Even though the Japanese husband-and-wife duo Tats and Ena Otake (she’s pictured here!) weren’t trained as artists—he produced commercials, and she honed her a sushi-chef skills under her father—their thoughtful, detailed-oriented first careers set them up shockingly well to dive into their second, shared one: After a move from Hawaii to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 2011, they realized the opportunity to switch gears after nearly twenty years in their fields. “New York feels a place where you can start things,” Tats says, and, fours years later, they launched a line of origami-inspired leather bags and bent-line earrings under the name 8.6.4.
You most definitely wouldn’t be able to tell they’re newbies by looking at their elegantly edited collection—and, in fact, Ena, who handles the design side, sees her untraditional path as a plus because it breeds experimentation. “I’m inspired by everyday objects, like clips and staples,” she says. The one downside to their rapid growth? “Ena used to make a lot of creative sushi for us, but now she doesn’t cook anymore!” bemoans Tats. Maki seems like a worthy sacrifice—they’re on a roll. —genevieve ang
BEHIND THE SCENES
Tldr; it’s more than okay to take it slow.
Key to the City How to Pretend You’re in Japan in NYC