News

a little more patience…

Update a bout the indiegogo campaign: I am brushing up the details and plan to open the doors between 18:00 and 20:00 Japan time.
Keep an eye on this post if you do not want to miss the early bird special package!

UPDATE OF 19:55: Well, we are almost there but still need few minutes.
I will send the link to the Indiegogo campaign to our mailing list @ 20:30 and will post it to this blog @ 21:00 JST.

See you in one hour!

UPDATE OF 21:00:
Sorry for the wait, our indiegogo campaign just started!
http://www.igg.me/at/pocket-onsen

Please follow the link above to know more about our new 250 years old “special reserve hinoki aroma oil” and the “pocket onsen” kit to enjoy the japanese bath experience from your home.

As usual, I am eager to hear your feedback, so please let me know your opinion by email or thru the comments section of Indiegogo.

I appreciate all your effort to spread the word about the campaign!
All the Best//

iacopo


Watch the video:

This explains how the oil is made:

see you in Paris!

It is official: our indiegogo campaign will kick off on 9/3 and will close on 9/26 (lasting 24 days.)
The product is still mysterious (a part for the 1200 of you in the mailing list)

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The additional news is that I will go to Paris on 9/10 and participate to the commercial fair “spa meeting”.
I hope I will have the opportunity to promote the campaign.

Anybody in Paris on sep 10? I`d love to meet you: free to send me an email at japan@bartokdesign.com
I think I will wear a yukata, so you can`t miss me.

Please stay tuned!

results of survey on new (mysterious) product

on 8/28, I lauched a survey among all of you who purchased hinoki products or got in contact with me in the past 10 years.

I was frantic and wary about how to start and target the Indiegogo campaign starting on 9/3(and the product is still a secret for many…!)

The results of the survey were mind-blowing.Many of you kindly answered, shared your common-sense, wisdom, insight.I received so much encouragement and many gold nuggets which no doubt will decide the destiny of the campaign.

The main doubts on the packaging, number of items and price target produced split results, but it really gave me the guidelines to define the details of the campaign.

anket-results

But the real mine of gold is in the free comments that you generously and passionately shared with me. The results database will be shared by email to all participants.

For the curious (who did not participate in the survey), here are some comments:

1) Difficult to answer the last question since I haven’t had the chance to try the instant onsen experience!

2) I think it’s great idea. Also beautiful colorful pouches! T.

3) It’s a lovely idea, your problem may be how to differentiate from competitors (it’s an easy concept to copy). As a name, instant Ofuro is obviously more correct but instant Onsen is more appealing. Pricing is difficult and depends on the market. I live in Singapore and mix with other expats. I used to live in Tokyo as an expat and we were always looking for gifts to give people back home, this would have been a nice souvenir too. As a gift especially for someone special, if the fabrics of the bags and workmanship are of high quality I would probably pay more. Also where the bags are made could have an influence on the price. E.g. If they were made by a community that is trying to recover from the tsunami then I would find that ‘added value’ and again pay more. I presume the hinoki balls will be made by yourselves? For me it is important that the workmanship is ‘Made in Japan’ not China etc! Good luck!

4) “I enjoy using our hinoki bucket and ladle set.
Perhaps with the hinoki balls you would need to offer another product, that being a small bottle of hinoki oil to reinfuse balls after a period of use…
This is a novel and pretty gift idea. I could imagine using them in a Japanese theme Pot Pouri (I am from Victoria, Australia)”
See more comments here below:

5) great idea :)

6) “I think the pricing and naming depends on your target market.
If it is for people outside Japan, then with postage, they are going to be expensive.
Good luck!”

7) It seems to be done with good quality products. I don’t know anything about costs of the item, but looks like a nice Christmas japanese flavoured present. Price? 50 – 60 €?

8) “I’m not sure I understand what the kit will be but here are a few thoughts:
If you want people to put 3 balls into a tub, it is too few. 8 is a lucky number in China (and perhaps other cultures). That to me would seem like a minimum.
The only pouch with a contrasting string is the 2nd. I think it makes it stand out from the other 3. Perhaps you should use a contrasting string for all the pouches.
The word “”instant”” is not very elegant or “”luxury””. My impression of instant is “”instant coffee”” which is tastes terrible. I never drink instant coffee.
You need a more luxurious term or one that simply makes people feel good about having the “”onsen”” or “”ofuro”” experience at home. For non-japanese customers you may need to use “”hot spring”” instead because they won’t understand onsen or ofuro.
Finally, you could suggest the balls as a “”massage”” item. That you can roll the base of your feet on the balls while you are in the tub.”

9) Depends on what is included. It is hard to say without seeing the product. Also it is difficult to tell the scale of the balls. I think you should focus on keeping the style as Japanese as possible. Particularly as these would make great gifts in the west. I think you’re pattern is a great traditional pattern that would appeal to a lot of people including both sexes. I’m not crazy about the word “instant” as it feels a little cheap to an experience that is so luxurious. But that is just my opinion. I don’t like 4 balls either (I would call the actual balls Ofuro Orbs) I would try for 5 but depending on their size, 3 may be fine. Maybe different names for different audiences? For Americans maybe “ZEN BATH.. the Ofuro experience”. It’s clearer to a westerner and the word zen conjures up thoughts of tranquility and exotic locales. Also as you grow could develop new experiences “ZEN BATH…. the _______ experience. Your work is beautiful, concentrate on this product living up to that style and quality… Just some quick thoughts…best of luck! T. P.

10) I love hinoki and I look forward to the day when I can afford ofuro in my house. I like this idea of yours. Number of balls is dependant on aroma. If they are strong then three will suffice.

11) It’s not entirely clear what the product is, so it’s not so easy to provide good feedback, and is there one product or several?

12) Great idea!

13) Three is a nice number if that’s enough to create the smell of hinoki in a tub. I’m not sure about the name. It would depend on whether people know what the words mean. Is onsen more commonly known or is ofuro. I would guess onsen, but I don’t really know.

14) Very interesting idea. Good luck with your project.

15) Fun gift idea.

16) “If you’re marketing to american market, most are not familliar with the japanese terms ofuro or onsen. -at least not readily. It’s different if they’re allready searching for it, but it seems you want to attract people who aren’t aware of hinoki and its aroma.
3 balls for pouches, but small hinoki box may be a nice option- I would expect to pay more for that, and I would expect to see 4 balls if its in a box.”

17) “I love this idea & would definitely give these as gifts, as well as get a set for myself.
Bag material idea- I recall seeing textures linen (& maybe silk, too?) face cloths when I was in Japan & then again at the Muji stores in NYC. Maybe something like this, related to bathing, would be appropriate?
Other materials – there are so many Japanese textile traditions. Maybeshibori”

18) “Dear Iacopo Torrini, You produce amazing bathtubs and utensils for bathing relaxation, we’ve been admiring your work. This idea of the Ofuro wood balls is good to promote the ofuro tradition, in a way similar to Proust’s madeleines which evoked the qualities of an intense and beautiful experience. I wish you all the best for this endeavor, Sandra
How big are the spheres? They should have a perfect size like the hikaru dorodango”

19) What is the “special product” in the kit?
20) “もし、檜の形が何種類かあって好きなように選べるともっといいと思います。(数も形も組み合わせ自由なのが理想)
例えば、ハートとか星とか動物の形とか数も好きなように選べるといいな、と思いました。
 あと、袋はかわいいけど実際使うとなると檜ボールをお風呂に使った後この袋には入れないと思います。濡れているし乾かすために箱とか台とかなにか置いて乾かせるものの中に入れるかしたほうが、個人的には実用的だと思いました。例えば、箱も檜で石鹸ケースのように水が切れるようになっているようなものとか。”

and many more!

Survey for Indiegogo campaign

Dear friends, dear deep-Japan lovers.

As it leaked from some previous posts, I am going to start a crowd-funding campaign to develop a new product. One aim is to bring the ofuro culture to a broader public.
Another aim is to bring to the world a mind sizzling new sensation.

flakes-beek.JPG

Is it too obscure? You will have to wait until next week, september 3rd when we will launch the campaign.

There are still some details I am working on and I really would appreciate to hear your opinion.
I sent a mail to all our previous customers with a link to the survey page.
If you are willing to contribute, just subscribe to our mailing list in the box to the right –>

Thank you, I really appreciate your help!

iacopo torrini ~

instant ofuro on Indiegogo

140815-ofuro-futatabi-naked

Well, this is a preview, but it is official:
I will launch a new product on indiegogo.com at the end of the august.
This is one of the reason I am naked (from the waist up) in the middle of a forest.

hinoki-balls

The product will be a special …….. and it will come together with these cute hinoki aroma balls and kimono fabric pouch.
If you want to know the details, please subscribe to our news letter, on the right side of this very post.
I`ll be in touch!
iacopo

hinoki walk in closet

Here are two pictures of the walk in closet that a client made with hinoki lumber.
The style of the house is stunning modern with a special sensibility for the texture and feel of the materials. The soft touch and warmth of wood complements perfectly the “beton brut” poetry of the exposed concrete walls.

closet1.JPG

Of course, the use of hinoki wood is also functional to preserving the clothes from insects and the insurgence of mold / smell.

closet2.JPG

glass coating

We completed the experimental phase of hinoki wood treated with a new glass based product.

glass-coating.JPG

The sample in the picture above has been coated with 2 layers and let dry for 12 hours.This product is isopropyl alcohol based and its effect is semi-permanent.

Generally, any type of full penetration product silicon based or fluoride based deteriorates overtime and it becomes more permeable to water (and dirt).This product creates a matte glass coating thus it is virtually permanent and does not allow dirt or mold particles to stick to the wood.
If used outside, it can be labeled as self cleaning as when it rains also the dirt particles are swept away.

One downside is that it closes the pores of wood hence the aroma of hinoki is almost completely eliminated (unlike other silicon based products like Kihada ichiban).

We are going to use this glass based product on the bottom plank (top and bottom side) because it is the most vulnerable as it collects all the tensions coming from the sides.It is also the last surface to dry while the side planks are already contracting.The aroma releasing surface may be reduced by 1/9 but the tub becomes sturdier and more stable.

Please contact us for any question.
japan@bartokdesign.com

free oil samples for monitor program

As you may know, bartok design developed a line of hinoki aroma oils.
They are enhanced with hinokitiol active principle to boost the oil bactericidal and skin repair efficacy.We need your opinion.

HOW?
For this purpose we are now shipping 100 free samples (30 for end users and 70 for spa professionals and aromatherapists).
If you are interested, please contact us by email specifying your address.
Please return us your comments. We will not contact you for any other purpose nor disclose any personal information or redistribute it to third parties.

WHY?
The hinokitiol is quite expensive as it takes about 25Kg. of hiba wood to produce 1g of pure hinokitiol powder.
We are recommending 3 formulations. (5%,10%,15%).
For this concentration, hinokitiol is soluble in the oil without need of a solution medium like alcohol, so the hinoki oil is pure and without chemical additives..

WHAT?
We are in doubt if it is better to market the oil already mixed (oil + hinokitiol powder),
or provide them separately so the user can verify the amount of hinokitiol and mix them before use.
Mixing is achieved by simply shaking the bottle. For the 10% and 15% solutions we recommend to place the oil bottle in hot water for 30 seconds.

DSCF6144.JPG

few seconds after adding the hinokitiol
(you can see the powder particles in suspension)
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This is in case we were to ship the pure oil + the small tube with the pure hinokitiol powder (1.25g – 2.5g – 3.75g)

(NOTE: Until ond of may 2014 we will ask all clients which option they prefer.)

SUMMARIZING:
We need your opinion about the marketing format of our enhanced hinoki oil.
(ready-mixed or bi-component).

We will ship a free sample (value 6$) to the first 100 people who contact us.
Of course shipping is prepaid so you will only have to test it and let us know.
This is also a chance for you to try our hinoki oil for free!
Please contact us by email to japan@bartokdesign.com

UPDATE: The program is completed. Thank you for your interest and precious feed back. This gave us the leads to develop a “legendary hinoki oil”. Please find more on our indiegogo page: http://www.igg.me/at/pocket-onsen

hinoki oil sample.JPG

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