Yumiko Sekine started her first business in 1993 importing used books and house ware from Europe and America to Japan. In her search for more products, she could not find affordable every day linens that she had used during her childhood. She visited Lithuania, a country that grows flax, whose fibers are spun into linen, and has been producing and exporting linen products to other European countries since the Middle Ages. She was disappointed to find that there were no linen products for daily use available in the stores there. This led her to contact several linen producers and started to have them produce her own product designs in Lithuania. Her first collection started with only seven items. Now after ten years, Fog Linen Work produces a large line of linen products for the home and linen clothing. Its products are leading and defining the natural life style trend in Japan today. Sekine continues to be inspired to create beautiful simple products for daily use.
Yumiko Sekine got her start importing antiques into Japan from Europe and the US, then gradually began making her own line of linens to sell. She's truly a global entreprenuer — she works with linen producers in Lithuania, has a store in Tokyo, and sells to retailers internationally.
Yumiko began making linens for the home after a visit to Lithuania, where she discovered flax producers who could work with her to create an affordable but high-quality collection. In 2001, she opened her own store.
The Tokyo store carries vintage and new furniture, and — of course — linen, from tablecloths to aprons to bedspreads. The style is simple and spare; you'll find lots of neutral colors, solids, and classic checked patterns in the shop. Wooden bowls, kitchen accessories, and housewares are also on view.
You can see a good overview of available products online. Currently the website can't process international orders, but Yumiko does accept fax or email orders from overseas (plus shipping costs).
In the US, Fog Linen products are available through several modern retailers, including Design Within Reach, The Gardener, Pod, Horne, and Brook Farm General Store. For the full list of retailers outside Japan, click here.
• Linen Table Cloth, ¥4830 (about $55)
• Mesh Pot, ¥504 (about $6)
• Vintage Table, ¥39,900 (about $452)
• Gauze Linen Kitchen Cloth, ¥998 (about $12)
• Red Chair, ¥18,900 (about $215)
• Linen Kitchen Cloth, ¥998 (about $12)
• Scarf, ¥5,040 (about $58)
• Linen Comforter Case, ¥29,190 (about $331)