An Honest Craft

Ahead of Supermama’s seventh anniversary, founder Edwin Low reflects on the business, its history and what it means to be creative.

Interview by Charlene Chan
Photography by Jovian Lim

It’s a few weeks after Supermama opens in Tokyo, and days before KOBO, Edwin’s contemporary crafts brand, is due to launch. When he arrives at our studio to chat, however, he seems unfazed and unhurried, obliging when we ask to take his photograph. He tells us about his idea for the Tokyo store: “The premise of the Japanese shop is interesting because we really want people to know Supermama and how it started. So we looked back on our history, how we started in Seah Street, and have that element in Japan,” he explains.

 

 

To Edwin, every shop is an extension of its owner and designer. “The designer is a person; not too polished. We have our casual times. Within a shop, there must be this casualness.” Perhaps this element of groundedness applies to the other aspects of the business as well. On the Supermama website, he maintains a blog with wife Mei Ling. It charts the emotions and experiences they’ve collected over the years: “There are struggles, we crave work, and sometimes because we cannot measure the value of creative work, there is a lot of tussle, a lot of struggle inside us…[It is] necessary to have a voice—that is what makes design so personal, so human, and so beautiful. ”

Read more in the Design Dialogue Document here