Shozo Terauchi, Co-founder and artist, Shibui Homewares
I'm inspired by the Japanese saying 'Three years on a rock', which means to keep persevering and not give up ...
In an economy where businesses seem to sprout and wither overnight, and local stores are razed to make way for concrete complexes, it’s an admirable feat when one of the small fries can celebrate ten years of community service. Shibui Homewares is one of the champions of the West End retail scene, celebrating a decade of trading this month. When mechanical engineering graduate Shozo Terauchi met his future wife Justine Llewelyn in Japan 18 years ago, he couldn’t have imagined such an outcome. After changing life lanes to pursue a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Queensland College of Art, Shozo decided to pour all of his energy into his passion and open the Japanese homewares store on Vulture Street. These days the accomplished artisan spends his days pottering about in his workshop, handcrafting jewellery and restoring antique furniture, or roaming his homeland with his wife to source an eclectic collection of ceramics, furniture and silk for the store. Before Shibui Homewares celebrates its ten-year anniversary from 1:00–4:00 pm this Sunday October 13, The Weekend Edition caught up with Shozo to chat weekend essentials and Japanese wisdom.
Describe yourself in ten words …
Easygoing, adaptable, adventurous, dreamer, capable, relaxed, artistic, calm, trustworthy, loyal.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I open the shop with Justine in the morning, check our emails, drive back to my workshop and restore antiques and furniture for Shibui Homewares.
What five things complete your week?
A good week at the shop, productive time in my workshop, a few good coffees, some time at home to relax and a catch-up with friends.
The last time something took your breath away was …
When I looked out my window and saw the beautiful jacarandas in full bloom.
What is it about Japanese design that has kept you hooked for more than a decade?
I love the simplicity and complexity of Japanese design.
What inspired you to open the Shibui Homewares store?
My wife and I wanted to combine our interests and talents, and our love of Japan. We wanted to have a go!
What have been the most rewarding and most difficult parts of running your business over the past decade?
The best has been the opportunity to return to Japan to select our products twice a year. Also, it has been fantastic to meet our great customers – many have become good friends. The hardest part has been to try to take a holiday!
How will you celebrate Shibui’s ten-year anniversary?
We plan to celebrate this Sunday October 13 at our shop with our special customers. There will be champagne and a big sale!
Which other local artists have you got your eye on?
Our friend Kylie Johnson of paper boat press has a beautiful shop in Ashgrove.
What’s on your must-do list when you travel back to Kyoto?
Buying products for our store and seeing my family, as well as eating delicious Kyoto cuisine!
What’s next for Shibui Homewares?
Hopefully a very busy Christmas season and next year we have some great new products and exciting collaborations.
What is your most beloved Brisbane suburb, and why?
West End, because it has a great diversity of people and a relaxed atmosphere.
How do you like to start your weekend?
Waking up early and eating breakfast on the back verandah with Justine.
What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
On Saturdays we work at the shop, so Sunday is the start of our weekend. My favourite start to the weekend is eating fresh croissants.
How do you like to unwind?
By having a lovely meal with nice Australian wine or Japanese sake.
What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Visit the Sunshine Coast. We haven’t had a chance to go to the beach for a long time.
What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
We have a family dinner with my mother-in-law who is a great cook.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a great Japanese historical mystery novel, The Emperor Landed by Masakazu Kaji.
What inspires you?
Nature, Japanese design and Danish design.
What was your childhood dream?
To be an artist. Our business has allowed me to be creative and practical.
What is success to you?
Being able to derive satisfaction from our business and to make a living doing what I like.
What are your words of wisdom?
The Japanese saying ‘Three years on a rock’, which means to keep persevering and not give up.
Only a local would know … Brisbane is a city with beautiful greenery and lots of space and, for a relatively small city, it is very vibrant.
FAVOURITE WEEKEND SPOT TO:
Perk up … Dudley Street Espresso and Collectables at Annerley.
Relax … On our back verandah.
Dine … Sitar Indian Restaurant, West End.
Indulge … Gelateria Cremona, Rosalie.
Shop … Brisbane’s antique stores.
Catch up … Cafe Marinara, Paddington.
Be inspired … Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA, South Bank.