Family Entrepreneurs: Balancing Business With Art from Blue Chalk on Vimeo.
Design comes first for the Hanafusa family. For over 50 years, the Miya Shoji studio has crafted exquisite, high-end furniture, prioritizing beauty every step of the way.
“With nature, it’s easy,” owner Hisao Hanafusa explains. “We don’t have to design anything. Just find a nice, old wood. Slice it. Beautiful? You use it.” But don’t let Hisao’s modesty fool you. His keen eye for natural beauty is a major factor in the success of this family business.
“It’s more of an artist’s way of thinking through business,” Zui Hanafusa says of his father’s approach to running the studio. Zui understands a thing or two about business, as well—before working alongside his father at Miya Shoji, Zui worked in the corporate sector. He saw an opportunity to learn a new trade and uncover some family history in the process. So he applied—with a formal résumé!
What’s it like to work at Miya Shoji? When asked about his business and design philosophy, Hisao’s answer is shockingly simple: “Fun! It should be fun. Not serious.”
Watch the video for a closer look at this family’s incredible designs.