We head to Germany this month to virtually visit ting, a Berlin design shop owned by Laura Huppert.
Why did you pick this city/neighborhood/storefront?
I think our street is one of the most beautiful in Berlin, with extremely wide sidewalks, facing the old water tower, with many small restaurants, cafes and shops so when looking for a locale, I was happy to find a small (affordable) space right here.
Where did you get the name for the store?
The shop stocks beautiful things from Scandinavia and Asia, so it had to be a name that somehow related to that. In the Scandinavian languages “ting” just means “thing(s)”, and in Chinese one of the many meanings of “ting” is ‘”to stop” or “ting y ting”, “to take a little break”.
Has it changed much since it opened? How?
We do stock more products than we did at the beginning, which of course is also a budget matter, when you are starting out. And, since the product range is always in flux and changing I hope that our customers find the shop to be a bit different every time they stop by.
What’s one of the challenges you have with the business?
One of the more annoying (and mysterious) parts is always dealing with customs (back here in Germany) after every buying trip in Asia. So many rules, so much bureaucracy and I still don’t understand half of it.
What other stores have you worked in before opening this one?
None. I sold ice cream at the beach while I was studying but I guess that doesn’t count? My background is in communications and I was working as a PR Manager at a German architecture firm in Beijing before opening the shop.
That is also where the idea for the shop was born. I have always been fascinated by the simplicity of Scandinavian mid-century design, and then spending a lot of time traveling and living in Asia over the past 15 years, I discovered similarities between Asian and Scandinavian design and aesthetics. Moving back to Germany, it seemed like a logical step to combine those interests and open ting.
What’s your favorite item in the store right now?
I guess my favorites will always remain the Danish mid century furniture that we collect on trips visiting my boyfriend’s family in Denmark. Old pieces just have a different feel to them and I love the design and architecture of that era and the aesthetic and social ideas behind it.
What is this season’s theme/inspiration/story?
After just discovering a new ceramics studio in Thailand, and in general being quite in love with ceramics, they are a big inspiration at the moment.
Are you carrying any new products and/or undiscovered gems you’re particularly excited about?
We have some new prints from young Danish artists like atelier atelier, and in combination with the lovely new frames from Danish design studio Moebe, it is a pleasure to look at them hanging on our walls every day.
What’s been a consistent best seller?
Little scissors, originally mostly for needlework, from China. They are really practical and at the same time very beautiful.
Does the store have its own line?
When traveling, we do commission some small pieces here and there but at the moment it would still be too much to talk about our own line. We just started working on some jewelry ideas with a fantastic silversmith and his team in India, we met last fall, but it is too soon to say where that will lead.
Any special events/exhibits/pop ups/collaborations coming up?
No, not at the moment, but we are always working on new ideas, so maybe soon…
Do you have anything from the store in your own home?
Haha, of course, plenty of things! Blankets, rugs, lamps, ceramics, a new addition to our household is for example the “new old light” from Taiwanese design studio Kimu (we are running out of floor space and have to find things to hang from the ceiling by now…).
What’s next for you and your store?
We love traveling and finding new, interesting products and working with local designers and artisans to create some pieces that you can’t find other places. Many times, we find a lot of inspiration on those trips and the things take a new turn. At the moment, it looks like the jewelry collaboration might turn into something bigger as working with the team in India was a great experience and one way of giving back to the local community there.
Photos by Anne Deppe.