ALKEMI’s owner Jeane Chung opened her store in Nunhead Lane four years ago, and last month opened a new branch in Westbourne Drive in Forest Hill.
She said: “For a lot of people, interior design is important, particularly during the past year with all the lockdowns and working from home.
“I have noticed this. We used to stock Japanese gardening tools but when lockdown hit, sales exploded. The supplier couldn’t even keep up with the demand. It just goes to show how much everyday life shifted during lockdown because people began to learn new skills.”
Korean-born Jeane moved to London 15 years ago, originally residing in east London before making the move to Brockley with her partner.
She said: “It was the best decision. There is just something about South London, everyone is so much friendlier.”
Despite her love of South London life, Jeane has always been determined to incorporate her Korean culture in her store.
The ALKEMI motto is beautiful objects for everyday life which is a vital part of East Asian design.
She said: “Korean design is very beautiful, but also very practical.
“I love explaining the stories and background of the products I stock to my customers. So many people are curious about the designs from Japan and Korea.
“It is so good to be able to introduce people to this style of design and showcase the culture that I am from. Korean design tends to use slightly more toned-down colours compared to British design. Its minimalist nature means it sits well with Scandinavian design, which is very popular now.”
You can visit ALKEMI Stores in Nunhead and Forest Hill or browse online at alkemistore.com