Come visit the impossibly cute convenience store Bunni Konbiny

Mayo, Mogu and Mame are characters created by illustrator and character designer Stella Lin, based off her nostalgia for Asian convenience stores in Hong Kong.

19 June 2023


Take one look at the Instagram of Bunni Konbiny and you’ll be clamouring to find out if this is a real convenience store, clever marketing, or just the cute and quirky world of three fictional characters. The answer is, of course, the latter. Bunni Konbiny isn’t just any regular convenience store, it’s the world in which characters Mayo, Mogu and Mame inhabit. They’re created by London-based character designer and illustrator Stella Lin, who drew the original inspiration for Bunni Konbiny from “Asian convenience stores,” she tells us. “I like to observe, and my creative inspirations came from the people surrounding me.” The project started with the first bunny Mayo in 2019, as a simple character creation from Stella. After adding in Mogu and Mame, Stella built the world out from there. Now, Bunni Konbiny is a certified hit on Instagram, attracting thousands upon thousands of fans who want to tune into whatever adventures the little trio will be up to next.

It’s a concept which is more intricate than it initially appears. The characters all now have distinct personalities and everything they do feels entirely appropriate for their insular little world. Whether it be making pancakes, having a birthday party, or drinking boba tea, everything feels cohesive to Stella’s original vision of a cute convenience store. “I miss the Asian lifestyle and the convenience store is a magical place for me,” she says. “My stories in Bunni are inspired from the events happening daily at convenience stores: customers who are in a rush to work, students gathering together after school, to young people working part-time as convenience store staff while pursuing their dream.” Mostly, though, Stella simply reflects happiness and friendship in her Bunni world, something she tells us she wants audiences to “find themselves related to”.

GalleryStella Lin: Bunni Konbiny (Copyright © Stella Lin, 2023)

“The personality of the character is the root of narration that inspires me to tell stories, so it doesn’t take long to come up with an idea,” Stella explains. “The challenging part is the tempo and punch line.” For example, Stella goes into an illustration aware that Mogu always makes mistakes. “Then we set different scenes for Mogu doing something wrong by ordering wrong numbers of items in a convenience store, lining up wrong items on the shelf, or putting too much fish cakes in the oden soup so it spilt,” she says. “Mistakes that don’t matter much, like a bit clumsy and cute.” The characters can be licensed for many things, adding their typical flare of niceties into whatever product they wind up on. “There are also many playful elements that could be added in terms of localisation artwork as each country adds a dash of regional flair to their menus, so there are no bounds to the concept,” Stella says.

One illustration that sums up all the positive joy that Bunni Konbiny emits is of Mame’s birthday, showing the other characters gathering around in celebration. It’s one which Stella is particularly fond of too. “Mame represents me, and on my birthday last year, my friend baked me a red velvet chocolate cake for me so I drew that,” she explains. “Every time I look at this illustration, I feel so blessed to be surrounded by love.”

GalleryStella Lin: Bunni Konbiny (Copyright © Stella Lin, 2023)

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Stella Lin: Bunni Konbiny (Copyright © Stella Lin, 2023)

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About the Author

Joey Levenson

Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.

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