“"Tell me what you collect, tell me how you collect and I will tell you who you are." - Jean Willy Mestach”

By Sue

The Act of Collecting, whether it is solely for personal enjoyment or to preserve something in order to give to generations to come, is an innate part of the human psyche. From baseball cards to stamps, to clothes, the idea of instilling and preserving memories into mementos is an emotional journey represented by objects grouped together.

Shelly Hayashi, the owner of General Store (a Hong Kong based, design shop dedicated to American and Japanese vintage furniture and antiques) shares with us the special stories behind her favourite finds. We pair them with our collection of carry-all bags by Fleabags, handmade in Brooklyn.

  1. Bowling Pins 
    "Fooled you – they are not bowling pins, but Juggling pins!  They are from early 1900's and we have various sizes and weights.  They are very collectable and with a good reason. It is hard to imagine throwing them in the air, but I love to think about who has used them over the many years of their existence."
  2. New York Subway Signs
    "These signs are originals taken from the New York City subways or over-ground, from the early 1900's.  On the trains, these would be used on rolls to indicate which stop was next or to show the final destination. Un-rolled and mounted they add a fantastic graphic punch to any home decor.  There are so many replications out there, but these have the dirt, imperfections and wear to prove they are real.  They are so great and nostalgic and remind us all of one of the worlds' greatest cities."
  3. Marble Run
    "LOVE this item. I have two kids who could play on the Ipad for hours, but when the come into the shop, nothing holds their attention more than this classic toy.  The simplicity of design, the natural wear and patina adds to it's charm.  The real joy is that there is rarely a customer who can resist running a marble and watching it land with a gentle "clack" on the spring.  It always brings a smile to them and to me.  I will be truly sad when this item sells."
  4. Japanese Boro Blankets
    "These vintage Japanese Indigo blankets were used as utilitarian objects made from multiple layers of extensively repaired and patched fabrics over time. There is discoloration, rips, and signs of age and time that should be considered marks of the garment's history and authenticity. The fragments of fabric may have been a kimono or another item of clothing that was pieced into this blanket.  The stitching is clear and has been added to each blanket over the years.  The blankets are up to 100 years old, but the fabrics in them may be much older."
  5. Le Sauvage
    "This is the name of the motorcycle we have in front of the shop.  It is certainly French, but we bought it in London when we were living there.  It spent a few years in my bedroom, until we decided that it's proper place was in front of General Store.  It definitely sticks out in Hong Kong and I love rolling it out onto the street every morning."