“We’re excited to restart our Yarn of the Month series by talking to our friend Yuri Kojima, who runs EYLUL in Osaka, Japan. We discussed how EYLUL began, the knitting and crochet scene currently in Japan, and what the future holds for the craft.
What was the inspiration to opening EYLUL?
I love making things by hand since I was a child. When my parents passed away, I realised how life finished suddenly. So I decided to change my life. I was working as a pharmacist at that time and decided to follow my passion and open a yarn shop.
How popular is knitting/crochet in Japan?
There are not so many knitters and crocheters now in Japan. When I was a child, every mother made knitted sweaters for her children and every handkerchief edge was crocheted.
Since opening, how far has the business developed?
At first, I started my business by selling Turkish handmade products online. I was shocked when I saw them for the first time, it was a beautiful, tiny lace on a scarf, called Oya. That is why my shop is named EYLUL which means September in Turkish.
About two years later, I decided open a shop to make my business bigger. But it was hard, I had nothing to do, everyday I just knitted in my shop. One day, a friend of mine who is a yarn shop owner said to me “why don’t you sell yarns?”
This is how I started a yarn shop. One of my shop’s popular yarns is Moeke yarns which is a Romanian yarn. It made my shop popular among Japanese knitters, as well as other yarn makers, indie dyers, and designers who fill my shop with love.
What is the secret to your success?
I can collaborate with talented designers and beautiful yarn makers. Some yarn brands are only sold in my shop in Japan. I try to be sincere and show love to my customers.
How has HiyaHiya helped your business to flourish?
HiyaHiya is one of the most popular brands in my shop. The Japanese are used to bamboo needles that are good quality. In addition, they’re also hooked on the HiyaHiya steel needles. We all love the cute pandas!
What do you love most about your line of work?
When I see the customers come into my shop, their faces shine with joy and they show me their beautiful garment knitted made with the yarn they bought in my store.
What trends do you see happening in the craft industry in the future?
Life in the city has developed to its full potential, and now people want to feel warm, heartfelt things. They come back to the hand knit world where we live.
What are your plans for EYLUL in the future?
I have been thinking of a yarn crawl in Osaka. There is one in Tokyo already but not in my city. Some day knitting and crochet will be popular again like in the 1960s.”