Kolo-Topdrawer Story


We are creative professionals. We are writers, architects, designers, directors, photographers, artists, entrepreneurs. We don’t live in a 9-5 world. We’re nomadic. We are as deeply engaged with our professional lives as we are with our personal -- for many of us, there may be little distinction. We live by a doctrine of excellence. We push ourselves to do one more rewrite, one more revision, one more trip across the globe for one more client. Creativity and innovation are in our blood.

The problem? As creative professionals, our office has to fit in a bag. In the course of one day, we might be working on a plane, a train, a cafe, a park bench, before ending up at our home base. And frankly, the cheap, predictable supplies from the bloated superstores weren’t helping us and weren’t inspiring us. Filling a giant office with landfill fodder didn’t seem right.

Like most creative professionals, we care about our planet. We choose our tools carefully to avoid the landfill.

At Kolo Topdrawer, we offer curated tools from around the world, tools you’ll only need to buy once, to help you do your best work wherever you are.



We are a Japanese-American retailer offering tools for creative professionals, but we started out as two companies. Topdrawer, was the boutique division of Itoya, the iconic Japanese retailer. Kolo, was the American premium manufacturer and was one of the most important brands in Topdrawer stores. It was a match made in heaven. After “dating each other” for about 12 years, we tied the knot. With our team spread out in Boston, San Francisco and Tokyo, we’re focused on bringing the best tools to allow you to do your best work without breaking the bank.

Tools for work. For Play. For Life.

Tools for Nomads.  

Thank you for visiting our online home; we hope to see you in our stores in San Francisco, Boston, Tokyo and Osaka sometime soon.

Look for our newest and second San Francisco location to open in June 2017 on 980 Valencia Street in The Mission District.