At home with Maizu

by Stephanie Hannington-suen

Maizu was created by Mai Izumitani, with one simple idea in mind - the intention to bring a sense of joy and appreciation into everyday objects. 

Mai is a ceramicist who approaches her work with a deeply minimalistic point of view as homage to her Japanese background and upbringing. She sets out to eliminate any unnecessary frills and clutter from her pieces, allowing beauty to emerge from less, rather than more. 

We visited Mai in her beautiful, minimalist London flat and talked to her about her inspirations, goals and how she balances home and work life.



Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what led you to start Maizu?

After several years of studying and working in the fashion industry, I was exhausted and rapidly realised this hectic lifestyle was not for me. It was a far cry from my desire for a slower-paced living and searched for a gateway to release the stress and explore my creativity, which at the time became weekend pottery classes.


Do you have any advice for anyone trying to start something of their own?

Take your time to fully immerse yourself and try new things, even if you end up not enjoying it. It’s one step closer to knowing yourself a little better on what you do and don’t like. No experience is ever wasted!



Is this your full time job? If not, what else is it that you do?

I split my time between running Maizu and more recently teaching yoga since passing my training earlier this year. The two are entirely different but both equally meditative and compliment each other in perfect harmony in many ways – one where I work in total solitude and the other being in the heart of community. I consider both practices essential to my overall well-being.


The concept of minimalism is at the forefront of your brand, what is it about it that inspires you?

The idea of taking away unnecessary elements cultivates space for the mind to breathe and to truly value the things we do have. It’s challenging not to be overstimulated in a big city like London but by consciously choosing minimalism where we can, we can start to manifest more intention and gratitude into our lives.



How do you find balance in your daily life? 

I find that I operate best when all aspects of my life are in balance – work, relationships, my emotional well-being and physical health. Consciously stepping away from daily responsibilities is an effective way to notice where I am depleted or overloaded. I often give myself this time throughout the day and a final self scan at the end of the day ready so I can wake up the next morning with total clarity.


What’s your favourite piece from your store?

The Olive dish is a real key piece from my Ecru Series. She’s both playful, functional and happiest holding hors d’oeuvres on the weekend.



What is your favourite homework scent and why?

The beautifully unified scents of lavender, bergamot and thyme in the May essential oil blend just happen to be three of my favourite scents which really aid in winding down. My favourite way to use the oil is in my diffuser or for the ultimate self-indulgence, a few drops in the bath. 

Follow Maizu on Instagram @m_a_i_z_u

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