We are starting a series highlighting some of the many wonderful retailers we work with through our wholesale program. Heartell Press would not exist without these incredibly resourceful, talented, creative, interesting, hard working people and the communities they’ve built around their shops. Let’s take a look inside!
Today we are starting with Omoi Zakka, a stationery and life-goods store whose Japanese name translates as “thoughtful daily use goods.” I love this name! You can find a more nuanced discussion of the translation on their About page.
I first met owner Liz Sieber at the National Stationery Show in 2017 and since then they have been through building out a second location in the Old City neighborhood of Philly which was then damaged by a massive fire, rebuilding, reopening, eventually closing their original Rittenhouse location and of course, a pandemic.
They have a beautiful website and there is a fascinating three-part blog post you can read detailing the 15 year history of the shop. Liz was first inspired by Japanese boutiques she saw when she was living in Kobe, Japan on a student exchange program in high school.
Reflecting on the buying decisions that helped them through the 2008 recession, Liz said, "I had a pretty deep think and realized...the happiest moments that I found with Omoi were when we were finding these small type items & stationery, and I realized that this correlated directly back to my obsession with the Konan high school store & all the care packages that I’d bring back for my friends..."
So much thought and care has gone into designing and stocking Omoi over the years, and they have built special relationships with vendors all over the world (especially in Japan of course). We feel so lucky to be one of them. I can't wait to visit in person someday!
Thanks for going visiting with me friends. Stay tuned for more virtual travels to Heartell stockists coming soon!