- ▼ 8月 (5)
Adachi Garage kikkake
CEO Mr. Kaoru Kagayama
A non-descript garage turns into the place where people get together through making things. Children and adults are fascinated with making things and they almost forget lapse time. This is where you want to stay for a long time and be cozy with hearing laugh from people.
Hakori Corporation changes a place where no one would come to totally a new place. At kikkake garage, the art workshops and events are held often. I interviewed CEO Mr. Kagayama today.
Please tell me your background and the story of opening Hakori Corporation and kikkake garage.
I worked as a sales representative at a real estate company for six years. I rode a bicycle everywhere in Tokyo to memorize properties and cities. I really liked working for them because they did not look like a normal real estate company. They had business with many of nice companies like fast-growing internet enterprises. Half a year after the marriage and having a daughter, it was a turning point for me to leave the real estate company and start my own business.
I did not have something that I want to do but I always liked the cities. Issues of vacant dwelling was on the news at that time. As for the personal life, I had to find a nursery school for my daughter and a care facility for my grandfather. These two issues overlapped together and made me think “I wish properties could change along with the trend of the times”. Because of the decline in population, there are too many unused properties ended up closed shutter streets. I think there is a way to use these vacant properties effectively. For example, we can change these vacant properties to nursery schools or care facilities. There is also excessive land in provinces.
I got a license for consulting vacant properties and proposed some of the people effective utilization of the property. Because of the timing, it was actually difficult for them to change the properties. Since Hakori means “changing the box”, I decided to learn interior finish work at the construction site in one of the apartments.
At the same time, I got a lease agreement for this garage so that I can make my idea happen in reality. My father is a craftsman who makes stage sets for TV commercials. I got waste wood from him to use effectively. All I did was reselling furniture from commercials and it was not something I craved for.
Then I made a table using waste wood but it needed a lot of effort more than I thought. One of the enterprises ordered a table and I made it involving a lot of people. It was worth 100,000 yen but actually it became only 50,000 yen. I learned how hard it was to make just one thing, difficulty, and fun to sell with the price through this process.
My good friend from the college joined here and he made a second floor in this garage with metallic materials. It made the garage more comfortable for everyone.
What project are you working on now?
I realized that there was a vacant house named “ougi so” right in front of my parents’ house one day. I called the owner to tell “I would like to renovate your house” and of course, the owner hung up the phone without saying anything. A month later, the owner called me to tell “I want to hear about renovation”. I told the owner directly that kikkake garage has started from a simple empty garage, and we renovated interior and ended up like this. We are not aiming for just changing the interior but for changing the town where people could gather naturally. Renovation of the self-enclosed factory is one of the ideas.
“Ougi so” is located in the convenient place from the Toneri Line station, but the property itself is very old. Unfortunately, it does not get a lot of sunshine, and it has a floor mold and old style layout. All these facts make difficult to find tenants. There used to be a public bath before but it had closed down. The real estate companies do not realize these trend of the times because they do not have sharp sensitivity. I can calculate yield from the owner’s stand point of view and propose the best renovation plan without seeking just attractive appearance.
On the first floor at “ougi so”, we will run a café. The layout is planned to be able to run the loading facility in the future as well. It is difficult for us to live with a floor mold anymore, we changed a floor mold to a café space so that 3 m ceiling makes it spacious. I also changed the color of exterior and removed a wall on the 2nd floor.
I think it is important to substantialize a house through the eyes of common people but not through an architect. Changing a town where people gather is what we want to achieve.
You have started your business with no personal connection with clients. How do you get your orders?
Most of the works are coming from the clients directly. There are individual clients and enterprises. I guess I had enough human networks from the former job.
I just hope our café will go well. I do not have any knowledge regarding cafe. We are going to prepare enough resource from the Crowdfunding.
A connection between people is a fate, and people will naturally gather when I work on the filed I want to.
We will have a BBQ party at the hotel in Nishiarai, Tokyo in August. I will invite people who I work with. Then, the good network will spread more. I want to host these events more with this hotel in the future.
Your mission is on “Changing the town” but not only “Renovation of the buildings”. What is there if you accomplish this mission?
I do not know the future and I am not sure about doing something makes this world better. I just do something has a possibility and when it goes well, it becomes my business. My life will come to an end while I am repeating these routine, and it would be best if someone can take over it.
Through my life, I want to make my firm strong construction group where all the skillful workmen gather. They do not have to have talented and trained technique like traditional art and craft. It is important to gather workmen who work on the daily construction field like a carpenter and a plumber. Technology will be developed more and more, and people will forget what everyone was able to do well without technology. If we continue an effort on remaining these old method, it becomes our strength.
You have started your business without any knowledge on a construction field workman. Is it difficult for you to manage workmen in such a situation?
I do not manage workmen at all or rather it is impossible. Since they are older and have more knowledge and experience, they teach and look after me. I cannot handle complicated work but assist workmen at the construction field.
What is the feature on the things which Hakori makes?
Our goal is to provide something with high technique. Through the process of reaching this goal, we would like to make a variety of things. Providing commodities flexibly in response with clients’ concept and budget is important for us. To make it possible, we need to involve many people who have necessary technique and knowledge.
We want to reach the level where clients will order based on our technique not on the character.
Please come to visit our garage so that you can experience our events and see our works.