meori is a family-run business out of Hamburg, Germany, and the brainchild of brothers Mark and Dirk Meyer. Initially designed as a corporate gift, our sturdy foldable box suddenly had clients asking where they could buy one for themselves—and meori was born.
The name meori marries two Japanese words: meian (for excellent idea) and origami. Roughly translated, meori means “the fantastic idea of folding.”
Q: What inspired the amazing foldable box?
A: Once upon a time, in another company that we are also responsible for, we had a request from a large German car company to create something that would help organize the trunk and could be used for shopping. We saw great potential for using this folding design to create a line of products for home, around town, or really wherever you need to organize and carry your stuff.
Q: What’s the best adventure you’ve taken your meori box on?
Dirk: A great camping trip in Germany where it started to rain like crazy and everything was flooding and we used the Outdoor box as an umbrella to wait out the rainstorm. Although, there was also a time when we went to a skateboard park with the kids and used the boxes to slide down the ramps. It was awesome! And by the way, these two family adventures prompted the ideas one of the photo shoots that we did last summer. Disclaimer: We can't endorse the use of our boxes at the skateboard park.
Mark: The first time I went sailing in the Baltic Sea, I used my meori Classic box because the guy who sold it to me told me not to bring a big box on the boat. I showed up with my meori box all loaded up and he freaked out. But then I unloaded it and folded it up. Everyone on board was impressed. And that was actually the trip is where we came up with the idea for the Outdoor box–we added the grommets, snaps and ripstop material with the idea of being able to take it on a boat where the elements really matter.
Q: Big-picture question: what inspires you most—form, function, or something else?
A: Actually, it’s the combination of form and function coming together to create something new and innovative that is really exciting to us. With meori, we’ve found endless ways, endless functionality and uses for this idea of a foldable box. Hey, what can I say, we're German.
Q: What do you think of a foldable dog and children that animate only when unfolded. Can you make that happen?
A: (Dirk) What do you mean, my kids are quiet when I fold them up.
A: (Brothers) Our boxes can't do everything yet ... but we will noodle over that one. How can we meori-ize your entire life … hmmmmm.
Q: What are your other hobbies? Are you inventors or mad scientists? Do you try your designs out on your families and friends?
A: We sure can't claim to be scientists or inventors but we like to think outside the box. (Ha ha) But seriously, friends and family are always our favorite guinea pigs—we think they mostly enjoy it.
Q: Americans love the romantic idea of going to the market every day and buying fresh ingredients the way Europeans do. It’s just that we drive our big cars once a week to the store instead. Tell us about that. Is it a daily hassle or a small pleasure?
A: Uhhhhhh—speaking from experience, we love to shop at our local farmer's markets and the box is perfect for carrying groceries. But a great side benefit is that when you unfold this box, and it’s so much stronger than most bags and easier to carry, it’s always a great conversation starter.
Q: What’s the best bunch of ingredients you’ve ever packed into your meori box and and taken home?
A: (Mark:) Gin and tonic ... don't forget the limes.
A: (Dirk:) My niece. We carried her across a volleyball court. (Again, please don’t try this at home. We value our children very much. Just can’t help the occasional experiment.)