Being cooped up in our own homes have taken different tolls on us. Some have been becoming chefs in their own kitchens while others have learned to become power nesters—always on top of the latest aesthetic home decor trends. But as I finish my nth K-drama during the 150-day lockdown, graphic designer Mia de Lara have been busy replicating her Japan travel memories into a rich ice cream experience.
Thus the birth of Indigo Rain Ice Cream. Mia tells Preview in an exclusive interview, "To dream of travel now means to create ways to connect to memorable experiences, time and places. In my case, I recall fond memories through taste, hence the ice cream flavors." Along with her daughter, Mia reminisced the first time she has ever tasted Kuro Goma Ice Cream. And because the luxury of traveling seem to be in the distant future for us now, Mia took it upon herself to experience this joy all over again, right in her own home.
She concocted a trio of rich and experiential flavors of Indigo Rain that reminded her of her most treasured moments in Japan. "A spoonful of Kurogoma (black sesame) and Shirogoma (white sesame) takes me back to our long walks in Harajuku. White Chocolate Sakura makes me smile and recall springtime in Tokyo while White Chocolate Lavender reminds me of the beauty and elegance of European cities," she said.
When asked why she opted to name her ice cream brand Indigo Rain, Mia shares her personal connection to those two words. "Indigo is a deep, rich version of blue which among all colors in the color wheel, I resonate with the most. And a rainy cool day is when I am most happy, creative, and alive. Everything seems saturated in blue when it's raining and that is when I feel most connected to myself and my surroundings. Indigo Rain Ice Cream are all expressions of that joy. "
Apart from these emotions pulled out from simple words, Mia extends the feeling into a visual treat. Being a graphic designer by profession, she reveals that it's only natural for her to think in visuals and colors. "I believe that to experience a brand, it has to touch the senses—through taste, visuals, scent, and texture." Thus, Mia also gathered inspiration from her banked memories of what she considers a special place: Japan.
"Indigo Rain as a visual brand is Japanese (where the inspiration came from and where the idea all started)," Mia said. "To be more specific, it is inspired by traditional Japanese houses, sidestreets in Gion, Ryokans, Kimonos, and Shibori. The blues and browns are always deep and rich in texture. The development of the brand happened organically and still continues to grow and evolve. Unlike my usual projects, this one did not have a mood board to begin with."
Mia's quarantine project proved to temporarily quell her longing for travel, while still fulfilling her life's north star right now. "Travel has been a part of my life and has allowed me to widen my view about things and life in general. Living slow, intentionally, and presently has been my mantra, and has enabled me to find satisfaction in making things that take time and a lot of effort—such as the ice creams."
Together with event stylist and her business partner in Craftsmith Guild, Kitty Bunag, Mia credits and thanks her for "putting into Instagram squares all that [she] had imagined for the brand. To have her manage my digital storefront through photography, timing, and sequencing of posts has helped [her] ice cream brand gain traction."
Check out Indigo Rain's Japan-inspired flavors below and order some for yourself!
Shirogoma (Black Sesame), P350 for 12oz
"Kurogoma is made with toasted, hand-pounded sesame seeds that are infused overnight to achieve the deep, rich, earthy flavor of Japanese kurogoma."
Kurogoma (White Sesame), P350 for 12oz
"Shirogoma is densely flavored, packed with roasted white sesame seeds—hand crushed and pounded to paste—and infused in silky cream."
White Chocolate Sakura, P350 for 12oz
"It is made with Swiss white chocolate base that is delicately infused with the flavor and scent of sakura blossoms."
White Chocolate Lavender, P350 for 12oz
"Using fine ingredients and real lavender flowers, the White Chocolate Lavender is comforting and fresh. The floral taste is balanced with generous chunks of white chocolate."