Over the holiday, I visited Bert Youn, Mimi Kim, and Aya Yamasaki at The Good Liver. This is my favorite store in the neighborhood.
The Good Liver is a small shop with tons of beautiful and interesting home goods from around the world. It’s carries things such as French stationery pads, delicate Japanese glass tableware, towels, brushes. Sort of like upgraded versions of things you don’t really think about. Everything in the shop is made and presented in this beautiful way – there’s a story behind each item, as well as a tradition of craft. When I walked in that day, I asked myself, “do I want a nail brush from Walgreens or this one handmade by visually impaired craftspeople in Sweden?” (The answer is: I still don’t own a nail brush. Maybe my wife does).
I like this store because they make value propositions based on beauty, function, and craftsmanship. The prices aren’t cheap, but the items are rare and interesting. I hope you’re on the same page as me with this: we like nice clothes because they’re beautiful and well-made and have a tradition, and they make us feel good. I try not to have too many “things,” but I like to love what I have. The Good Liver’s tight curation and simple presentation make a strong statement. I am compelled!
It’s easy for us to buy cheap things and not care about them, or care about how they were made. I mean, that’s how our lives work in 2017. When I chatted with Bert about this, he said: “That’s fine! Everyone has their own style of living.”
“What we want to do with the store is suggest a certain type of lifestyle to people who are open to trying something more. And it’s great when someone comes in, who’s obviously not into this sort of stuff, but they can still be surprised by our selection. Finding that everyone can enjoy a piece of good design in their lives. I think the shop is a good way to slowly open up to that sort of a lifestyle, and we just wanna put that out there. So IF someone’s interested, we are too.”