own, to serve cuisine, coffee and retail products that they personally love. ovan, a graphic designer by training, decided 5 years ago that it was the right time for making their dream a reality, and quit his day job to apprentice and pick up the art of coffee making from a famous barista.

日常生活 a day created this tea after a visit to a tea master in taichung, he huan shan area. they were amazed that the tea had a sweet taste to it, but no sugar was added. instead, the honey flavour is naturally fermented from the tea leaves. they decided to introduce this as a limited edition product for their 5th anniversary.

日常生活 a day created this tea after a visit to a tea master in taichung, he huan shan area. they were amazed that the tea had a sweet taste to it, but no sugar was added. instead, the honey flavour is naturally fermented from the tea leaves. they decided to introduce this as a limited edition product for their 5th anniversary.

“we found a lovely spot in taipei and thought, this is it! we could never realise our dream in hong kong due to rent and space constraints, and we loved taipei’s culture and lifestyle. it was perfect for what we wanted to do,” when they first opened, they never expected the area to develop into a major hipster hangout. “it was really unexpected that we ended up in the middle of taipei’s 文青 (slang for hipster) neighbourhood, but it is a good fit for us.”

using only fully organic produce from the best farms in taiwan, keya jams are handmade in taichung. some of them are seasonal according to their fruity ingredients, and this  pineapple with osmanthus and lemon was created exclusively for kapok's store swap.

while ovan focuses more on the cafe side of the project, and jimmy handles the operations management (“he helps to pay the bills,” laughs wilson), the selection of the products is mainly in wilson’s charge.

“we want to find things that has a design aesthetic, is functional and environmentally-friendly. before we actually retail anything in the store, we always try the product ourselves to make sure it is truly good.” wilson also brought up the accessibility in pricing as a key factor, as taiwan’s spending power is not as strong as hong kong, “we really believe in finding beautiful products at a price point where more people can afford, because everyone should be able to own something well-made.”

nak nak was created by a designer whose father owns a metalworks factory in taichung. he realised that after 30 years of just producing normal metal goods, the company cannot grow in this modern environment. he then decided to reach out to different designers from around the world, inviting them to collaborate and having their designs produced by his father's factory. these numbers are all handmade by artisans with over 30 years of experience.

nak nak was created by a designer whose father owns a metalworks factory in taichung. he realised that after 30 years of just producing normal metal goods, the company cannot grow in this modern environment. he then decided to reach out to different designers from around the world, inviting them to collaborate and having their designs produced by his father’s factory. these numbers are all handmade by artisans with over 30 years of experience.

very much like kapok, many of 日常生活 a day’s selections are discovered on travels. the trio would find interesting brands from their vacations, and would try to bring them back to the taiwanese market. they also have a different theme for each year, and this june they celebrate their 5th anniversary with food and furniture.

another holiday find, chateau de versailles candles are made with natural essential oils, with handblown glass jars.

another holiday find, chateau de versailles candles are made with natural essential oils, with handblown glass jars.

picking up this brand in france after a holiday, my happy soaps is a personal favourite of wilson's. the brand's designer found soaps so boring, and decided to dye them with natural vegetable extracts according to pantone chips.

picking up this brand in france after a holiday, my happy soaps is a personal favourite of wilson’s. the brand’s designer found soaps so boring, and decided to dye them with natural vegetable extracts according to pantone chips.

“the brands we brought to kapok are some of our most beloved, a good mix of heritage taiwanese, personal favourites from france and japan, as well as something created just for our 5th birthday!” wilson tells us as we go through the products set out on a large table in our sun street store.

wilson contacted this brand after a holiday to tokyo, where he spotted their products in shibuya. they did not reply for a long time, until one day one of their lookbook models reached out saying their designer could not speak english and he offered to translate. tonbow's key products include their cap with a smaller bill, and their shorts and tshirts. fully made in japan, their items constantly sell out.

wilson contacted this brand after a holiday to tokyo, where he spotted their products in shibuya. they did not reply for a long time, until one day one of their lookbook models reached out saying their designer could not speak english and he offered to translate. tonbow’s key products include their cap with a smaller bill, and their shorts and tshirts. fully made in japan, their items constantly sell out.

a selection of homemade jams, teas, candles and soaps inspire a lifestyle that appreciates handmade, ethically-produced daily goods, while japanese brands tonbow and wansie give a preview of what’s coming up in casual streetwear.

tonbow, is starting to offer tailored street wear

tonbow, is starting to offer tailored street wear

discover the selection from 日常生活 a day in kapok sun street, available only until june 17th!

discover the selection of lifestyle and apparel from 日常生活 a day in sun street til june 17th

discover the selection of lifestyle and apparel from 日常生活 a day in sun street til june 17th

 

 

 

 

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