At the suggestion of the Lithuanian Embassy, our CEO Soji and I traveled into Tokyo for the Interior Lifestyle Tokyo conference last week. This yearly conference, held at Tokyo Big Site, features interior design product manufacturers from across Japan and the world. In many cases, small, unheard-of manufacturers are sponsored by their governments for a chance to go. Since we are already importing Lithuanian linen, we thought it would be great to see what other Lithuanian products were available.
The conference itself, with hundreds of vendors spread out over several floors and several halls, was much too big for Soji and I to take in during one afternoon. What we could do however, was focus on the products from Europe. Naturally, Nordic countries like Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, being design powerhouses, had a large presence. Unfortunately though, many of the booths representing those countries were run by Japan-based importers, and were targeting commercial retailers. Small importers like ourselves were already too late. Booths from smaller countries like Latvia and Lithuania however, were occupied by the kinds of small manufacturers we love.
Once finding the Lithuanian booth, we knew we were in the right place. Everyone was very fun to talk to, and they seemed genuinely please that Soji has been to Lithuania many times. In addition to several really cute linen brands, there were also great handicrafts, from ceramics to stationary. Some of them we will definitely be importing. We are now in email communication with several of the vendors, and hope to visit their studios and shops in Lithuania this summer.