The Kin Story
KIN | 恳
Kin: one’s family and relations
恳: pronounced “ken” (kěn); earnest and sincere
At Kin | 恳, we re-interpret the unique quirks of traditional Chinese culture for the modern lifestyle.
We love and live what we do. We are a Chinese-hyphenated family, and our lives are an eclectic blend of languages and cultures.
We were both first generation immigrant kids. Born in Taipei (Bill) and Chengdu (Miranda), we moved with our families to the US and Australia at the age of 8 and 10 respectively. Through our teens and twenties, we experienced the whole spectrum of emotions typical of immigrants: social exclusion, cultural rejection, identity confusion.
In our twenties, partly in search of our roots, and partly in search of opportunities, we both moved back East, and landed in Shanghai. In this melting pot of a city, which has bridged Chinese and Western cultures for the best part of 150 years, we met, married, and finally came to terms with ourselves.
We embraced the fact that we are inherently full of contradictions: despite our preferred language now being English, here and there we inevitably come across words which we can only express in Mandarin; despite congee and chicken broth being our comfort food, we order just a little too much pizza and chocolate cake day-to-day; despite all of the rejection and confusion we felt in the Western societies that we grew up in, at times this motherland feels so alien that we are truly the foreigners.
When it became obvious that we didn’t belong here, nor where we had grown up; that we are neither American nor Taiwanese, Australian nor Chinese, we saw no other solution than to embrace it. Sure, it sucks to not belong, but it is our eclectic, multi-cultural influences that make us unique, and our lives are all the richer for it.
OUR HOME, YOUR HOME, KIN | 恳:
Over time, we realized that our story is by no means unique. Friends all around us – those from a Chinese background and those not – spoke of similar struggles with identities. The seemingly contradictory pull of the culture and traditions they were born into, and the culture and traditions that they are exposed to as adults. In some way shape or form, this story is the story of all of us.
So that is how we came to the idea of creating Kin | 恳. We wanted to create a range of products that captures the balance and interaction of cultures in their most beautiful form. Objects that are rooted in the richness of Chinese history, yet are global in their relevance.
It is our sincere hope that as you add a Kin Object to your home, it encapsulates a part of your story, your life. We hope that it becomes a daily reminder of your divergent life stories, and how they interweave to create something truly unique. We hope that this imparts a sense of comfort and belonging to you, just as it does for us; and that as you welcome guests into your home, Kin Objects become a point of connection between people, stories, and cultures.
This is the story of Kin, of us, of our home. We sincerely look forward to welcoming you into the family.
This is the story of Kin, we hope we make you feel at home.
- Bill, Miranda and Celine