In a period of time when we're inundated with what feels like consistent bad news, we wanted to put some emphasis on the positive. This is another installment in "Collective Conversations," a weekly series focusing on a woman we think is awesome + what she's all about. This week we're talking to Susan Hardjono, graphic designer, curious cook, wearer of all hats, and founder of toko!, a Melbourne-based, eco-friendly label that carries basics for home, beauty, and travel. We fell for toko! about a year ago when we started stocking their Buka bags + Tali totes in-store. A Goop favourite, Susan and toko! have made waves with their simple, stylish, and functional designs. Today we talked to the woman behind it all about good food, setting limits, and BTS.
Susan on holiday a few years ago.
1. Describe yourself in three words?
Good at procrastinating.
2. Where do you feel most at home?
As a Cancerian, my sanctuary is my home in Northcote — even during this challenging year. I’ve found travel through cooking, it’s very therapeutic.
3. What do you do to nurture your individuality?
I don’t feel pressured to do certain things, so I guess it comes naturally, I don’t think it’s a conscious thing.
A toko! favourite, the Buka drawstring bag.
4. What do you love most about yourself?
This is a hard one, but I guess I must enjoy my own company because I can spend hours alone and feel completely happy. Probably why I'm also a great procrastinator.
5. When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?
Finding my limit when it comes to work. I can’t do the hours I used to so I’ve accepted that things can be done later and not all at once. Which brings me to the next question.
6. What does it mean to honour yourself?
That it’s ok to choose yourself first.
Our dog Alfie, he's 9 years old and has recently been diagnosed with cancer. It's been a tough year but it's good that we got to spend extra time with him.
7. What have you recently become obsessed with?
Seven South Korean kpop stars, BTS. There, I said it.
8. Where is your favourite place to escape to?
Wherever the food and company is good.
9. What are some things that you are leaving behind, letting go of, or unlearning in order to move forward?
I thought being introverted was a weakness in my personality but I’ve come to realise that it isn’t.
10. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Probably in the chats I’ve had with friends over BTS and how we’re all way too old to be acting like teenagers. The descent into my second adolescence has been a slippery slope!
Susan at home during COVID-19.