Yume means “dream” in Japanese, and it was a very lovely Japanese tea house in Cluj. I was involved in the project from the beginning, starting with the naming process, contributing to the interior design of the place and developing the whole brand and brand experience.
Yume being a Japanese tea house, it had to have a mascot. Japanese culture is full of cute mascots, from policemen to bread, there is sure to be an adorable adaptation that greets and guides you. So after i put together the “collage” that was painted on the main room wall, it was time to do an adaptation of the featured geisha – which we lovingly called Ai = love – in the Japanese chibi style. (chibi = small child in JP).
After Little Ai was “born”, her first task was to guide the guest through the menu. Each category of the menu began with an illustration of Ai. A lot of menus were stolen and eventually, an Art Menu (containing only the artworks in the menu) was printed and sold at the 1 year anniversarry of the tea house.
The public loved the Ai illustrations, so Yume started selling postcards, stickers and bookmarks.
Ai’s welcoming smile was featured in multiple adds in weekly event magazines. When it became recognized, we stenciled the street facade so people would spot the teahouse from afar.
For its second birthday, Yume organized a special week-long event: Maid Cafe. There were four maids which would serve you: Neko (=cat) Maid would play a fishing game with you; Megane (=glasses) Maid would clean your glasses; Onigiri Maid would make you onigiri (=rice ball); Ichigo (=strawberry) Maid would serve you strawberries. Yume took this event at Otaku Festival 2009, where it was a great hit!
This was one of my all-times favorite project and to this day I’m a biiig tea drinker 🙂