Raised in Japan and the UK, Pu-la's founder has taken her background as a creative to bring an artistic and holistic approach to business. Her heritage and experience inspired her to build the premium pet brand Pu-la. She now creates innovative and indispensable everyday pet essentials for owners who want to add a touch of luxury, grace and beauty into their daily routine. As featured in British Vogue.
Tell us a bit about your career arc and how you got to where you are today.
My background is in art and design and I was very fortunate to have studied at Central Saint Martins, followed by the Royal College of Art in London, an education I dreamt of pursuing from a young age. During that period, and after completing my studies, I worked as a creative freelancer on a variety of projects that ranged from graphic design and photography to video production and art direction - I realised early on how much I enjoyed having the freedom to work on different creative projects.
After years of working as a freelancer in London and Tokyo, I took some time to rediscover my own passions rather than my clients’ and I spent a few months working on smaller, personal projects. Pu-la came about very naturally; I loved the idea of starting my own brand and imagined it as one big art piece that involved lots of smaller creative projects. It felt like an intuitive progression from the work I had been doing and it was exciting to step into a completely new role where I can express myself and my work in a whole new way.
How have your experiences influenced your approach to creating products?
The most significant influence would be my Japanese-British heritage. A lot of my outlook and mindset comes from my multicultural upbringing; the cleanliness, tidiness and rituals from Japanese culture are intertwined with very British traditions like long weekend walks, non-negotiable Sunday lunches and a real love of nature. Both cultures are passionate about creativity and artistic expression whilst also having a remarkable gratitude and devotion to animals.
Growing up, I spent time in both countries equally, and was always very aware of and intrigued by the differences and similarities of the two cultures. I was constantly taking photos, drawing and carting things back and forth between the two countries, keen to show my friends and family the cool and unusual things that I discovered during my time away. Now, I’m creating products inspired by and made in Japan, reimagined for a British audience. So in a sense, nothing has changed! I am always thinking of new ideas and new products, especially when I travel between homes… It is truly the foundation of my creative process.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Finding beautiful solutions to mundane, everyday problems is a huge source of inspiration! I am always trying to find ways of making my life and my home easier and cleaner. This is especially important when you have restricted space, living in the city, with pets. I’m also a very visual person, so aesthetics matter a lot to me… I really believe that beauty is in the details, and that everything can have meaning, purpose and grace.
What does the future hold for Pu-la?
It is so important to us to create products that our customers need and want, whilst sticking to our fundamental belief that essentials can still be beautiful.
We have some really exciting products in the works but I don’t want to spoil the surprise! What I can say is that we will be starting our Ambassador Program in the near future and continue to build our lovely community on social media.