Fill your home with nice things. Like plants and puppies. Dance about. Smoke on the sofa. Stare at some art. Switch off the telly. Put your feet up. Support your local businesses. Flip off Amazon. Never mind Jeff-sodding-Bezos. Buy from Monika Mogi. She’s the real deal. She makes ashtrays. And prints!
While the initial months of lockdown had us become lifeless alcoholics dipping in and out of manic states and online dates, Mogi began making her very own off-beat trinkets from the comfort of her New York City home, with the intention to create an online souvenir shop of sorts.
She looks to her Tokyo hometown for all-things-inspirational. Specifically, from her obsession with Japanese snacks, small retro bars and love hotel signs, shown through the lime green glow-in-the-dark detailing, shop front-style symbols and square ashtrays that could house stale Marlboro butts as naturally as they could a handful of wasabi nuts.
“Being homesick, I wanted to create my own version of a snack ashtray – one that exists in my dreamworld,” 28-year-old Mogi says of the fantasy venture she’s aptly titled Snack Monika. “I used to collect signs that I found visually striking, some from real places that hold a special memory for me.”
Other times, she’d draw original signs that didn’t exist in her life anymore: half-memories of ones that would line the Tokyo nightlife hotspots she would visit before setting up shop in the Big Juicy Apple.
Homesickness can be a funny old thing, can’t it? Some buy PG Tips tea bags to remind them of Blighty. Others make ashtrays to remind them of Tokyo. We’re into it.
Now armed with a website stocked full of cutesy one-off bits made from non-toxic resins (sustainable!), Mogi is ready to carry on releasing her products that, she hopes, people can enjoy, and pimp out their homes one fag at a time. Get smoking.
You can buy them here if you’re into that sort of thing.