Boost your style with…concrete (our interview with Yomo Studio)
Not too long ago, Brett crossed paths with Mojo of Boulder-based Yomo Studio. Yomo is a small design house creating some very interesting wearable pieces made, in part, out of concrete. Brett knew that I would like this style and so he sent me a link to Mojo’s store.
After doing some research, I knew that I had to interview the brain trust behind Yomo and learn the story behind the brand. And I must admit, I was curious as to whether the company had considered designing cuff links…
[Ryan] So, it’s you and your brother that are the minds behind Yomo Studio, correct? How is it that the two of you found yourselves designing jewelry with nontraditional materials?
[Mojo] Yes, that’s correct. Yot is the designer, the artist, the creator, and me, Mojo is the business mind behind the brand. We come from a creative home, and we specifically use the word “home” and not house, because words matter. A house is the structure, but a home is where you form your relationships and memories.
Our journey is to create feeling and connection between our pieces and our customers. Our dad is an architect and our mom is an interior designer, so we grew up breathing design. We complement one another well while having the ability to be very open when we discuss new ideas. We’re very close to one another and when Yot graduated with a degree in graphic and industrial design, it was very clear for both of us that we were going to create something together. Yomo Studio gave us the opportunity not only to create new shapes and products, but also to write another chapter in our amazing journey as brothers.
As a former engineer, I was quite surprised to see concrete in your designs, isn’t concrete brittle? How have you adapted your materials for use in your creations?
The beautiful thing about concrete is that it can be shaped in any way you want it to be. We grew up in an architectural environment, so there is an obvious connection to the material and structure. The process of understanding concrete was fascinating, because it can be brittle and heavy, but through experimentation we were able to stretch its boundaries and create our own version of concrete, which is more durable, yet very light.
In our designs we want to present the concrete in an elegant way and combine it with other raw materials that will complement its coldness and bring balance to each piece.
Any plans to design cufflinks or tie bars in the future?!
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that “Yomo”, aside being our names combined, also is Japanese for “every direction” or “all directions”, which really fits our vision for the studio. We want to touch every aspect of design in our customers’ lives using many different raw materials. We started with concrete jewelry, but we already have sketches for fashion accessories and housewares. One of Yot’s biggest dreams is to design lighting fixtures, so stay tuned.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
We brainstorm a lot with each other. We’ll wake up early in the morning, make a big pot of coffee and talk about ideas and subjects that excite us.
We try to start with a bigger picture and move from there, rather than immediately dive into the design elements. The conversation moves very quickly. We just fire sentences to one another until Yot feels like he has a general direction. Then he’s off to the studio to experiment with shapes, forms, mixtures, and patterns. There’s a lot of testing, checking, and even more coffee as we go back and forward till we reach the final product.
Our parents also play a key role in our creative process. We look to their work to find the small nuances in life that we bring into our jewelry. With our current collection we tried to tell a story of minimalism and unisex as much as we could. There’s no “right way” for us to reach a finished product; it’s more about the journey and the story we want to tell.
How can people keep in touch with your brand?
First, check out our website to see our current collection and join our mailing list. You should also follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@yomostudio) for new products, updates, events, and seasonal promotions. We’re currently running a summer giveaway through the end of August: check us out on social media for the chance to win a Yomo Studio piece of your choice!
Photos by Justin Henderson, all rights reserved to Yomo Studio LLC
If you enjoyed this article, check out our post on Sword & Plough, a company up-cycling military surplus hardware.