As owner of Fog Linen, Sekine designs textiles for clothing and housewares while managing the wholesale business and retail store.
Fog Linen Work has become a company that defines the natural lifestyle in Japan. When working on her fabrics, Sekine finds inspiration in the linens of her childhood as well as elements of everyday life. She integrates those inspirations into her beautiful, simple products fit for daily use.
Mood of Living: Before your current occupation, what were you doing?
Yumiko Sekine: Working at a furniture company.
MoL: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
YS: Maybe a housewife? I love doing housework: washing, cleaning, cooking. Since I started my business, it has been so busy and I never have enough time to do things for the house. Plus there are always so many things I would love to do at home, so I would like to take the chance if I can! I find it so fun to be at home and work from there.
MoL: Where did you learn your craft?
YS: I have liked sewing since I was in junior high school sewing a lot of smaller things.
MoL: Where do you look for inspiration?
YS: Everyday life, there is a lot to find in life.
MoL: Do you design the clothing and housewares along with the fabrics? What is the process of designing?
YS: Yes, I design them all. I like to do them on the computer, drawing images for new patterns, clothing and other products and giving them the measurements.
MoL: Are your textiles made from organic or natural materials? What is the difference between organic and natural?
YS: Not organic, but natural. With organic, there is no chemical finish. The linen is made of the fiber of flax and to grow flax and also to dye the fabric, we use some chemical finishes. The fiber itself is natural, though.
MoL: What is your favorite quote?
YS: “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
MoL: Who is an influential figure in your life?
YS: My mother.
MoL: Do you have any advice for anyone interested in starting his or her own business?
YS: Do what you like!
MoL: Do you have a hobby?
YS: I like the feeling of how books take me to a different world while I am reading. I usually like to read novels, but right now my boyfriend gave me a book about living in the country side, growing vegetables by ourselves, and thinking about the quality of life. He always has me reading good books!
MoL: Do you entertain friends and family?
YS: Yes, we usually have friends come and stay at our house. They’re mostly from outside the country, so they stay for a week or longer. We cook at home or often our guests cook and invite their friends. Sometimes it’s quite simple, sometimes it’s many friends! I like to meet friends and spend time with them.
MoL: Where do you go for peace of mind and spirit?
YS: Any place next to my cat! It is very peaceful, and I feel healed when I am next to her. She has been with me for a very long time and we understand each other like best friends!
Yumiko Sekine, Owner and Founder of Fog Linen Work