HOW AND WHEN DID YOU MEET AND HOW AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO DEVELOP KOBO CANDLES? WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
We first met at a party in southern Japan in 1986. For one of us it was classic love at first sight. The other needed a little more time for it to settle in. It is great to have someone totally trusted with the same goals in mind. Junko has a wonderful eye for detail and Louis constantly keeps things rolling toward the big picture. We are constantly bouncing ideas back and forth off of each other. It can be a double edged blade however. Working together has a series of benefits as well as challenges that take time to occur and resolve. How to keep the office out of the home especially when our lifestyle provides most of the inspiration for our product developments, is a long standing challenge. It can be simultaneously inspiring and overwhelming.
ARE YOU BOTH INVOLVED WITH ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR BUSINESS — CREATIVE AND OTHERWISE — OR DO YOU DIVIDE AND CONQUER?
Our work life looks like a Venn diagram. We each have our own areas in the running of the business that are uniquely our own yet are supported by the other. The overlap occurs in the management and most importantly the development and creative processes and areas.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL SCENTS SEEMS PART SCIENCE AND PART GREAT TASTE AND STYLE. WOULD YOU AGREE AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
No doubt creating the scents and graphic themes is super fun and challenging. We use everything we do to inform our aesthetic both in the visual and olfactory areas. There is a lot of science and technology used in creating the KOBO products. After 10 years of manufacturing we can see that so many companies come and go. It is quite easy to make a so-so candle but very difficult to create an excellent candle. We feel remarkably fortunate to have such a loyal following in such a crowded market.
WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY?
Surely family first our two sons……most of the time. We are avid travelers and love to go to new places around the world. We have spent quite a bit of our time together living or traveling in different areas around the world. We love to head off to unknown places spontaneously. For example last summer we were at a tennis match in NYC. An Argentinian player was involved in a grueling 5 hour match. As the match progressed more and more Argentinian fans filled the stadium. They became lively and in between each point were chanting and cheering wildly for their player. We became filled with their passion and exhilaration for their player. After the match we sat down to have a drink. Still full with the feeling of the crowd we looked at each other and knew we had the same idea. Let’s go to Argentina. Soon after we had booked our tickets to Buenos Aires and an apartment ready for our arrival. We will eagerly depart soon.
COMB OR BRUSH?
Wide toothed brush for Junko. Louis just uses his fingers after towel drying (and it looks like it too).
DO YOU LIKE YOUR NAME?
Junko- yes I do. It means innocent or pure child. Louis- not so much.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: MY AGE IS……………
Louis…..how mature I should really be. Junko……changing from day to day.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER TONIGHT?
Lobster ravioli with creamy tomato sauce. Burrata drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and garlic olive oil served with sliced black tomatoes. Micro greens and Mesclun salad with Lemon vinaigrette. Washed down with a nice light Italian red wine. OK- You caught us on a good night for home cooking.