Inspired by their travels in Japan and minimalist design sensibility there, Olivia and her business partner Eddie founded the Little One in 2017. Both born and raised in Chinatown, Olivia and Eddie went from seeing each other in Columbus Park, to joining the next generation of Chinatown business owners. Named “The Little One” because they feel that the shop is “their little one,” Olivia and Eddie bring newness to Chinatown while staying true to their past by selling flavors all generations can enjoy. Their flavors reflect the subtle sweetness of many Asian desserts, and have hit home for a lot of Chinatown residents.
Welcome to Chinatown partnered with The Little One to create their Made in Chinatown collection. Illustrator Sonya Han and designer Lessa Chung’s objective was to interpret The Little One’s visual language and design choices into merchandise design. Practically everything about The Little One, from their interior design to branding, is understated so that your focal point is their offerings.
Sonya and Lessa’s goal was to highlight the individual character of each of the wide range of desserts and beverages, while providing a structured harmony. Working closely with Olivia to identify key menu items like kakigori shaved ice and their monaka ice cream sandwich, they built visuals around these heroes. Sonya’s deft attention to detail gave each of the desserts a unique texture and character. To accompany the illustrated kakigori, they borrowed from shared traditions to use the Chinese character for ice (氷) and the Japanese noren door curtain for a unique detail that is iconic for all shops serving shaved ice. The grid layout of our designs mirror the structured composition of the way desserts are served at The Little One, arranged neatly on a wooden tray.
The end result is a t-shirt, mug, and tote bag that mimic the experience and aesthetics of their East Broadway dessert shop. If you’d like to support The Little One, stop by for some take-out, or buy some merch! As always, profits from The Little One’s Made in Chinatown collection will directly benefit their business.