YOKO Sage Incense
I met Luis and Ashley from YOKO earlier this year. It was an instantaneous connection where conversations about sighthounds quickly led to design and the intricacies of craftsmanship; a link embedded into each of our businesses.
Since that point, we’ve enjoyed meeting up regularly for long walks around the city with Seymour and Yoko to discuss the progress of our businesses and to talk at length about a new kind of dog owner: driven by an appreciation of good design, craftsmanship and meaningful visual identity. It is this fresh view of identity that we wish to bring to the dog market, seeing a dog as an extension of the human.
YOKO is a lifestyle brand which supports a conscious way to live – providing basic fundamentals around eating well and being healthy – treating a dog with respect as an equal. Their product range and branding has developed over the past year thanks to having a permanent pitch at Broadway Market every Saturday.
“Fundamentally, we want to engage with our customers’ stories - we enjoy seeing the same faces every week. The ability to sell face to face at a market stall has allowed us to test our products and ethos on a wide range of clients from all over the world. We want to grow a business in a slow and considered way; a timeless approach that surpasses today's quick sell online or at a self-checkout machine.”
The YOKO product range includes dehydrated biscuits such as Salmon & Sweet Potato, or Dandelion Infused Liver, to a classic styled brass treat tin. All the ingredients are responsibly sourced and organic, containing no added sugar or additives. The presentation resembles an early 1940s style format, using simple everyday items such as brown paper bags or Japanese wax paper envelopes - rejecting superfluous packaging or design.
“The aim is for owners to be proud of using YOKO products and to welcome the opportunity to display them in a curated manner at home, or to anticipate the moment in the park where they can use the treat tin for example.”
I photographed Ashley, Luis and Yoko in their new home in South London. Their house is a newly converted Victorian property which emulates their attention to detail and classic, timeless style. The YOKO team have also recently moved the business out from their home and into a new studio, aptly located in an old biscuit factory in Bermondsey where they are having a custom built timber studio crafted by design studio Store & Archive. This will enable a singular place to make and package treats. It will be a simple tea house style unit crafted using Japanese joinery techniques; a structure that will glimpse at their continued love affair with Japanese craft and simplicity of design.
YOKO Sage Incense & Camomile Infused Fish Oil