{Israel Part Two} Dogs, a cat, and a cow…

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on December 13, 2011

Wherever we went, there always seemed to be a stray dog or cat. They are everywhere in Israel. There were some that appeared to be stray but were actually just free to roam around, eventually going home to their people. Some without collars, some with but no tags. No one seemed to have their dogs on leashes either since there didn’t seem to be a need. There was one German Shepard puppy that I encountered at the moshav we were staying at that particularly reminded me of Mister Oliver. He just sat in the middle of the road with one ear up, the other flopping down and stared. It may have been the one moment I didn’t have my camera on me.

A friendly senior we met in Safed. He stopped to let us pet him and then kept going the direction he was heading.

A very well groomed Pekingnese who unfortunately was blind and had no eyes. Despite his/her lack of sight, this cute pup was very aware of it’s surroundings and turned my way when I took the photograph.

Met this little guy when we visited a Bedouin tent. He was in rough shape at the time with some noticeable mobility issues. Since our return, however, he now has a name (Lassie) and received the veterinary care he needed! Don’t be fooled by the fierce fang photo. I caught Lassie in mid yawn. He was gentle and friendly as could be.

A lone cat wandering the ruins of Capernaum.

One of many cows surrounding the Bedouin tent.

Chris Taylor wears TOKI

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on December 1, 2011

It’s a little hard to see, but Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear is stacked with Toki jewelry! When I got the request to pull some pieces for his new solo album CANT, I couldn’t wait to see the results. He’s just one of those effortlessly stylish guys that doesn’t have to do much but just stand there in a white t-shirt, jeans, throw on some jewelry, and have his tattoos peak out a little bit and boom, there you go. He’s also one of those guys that can really pull off jewelry. Thanks to the wickedly talented photographer team Samantha West and Nick Kapros and stylist Marina Schindler!
(Image courtesy of Samantha West)

{Israel Part One} Chu Chu, my camel friend from Israel

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on November 30, 2011

I met Chu Chu atop a mountain overlooking St. George’s monastery in Israel. He came strolling by with his donkey friend, who was also named Chu Chu…of course. Over the course of ten days in Israel, I visited some of the most incredible historical places in the world, ate an exorbitant amount of hummus (which has the silkiest consistency, so unlike what I have had in the states), and met some of the most gracious and hospitable people. To say the least, Israel was an eye opening and beautiful experience.

It was difficult to pick just a handful of photos since there were so many great memories to choose from, but below are some of my favorites. Another Israel post to come.
Chu Chu, the donkey

Holy Sepulchre Church (Jerusalem)

Life is different in Israel (young soldiers off duty)

Walking through the Old City

Bread shop in the Old City

Top of Masada

Ruins in Capernaum

Silversmith in Safed

Bedouin coffee grinder (This was the strongest coffee I have ever had in my life! After I got over the fact that I wasn’t going to go into cardiac arrest from the caffeine, I was able to appreciate the fruity undertones. Definitely not for the weak at heart.)

Three generations

Scene from an Arab wedding

Pre-wedding conversation

I feel like…

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on October 19, 2011

this concerned little guy today. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder, and winter feels like it is right around the corner. Wait, what happened to Fall? Did I completely miss it? Sigh…

Infrared Congo

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on September 29, 2011

Photographer Richard Mosse captured these images using a now obsolete Kodak Aerochrome film while shooting in Eastern Congo. So stunning I can’t stop looking at them. (Photos by Richard Mosse)


Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on September 27, 2011

This is a little bit late, but I wanted to share some press I received over the summer from KoreAm Magazine. When I first discovered the publication in college, I was really excited that there was a magazine dedicated to Koreans and Korean Americans with interesting endeavors and inspiring stories. And through the years, whenever I would find it on a newstand, I would pick one up. When I was approached about a story, I couldn’t help but be thrilled. What I thought was going to be a small style piece ended up being a two page spread in the June issue. While it was a little shocking to have my whole face on one page, I couldn’t have been happier with the whole piece and it was an honor to not only be part of the issue, but also one that had Ken Jeong on the cover! Big thanks to Jamie and Julie for really capturing the road to how my business got to be.

For the full article, click here.

Grace in your heart…..

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on June 5, 2011

“And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.”

Taking a small road trip to see Mumford & Sons very soon. Looking forward the most to hear this song.

Reed Pages

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on February 24, 2011

When Reed Pages first came out, I loved everything about it, the content, the photography, the oversized newsprint pages, and the simplicity. The magazine is organized from A-Z with each letter showcasing a designer, musician, artist, brand, product, travel destination, etc. It’s the kind of publication that makes you keep your fingers crossed that print won’t become obsolete. So, you can imagine my excitement when Jeff Staple asked me to be a part of the following issue. From Erykah Badu, Mister Cartoon, photography of R-16 from my friend Jay Lewis to Futura, the written words and visual candy are sure not to disappoint. It was an honor to be part of a great collective of individuals and brands.

To read the article, click here.

Year of the Bunny…..

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on February 24, 2011

For those of you that don’t know, “Toki” means rabbit in Korean. When I created my brand years ago, I knew I wanted it to carry a special meaning. I came up with probably over a dozen different names and none of them felt completely right. Once the word popped into my head, it all made sense. I happen to be born in the year of the rabbit, “Toki” was one of many childhood nicknames I had, and it was a true combination of my first and last name. It really couldn’t have been better. There was also another bunny in my life (in the form of a dog) that became an integral part of my business and that was Oliver. He was also born in the year of the rabbit. So, in many ways, what I ended up naming my brand, was very meant to be.

Rabbits are said to be sensitive, detail oriented, somewhat cautious, enjoys intellectual and scholarly activity, and has a knack for creativity. So, here’s to the year of the bunny! For more info on all the good things this year is projected to bring, go here.

Forever in my heart (1999-2010)

Posted in Uncategorized by tokicollection on January 4, 2011

Oliver & Me (11th Birthday Party)

Puppy (1999)

Our Wedding

In his element

Favorite time of the year.....

His favorite donut bed

My sweetest Oliver, I love you.....

In mid-September this year, although he fought bravely, our sweetest boy Oliver passed away. It has taken me this long to say, but as 2010 has come to a close, I couldn’t leave this year and enter a new one without a dedication to my constant companion and source of inspiration.

I believe angels live among us because I’m pretty sure I lived with one for almost 12 years. When I met him May 26, 1999 at the Animal Regulation Division at Santa Monica’s Police Department, he was disguised as a 4 month old Shepard Mix named “George” (you can read about our first encounter here). I eventually named him Oliver. From that day on, he changed my life forever, and for the better.

Through the years, our relationship transformed and our bond grew deeper. We grew up together through my 20’s and he gracefully entered my 30’s with me, as life began to figure itself out. Over time, I began to understand the lessons that he sprinkled throughout my path. He taught me the meaning of unconditional love, patience, forgiveness and how to appreciate the most simple things in life.

With each passing year, he grew sweeter and more endearing. And as each of those years passed, my heart ached a little more knowing that he was unfairly getting older. And although I knew that unimaginable time would come, I didn’t expect it to come as quickly as it did. When it did, my heart felt like it had stopped for a moment and it took my breath away.

There are endless things about Oliver that I miss. I miss how he accompanied me to the studio almost everyday, hugging him throughout the day just because and especially when work just became work and at times mundane, having him enthusiastically greet my husband and I at the door when we would return from an errand, watching him run through the park after a fresh snowfall in sheer bliss, laying on the couch together as I watched movies on a lazy afternoon, and kissing him on the forehead goodnight to end my day.

Everyone that knew Oliver, knew him as the handsome gentle giant with kind and soulful eyes. He had those big brown eyes that tugged at everyone’s hearts. Even when he wasn’t feeling well, his eyes sparkled bright.

Beautiful, wonderful Oliver, you are an angel and I will never forget you. You blessed me with your love and it will forever live in my heart.