We had the pleasure of sharing all-things Mogutable to Shoutout LA. Read our full interview here.
Meet Yingchi & Yuchen Hsu | Founders of Mogutable
We had the good fortune of connecting with Yingchi & Yuchen Hsu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yingchi & Yuchen, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Yingchi: I had been working as a digital designer for about 10 years before I started Mogutable with my sister. But in the background, I was always interested in ceramics. I started cooking when I moved to the U.S. from Taiwan 15 years ago, and what grew with my love for food was my fascination with beautiful tableware, and the impact of a meal’s visual presentation as an experience. Because of my cultural background, I have been particularly interested in Asian food and tableware. So every time I traveled to Asia, I made sure to bring back some tableware from my favorite potters. This ongoing habit of mine gave me the idea to start Mogutable — I wanted to introduce beautiful ceramics (which evolved to a variety of brands and designs) to others.
Yuchen: I actually never thought that I would start a business with my sister! Yingchi always had the idea that she would start a business one day, and it naturally ended up being Mogutable. In the beginning, I joined what was her passion project, but now it’s become so special to me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Yingchi: Mogutable (pronounced “mo-gu-table”) curates beautiful and well-designed tableware and home goods. Mogutable was born from our love of food and the experience of it — a realization that meals weren’t necessarily about the food itself, but the stories told through the setting and objects used to accompany it. Yuchen and I were born and raised in Taiwan, and now are based in Brooklyn, so we were naturally at the intersection of both American and East Asian designs. We hope that Mogutable offers beautiful items for our customers to enjoy in their home and everyday life, and also shares the stories with those who love elevated daily routines and objects in their lives. We hope Mogutable can continue to grow as a platform and community for local and international artists, designers, and the ones who share the same love of well-designed tableware with us.
Yuchen and I didn’t know anything about running a business when we first started, so we kind of figured things out by a lot of trial and error. We watched a lot of Youtube videos, went on Reddit, and went to Meetups. Luckily, we met a lot of amazing people who helped us so much, so we were able to overcome the difficulties we had.
Also, there was a learning curve between how Yuchen and I can work together. Working with family isn’t always the easiest thing to do, so we spent a lot of time adjusting and communicating on how we can improve our work routines and get our personal life and work balanced. I’d say we got to know each other better because of Mogutable.
Yuchen: Starting a new store without much experience was definitely challenging for us, but it was also fun and interesting. I feel that I am constantly learning and growing day by day. There were a lot of firsts for us: from finding places to source products, signing a commercial lease, hiring a contractor, to providing customer service. Everything was new to us. We learned a lot from doing it. We still experience something new often even though it’s been three year since we started. We talk and discuss issues we face and make decisions together. It’s great to hear the other person’s opinion, and most importantly, to support each other.
We hope Mogutable will be the shop that not only sells nice ceramic pieces but also tells the stories of the people behind these beautiful works. We’d be really happy if Mogutable can bring joy to people’s daily lives… even if just a bit!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Té Company – Get a fragrant pot of Taiwanese tea here, and they have the most amazing tea snacks!
Yoseka Stationery – You can find all the wonderful Asian stationery here
Yun Hai Shop – This is a Taiwanese General Store. They have a great selection of Taiwanese pantry items, snacks, drinks, and housewares
Wenwen: They are a newly opened Taiwanese restaurant in Greenpoint. They also have a sister restaurant 886 in East Village
Hanon: Our favorite udon place in Williamsburg
7115 by Szeki: We love their clothes!
Ando Patisserie: For yummy Chinese inspired desserts and pastries
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yuchen: We’ve met a lot of people and received a lot of help in different ways. We are so grateful for all the help. I’d like to give a special shout out to my friends and family who are always there for us, especially Kay. She has been helping us from the beginning. She’s here on almost all occasions. Thank you so much!
Yingchi: I’d like to thank my partner Kay. Mogutable won’t be where we are today without all the help and support from her. She’s always been there for me, and she always gives us a fresh perspective when Yuchen and I are debating about something that we can’t make a decision on. She also helps with creative directions and photography!