We asked Isobel Kho, owner and creator of Heihō, some all-important questions about her journey so far and what her plans are for the future.
Isobel's shop unites all anti-socialists by providing the 'tools' you may need in order to politely tell the general public to "fuck off".
What is your main practice? Did you study at University?
I studied Illustration at Westminster. I don’t draw as much as I should but when I do it’s mainly with ink, dip pens, brushes and watercolours as well. Though this doesn’t really relate to the shop, I’m terrible with Illustrator and Photoshop so I’ve had to teach myself how to use them, serves me right for never going to the tutorials at uni!
How did you get into making pins?
I initially wanted to design and sell greeting cards when I started the shop. I spent loads of time trying to making trinket dishes out of craft concrete as well and realised I didn’t like doing any of that. My first pins were a bit of an afterthought but they did so well and there’s a lot more you can do in terms of design so sacked off all the stationary stuff. I like that pins are little portable pieces of art and design so thought it was a good way to go.
What pin design are you most proud of?
My ‘Waves’ pin has resonated with so many people and was a design that I held onto for ages. It’s quite a personal one so I was reluctant to hand my roughs over to just anyone. Will (of Ill Wookie) did an amazing job though and they came out just how I wanted. It was my first design that touched upon mental health, which was a scary route to go down, so it was really lovely to receive so much positivity from it.
Any advice for anyone that is thinking of starting their own independent brand / pin designs?
Prepare for things to not always come out exactly how you want. Finding good/reliable suppliers can be difficult. Do your research! Get used to having the awkward money discussions as well. You have to be quite tough I’ve found.
What is your favourite pin design at the moment? Do you have any favourite designers?
I’ve been following Olivia Mew of Stay Home Club since she started her shop so she will always be a favourite.
One of my all-time favourite pins is my ‘Go Satan’ one by Rat Pins x Catsneeze.
Any big plans for the future? Any cool collaborations lined up that we should watch out for?
I’ve no huge plans at the moment, I always have a list of people I’d love to work with but it takes a while to figure out how we can work together. I’ve started brainstorming with Leah Rose Illustration, I’ve wanted to do something with her for a while and we currently both have a lot of time on our hands…
We're super excited to see what Isobel creates next and will be keeping our eye out for the Leah Rose collaboration as we're certain it'll be cool as hell!
You can shop the very popular 'Pigeons Have Souls' Pin by Heihō on our curated page!