“I want to let the world know of the beauty of Hangeul (Korean language) and Korean culture through my design.”
Graduated from UCLA with a Korean Studies degree, Aein Hope has recently been introduced in length on the college newspaper of her alma mater. Hope’s online store, Oki Tokki, offers design products inspired by Hangeul and Korean traditional culture.
“I came up with the brand name by combining ‘okie dokie’ and tokki, which means rabbit in Korean,” explained Hope. “I wanted to combine the two languages because I’m selling designs with Hangeul motifs in the States.”
Hope commented that she still has a lot more to learn about Korea. “When I visited Korea, I found it surprising to see that people are fond more of English alphabets than Hangeul when it comes to design products with writings.” The lack of Hangeul design goods inspired Hope to come up with her own design.
Oki Tokki’s regular customers find Hope’s products appealing for its unique design and affordable price.
Another reason for Oki Tokki’s popularity is in its usage of eco-friendly materials. One of the bestsellers, a $15 tote bag with the brand’s signature character, is printed with eco-friendly inks, which are used in other products as well.
Hope is much interested in Korean traditional culture and folklores as well, in addition to its language. Currently, her recent idea is to graft Korean folklore about “nine-tailed fox” onto her design.
“It’d be great if my products can make people more interested in Korea,” said Hope. “Even better if they get new eyes seeing Hangeul and Korean traditional culture.”
Original article by Kim Ji-yoon
Translated by Heewon Kim