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In our next edition of the YKRA Faces series, we talked to Zsófi Koma, a make-up artist, interior design student, and the co-founder of Daken Studio—a restored furniture store in downtown Budapest. Read on to discover what she keeps in her backpack! 

As Daken Studio’s co-founder, how and why did you start your own store?

It was a long road to get to where we are today. We launched the store 3 years ago with my brother Dani Koma, who works as a carpenter. I have a degree in English but I started working as a make-up artist. The idea for the store came when I was trying to furnish my own flat, and kept thinking about what kind of furniture I wanted. I've always loved the style of the ’60s and ’70s, and it helps that my grandmother was a furniture designer and interior architect at the time, so her house had a big influence on me. 

As my brother, Dani is also a fan of the style, he was happy to join forces to create something exciting. We started off by collecting and buying furniture, and then renovating them in my brother’s workshop in Keszthely, and we quickly realized that we also needed to open a store. I wanted to stay downtown, for the store to be accessible and in a place that was culturally exciting, like Brody Street, which is full of galleries and where the community is also really supportive. 

We've been here for 3 years, and we have a lot of plans for the future. We're also thinking about opening a café within the store, or to eventually open a bigger space, where we can show more of my grandmother's furniture, as well as the work of my family members who were painters and sculptors.

What does a typical day of yours look like? 

I start my mornings searching the internet for furniture—I’m always on the hunt for new pieces, and it takes a lot of time to search, find and then pick up the right pieces. Later, the store opens at around 2pm, and I’m here until the early evening. I run the store, lead the sales and I also take the photos for our webshop and manage Daken’s social media. My brother works in his workshop, and visits 3-4 markets a week super early in the mornings to find new treasures.

We also spend a lot of time transporting furniture, first we take them to our workshop in Keszthely for refurbishment, then we bring them back to the studio to take photos, and the last stop is when they end up in the store. We also organize the deliveries for all of our furniture sold, so we also have one delivery day per week.

Besides the store, I started studying interior design at school half a year ago and with time, I’d like to start decorating entire spaces. I still have a year left, and my classes are in the evenings three times a week—so it’s intense. Afterwards, I usually stay up studying, so next to studying and running a business, I don’t have much free time. 

What’s in your backpack?

I’m a big fan of bright colors—the more striking the better—and this orange backpack was an easy choice!

Mobile pouch - I keep losing my phone, so now I use this personalized, leather pouch. It’s easy to spot, plus I can hang it round my neck when my hands are full.  

Hair bands - These also have a practical function as I tie my hair up whenever I have to carry furniture.

Pencil Case - I never leave the house without it, I like being able to draw my ideas and sketches for class wherever I am.

Book - It’s a fun, short, illustrated book about the absurdities of life and always puts me in a good mood.

Scratchcard - I like to give luck a chance, as I have big dreams—but I don’t buy one every day, just a few times a month. 

Necklaces - I am really into jewelry, and this necklace is a piece by Franziska Németh. The one I'm wearing is by The Sentimentalist, and it was a present for my 30th birthday. I like having extra jewelry on me, just in case I need to switch things up for an event after work.

Lipstick - It’s another essential, especially if I’m going out after a long day at the store. 

Powder – It’s my favorite, even in the summer.

Ceramic Crocodile - This was a present my brother gave me when we first came up with the idea for Daken Studio, it’s our little mascot.

Tape measure - My go-to tool. I’m always measuring furniture, spaces, and rooms…

Sunglasses - Originally, I bought them in Barcelona, lost them 3 times, and kept re-ordering them online!

Diary - It’s self-explanatory.

Keys - I have a whole selection, for the store, storage rooms, my flat, and the list could go on...

Photos by Botond Wertán

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