I grew up in New Jersey, outside of NYC, and ventured west to California to study Anthropology in college. I was lucky to travel when I was young and eventually found myself in Asia. For the past 15 years I have been living in northern Japan with my husband and our 4 children.
Raising children in a different culture has been both challenging and illuminating. I particularly appreciate the food culture of Japan and the attitude towards providing healthy food for children, both at home and in the schools. I am always amazed at the colorful and well balanced bentos (packed lunches) that people make and slowly learned how to pack them myself. I wanted to share this part of the Japanese culture that has had such a positive influence in my life. I also love to sew which is why I created my company SORAbento.
SORAbento offers handmade bento bags, insulated lunch totes and other eco-friendly bags that are based on traditional Japanese designs. These styles cover a variety of shapes and sizes so you can carry a small packed lunch, a larger picnic spread or your latest haul form the farmer`s market. Quite frankly they are suitable for a multitude of uses and you can carry anything you like!
I feel like I offer something unique in the sense that I live in Japan and have infused the style of my bags with a subtle Japanese aesthetic. Wabi-sabi is a word that describes a transient and simple beauty found in nature and its organic imperfections. I strive to create a balance between utility and beauty and hope that the customers find the bags useful in daily life as well as a tiny bit inspiring!
The amount of energy in the current `makers movement` is really encouraging to me. Jess Brown`s rag dolls have been a constant source of inspiration for me. With their unique heirloom look they have a special handmade quality that appeals to me. Another favorite is Sara at Shisodelicious on Instagram. She shares her beautiful bentos that integrate whole foods from Japanese and Western cuisines in a truly enlightened way! I am grateful that there is a sustained interest in buying handmade items and healthy, locally produced food, which lies at the heart of SORAbento.
Despite all of this talk about healthy eating I must admit that I have a huge sweet tooth. I love to bake sweets and share them with friends over a cup of coffee and a good chat!
Connect with SORABento
You can learn more about SORAbento, life in rural Japan or tips on preparing bentos at my website www.sorabento.com
You can check out all the bags available for sale at www.etsy.com/shop/SORAbento
Facebook at www.facebook.com/SoraJapan4
Victoria Close from Bikudesigns talks kimono, business, Japanese design, life in Tokyo and all the things she loves.