Product Design Award - Red Dot

bobber team: travel talk Japan

After participating in the Tokyo International Gift Show, the bobber team is back from Japan full of impressions and new experiences. Our journey was not only about presenting our product, but also about exploring and immersing ourselves in Japanese culture.

Fedor Zakharov (CEO bobber) and Yaroslav Rassadin (Head of Design bobber) in the new issue of travel talk shared their impressions about the first experience of participation in the international exhibition, local brands of Japan and plans for the future.

Hi! Tell us, how was your trip?

YR: It went at a pretty fast pace, but with a lot of impressions.

FZ: It was an interesting and productive trip. First of all, because we were not tourists, but came for work purposes. My general impression of Japan is that it is a rather put together, wholesome country in which any area of life can provide a lot of new experience and knowledge.

Share your goals for traveling to Japan?

YR: I have this every time desire to understand a culture and a mindset that is then deposited somewhere inside.

FZ: The goal was the same - to understand how representatives of Japanese customers and audiences would perceive our brand, design and products. Will they accept.

Is this the first experience for bobber to participate in an international exhibition?

FZ: Yes. The start of bobber sales in US began at the end of November 2019, and already a few months later the world faced covid restrictions. The exhibitions we had planned for 2020 were postponed several times. Therefore, this exhibition is more than welcome for us.

How long did it take to prepare for the exhibition?

FZ: The preparations were rapid. In April, we decided that we wanted to participate in the Tokyo International Gift Show. We got the remaining space at the back of the exhibition hall. It took a couple of months to prepare the stand, samples and technical details. And in early September we were in Tokyo.

What were some of the difficulties encountered?

YR: I would like to say: "Lost in Translation", like the famous movie. But in fact all the difficulties somehow faded into the background, because there was a lot of interesting stuff going on.

FZ: The whole journey was assembled from all sorts of difficulties. That's how the hardships got to the goal.

What features of Japanese culture have you discovered?

YR: Respect, silence, attention to the little things that make up the daily quality of life.

FZ: Modesty, restraint, respect for other people's space. Distinctive approach in service and maintenance, which is not arrogantly cold, but participative, but also unobtrusive.

What do you find particularly valuable about Japanese culture?

YR: I value honesty in what you do, and honesty is even written into our brand philosophy. In Japan, it is taken to an absolute level.

FZ: Modesty and restraint is something always worth improving on.

What results were achieved during your participation in the exhibition?

YR: It was extremely interesting to see and talk to people from top Tokyo stores at the booth. And it was gratifying to see their appreciation of the style of the product.

FZ: We gained confidence that we were speaking the same language as the representatives of modern designer goods stores. And we got an understanding of what we need to do more to be noticed by representatives of traditional society as well.

What are your impressions of local cuisine? What do you recommend to try?

YR: Ramen is my thing. This time it turned out to be sushi, too.

FZ: You have to try everything. Walk down the street and try everything. Oddly enough, without risking your life, the recommendation is to find some mid-range Japanese inexpensive restaurant on the 8th floor of a narrow street building. Usually places like this have gastronomic establishments and bars on all floors. Do not be frightened that in this restaurant the size, noise and lighting resemble a parlor car of the train Moscow - Beijing, it is heavily smoked and waiters run past the "fueled" noisy public, not paying attention to you. Impressions will remain for a long time.

What sights in Tokyo are worth visiting?

YR: I have it Tsutaya bookstore, Omotesando Street and the neighborhood, and some kind of museum. They're great there.

FZ: Tokyo is one big attraction. Just step outside and dive into a sea of smells, characters and details.

Which local designers or brands have impressed you the most?

YR: Found MUJI. A special division of MUJI, dedicated to researching various historical and localized object techniques. They have a separate store where you can purchase items for the home with a unique craftsmanship feel.

FZ: CIBONE - Shop iconic designer home items from around the world.

How does traveling affect your personal and professional life?

YR: Only positively, even if it's two days of jetlag afterward.

FZ: They are vital for professional development.

What new ideas did you come up with as a result of your trip to Tokyo?

YR: There are a lot of ideas, but the main thing, I would like to point out, is the aesthetic feeling that you develop. Such trips give you an internal compass to better distinguish between what is subtle or crude, what is cheap and what is expensive, and so on.

bobber x ? Which brand would be interesting to cooperate with?

YR: With something that's not obvious. Yamaha, for example.

Share some insights on the new products that were introduced at the show.

YR: There will be a very light and vivid product for city walks and one small but very unusual.

How comfortable do you feel in tandem?

YR: Just like any other long friendship, I guess, where you go through many stages where you discover through arguments and different situations that there is something in each that is not in the other, and it all complements each other in some way. I appreciate that more and more every day.

FZ: Yaroslav is a man of many talents, with burning eyes and a desire to create beautiful products. And when goals coincide and you understand each other half-heartedly, this is something that doesn't happen very often in life, and such creative relationships are priceless.