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Still looking for Holiday Gift?! Let's GIFT YOUR TIME to Your Dearest Love!

There is always difficulties in choosing a gift, no matter how much you enjoy it. We need new ideas. How can a gift remind the person of ourselves always? What is something that in a gift would make it timeless? We look into the GIFT YOUR TIME service for some fresh ideas.
Gift Your Time was set up in 2006 by Tetsuro Shinoda and Akio Kato, with the tagline “Handmade Happiness”. There are more than 10 artists and 50 gifts of choices right now on the their website. While choosing a gift, you are also choosing the where you would like to the artists.
Work With Artists to Gift Your Time
The service is divided into three processes: to select, to make, and to give.
Gifts ranged from a stool to a ring
Through the three processes artists will understand what and how you want to gift a message, and they will give you advices on presenting the message in the final product.
Conversation between artist and user will is a co-development of a messaged gift

Exchanging handmade gifts was very common in our art university.

explains Shinoda,

In Gift Your Time, we hope to offer an easy and convenient way to create handmade products, but also to remind our customers this culture of giving a handmade present to your loved ones, which existed in our history since a long time ago. We are trying to spread this message to more parts of the world.

Gift Your Time also tries to collaborate with artists and curators for talk shows and exhibitions.
For example, in 2012, they held design talks with people such as Nakamura Shinichiro, to promote the handmade culture in Japan from a business to a movement and a trend.

The current situation is that, customers and artists are often linked only by the final product. We want to transform the link from product to service.

Service is something that based on a conversation. In Gift Your Time, users are given the opportunity to understand more about the artists, while this understanding will lead to more respect and attention to handcrafts.
They will also become part of the message to the receiver of the final gift. On the other hand, artists have the chance to listen to feedbacks, it is a chance of indirect marketing through conversation.
Many artists feel uneasy to ask for feedbacks, or simply didn’t have the chance while staying at the backstage of handcraft making, but now they have the chance.

Gifting with Locals

Gift Your Time may also act as an indirect way to reactivate some areas in Japan. Artists registered on this web service are from all around Japan, and with the power of this portal website, everyone could access to these artists easily (though meanwhile, still focusing in Japan).

We have people coming from Osaka to visit artists in Kyoto for the gift, users who go into the mountain just to make ceramics with our registered artists.
Through this service we can introduce more artists to users, in the future we hope to include more artists from different part of Japan in the future. The team is also planning to open Gift Your Time experience studio as a handcraft hub to attract more tourists to different part of Japan.

So, how does this idea for gift sound?
Gift Your Time looks like something even more than a gift. It might be a gift for yourself through the experience of making, a gift to artists through conversation and understanding, and a gift for local through your visit with love.
What’s your plan for the next gift?
[via written by Junya Mori]
[English Text by Katia Wong]

[Editor: Kota Suzuki]


A Way to Experience “Made in Japan”