ABOUT THE BRAND
ORIKAMI is a concept store sourcing origami-inspired and unique products from around the world – offering a judiciously selected mix of specially made items from home decor, toys, gadgets, jewelry to nursery items. The brand’s name is rooted in Japanese language: “ORI” meaning FOLDING, and “KAMI” meaning PAPER.
The store’s signature is based upon the values of minimalism. Embracing the clean, sharp lines of traditional origami to bring that same form of simplicity into our lives. The Orikami picks bring art into your home or office space.
We at Orikami believe it’s important to provide customers with a memorable shopping experience while supporting the businesses behind the products. We make sure that we can both give back and provide beautifully crafted pieces with timeless designs. We value the companies that we work with just as highly as we regard our customers that buy them – it’s truly one big support system.
And because we know how important it is to be able to rely on each other, we do our part and strengthen our role as a brand. That’s why we also partner with the local community to bring you products that are made right here in New York City in addition to the design pieces we get from around the world. We also take a great interest in brands that focus on social responsibility, like Tegu, who uses their profits as a means for charity in underdeveloped portions of the world.
Finally, we aim to encourage creativity in growing designers by incorporating Kickstarter into our inventory, bringing you unique and original pieces that will always serve as a source of inspiration. Because, after all, that’s what we’re all about: inspiring others to foster their creativity into something greater than they could’ve ever imagined.
MEET THE FOUNDER
A French native, Valérie Kerbage has immersed herself in the arts since a very young age. She had studied fine arts and graphics before concentrating on digital design. Her career began as an art director, freelancing for top advertising companies in Paris. Upon moving to New York City years later, Valérie embarked on an entrepreneurial path to launch her own creative studio with a focus on the fashion industry. In 2014, upon the birth of her first child, Valérie created Orikami – an idea inspired by her childhood memories combined with her design aesthetic.
What inspired you to create your own brand?
I had thought of creating my own brand for years, and when I became a mother, I felt a rush to pursue this dream. It had clicked one day when I was shopping for my newborn at a trendy retail store. I envisioned that I could create a unique brand of my own by taking roots from my childhood memories of Asian arts and combine them with my design aesthetic. Origami came as the main theme to unify those influences, as well as my passion for all things art. The Japanese origami tradition is unique in and of itself. And like any creative process, it starts with a blank sheet of paper, allowing a never ending variety and complexity of art forms that makes beauty possible.
What is the aesthetic vision behind Orikami?
My aesthetic is the result of growing up at the intersection of the Western and Eastern cultures. In France, I had learned about both classic and modern art. At home, I was also exposed to Asian traditional art and culture through prints, toys and objects made from paper. Early on, I had developed a fascination for Japanese minimalism and was strongly influenced by Buddhism and the Zen doctrine. As a designer, it led me to become obsessed with details and the principle of “less is more.” With Orikami, I’ve created a brand that combines all of those influences into one.
How do you choose the products available at Orikami?
I look to emerging designers and also, more established brands from all over the world, exploring the theme of origami and exclusivity. Most of the brands featured on the website focus heavily on their design process. They have a limited production in order to maintain the finest level of craftsmanship for the product they create.
What makes Orikami unique compared to other brands?
Orikami is the first and only brand showcasing a variety of goods that are solely inspired by origami. The brand carries a melting pot of all things beautifully made: from wall decor and gadgets, to jewelry and nursery items. It’s an inspirational place, offering design lovers a unique experience and a sense of discovery.