Furnishings Embody Artistic Spirit

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - April 29, 2009
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Kaypee Soh, Isla Schmidt and Edward Macey get creative at So’mace Lifestyle

Having a store with his designs is one of the things artist Kaypee Soh scribbled on his list of 10 things to do in a tiny sketchbook while he was riding the subway in New York City eight years ago. His shop So’mace Lifestyle embodies his artistic spirit.

“I have a lot of ideas,” says Soh about his dream come to life. “Anything creative, I love to do.”

The 1,300 square-foot store is home to framed photos taken by Soh, as well as pillows, wallpaper, lamps and other items that have Soh’s designs. He can be found at the store fashioning new projects.

Business partners Kaypee Soh, Edward Macey and Isla Schmidt roll up their sleeves to carry out their vision for the shop. Macey, the managing director, handles business administration and lends an eye to designs using his architectural and project management background. Schmidt, an interior designer, uses her retail background to flesh out the look and feel of the store so customers can get a feel of what it would be like to have Soh’s nature-inspired motifs at home. Schmidt uses her interior design skills at the shop’s design center where people can sit down at the table and look at swatches, discuss ideas from magazine pictures, and doodle with colored markers.


“We call Kaypee’s designs modern Pacific-inspired,” says Schmidt. “Everything he does is inspired by nature.”

Some of the designs are of waves, or raindrops, as they do their best to be sure the merchandise is eco-friendly. Other places Soh admits to getting his inspiration are the colors from the cereal aisle, and from his friends in the New York fashion industry.

“Kaypee is the Jonathan Adler of the Pacific,” says Macey about Soh’s line of home accessories in the store, which opened in 2008.

The company website, which also has a blog, explains that artwork can be altered by size and color. Furniture fabric, wallpaper, rugs and lighting can also be customized.

Originally from Malaysia, Soh attended art school in London at East Ham College, and his career included doing commercial design campaigns for companies like American Express, MTV, and L’Oreal USA. One of his recent projects showcases his photography in the King Kamehameha Hotel in Kona.

The partners plan to expand the product line and open stores in Miami, California and Canada in the future.

So’mace Lifestyle is located at 1115 Young St. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 593-8780, or log onto somacelifestyle.com

CORRECTION: In last week’s Entrepreneur article on Sanders Piano, Todd Sanders did not start his own moving company, S and S Delivery, he acquired it. MidWeek regrets the error.

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