HOW's Founder Nicole McCarthy

I developed a passion for the crafting movement after making the decision to leave my career in the corporate world in 2006. I started by teaching myself how to make lampshades, which lead me to running workshops from home. It was around this time that I was travelling to Japan with my husband and I was introduced to the Japanese craft and artisan culture. I would pore over Japanese design magazines and bring back tools and fabrics from our trips.

I started using Japanese Tenugui fabric for lampshade making because it was a novel way to work with beautiful patterns and designs without having any sewing skills! The rectangular cottons that come in a mesmerising array of designs are the perfects weight, texture and size to make small lampshades.

Whilst in Japan, I became obsessed with shops like Tokyu Hands in Tokyo and Kamawanu. Visiting these shops introduced me to the wide range of quality Japanese kits, tools and fabrics for the novice crafter. The only problem being, the instructions were in Japanese, and not widely available elsewhere.

That’s where HOW was born.

My husband had been living and working in Japan for many years and used his language skills to help me connect with manufacturers who would be willing to sell outside Japan. This was not as easy as it sounds!

HOW is my curated collection of quality craft kits, tools and accessories from these Japanese manufacturers, with translated instructions in English, of course!

I hope you enjoy working with these exquisite Japanese craft items as much as I do.

Nicole