Wrap up: Y+L Invites

Y+L Projects
5 min readNov 4, 2022


All photo credit: Eileen Kao

Y+L Invites #1 with Vaughan from Mia Mia— Thank you!

Here we are, the first edition of Y+L Invites with Mia Mia’s inspiring humble superstar Vaughan is a wrap! A big thanks to everyone who came along, we could barely fit all of you in there but we made it work. A massive shout out to Sonny and the JAU crew for opening up the wonderful shop to us, we tested your capacity to the limit. And of course our gratitude to the MVP of the night: Vaughan. Your story and heartwarming view on community-building left every single one of us in awe.

The Reflection

Y+L Invites aims to connect people from different fields through inspiring stories. Mia Mia’s founding father Vaughan was kind enough to accept our invitation and shared his story with a selected crowd (due to the limited space in our venue).

For the individuals who have never heard of Vaughan or Mia Mia before: Mia Mia is the name of Tokyo’s most wholesome coffee shop located in Higashi-Nagasaki run by Vaughan, a charismatic Australian character who does so much more than serving coffee. From connecting people, to providing a safe space (some would call it their second home) through Mia Mia, and engaging in neighborhood development.

After an introduction by our Y+L event organizer Tomo, Vaughan took the stage and grabbed the full attention of a cozy-crowded JAU. He told his story, the history of Mia Mia, and how he goes about community building, paired with a visual representation of intimate Mia Mia moments and the compulsory emotional ups and downs. Afterwards people could talk, connect, and network before we returned for a Q&A with Vaughan until everyone’s curiosity was semi-satisfied.

Our team felt fulfilled and motivated seeing the bunch of you connect with each other. Y+L Invites #2 is in the making as we speak, and we would love to see you there! Keep an eye out for our next newsletter to be part of it!

Networking night, cozy party, talk event? We’ll figure that out later, but we hope you can come!

Today we’re launching Y+L Invites, a semi-regular, open-to-everyone-invite event that sits somewhere between a curated supper-club-style social gathering/ networking night with a guest speaker taking the reins and sharing their insights.

The reason for Y+L Invites

One of the key missions since starting Y+L Projects has been to work as a bridge between Japanese and international communities and cultures, and while Y+L has been doing that in the business sense, we wanted to take a more inclusive, creativity-focused, and community-oriented approach to achieving this mission. The creation of Y+L Invites feels like the next natural step.

We hope to cultivate an inclusive, intimate space where Japanese and non-Japanese folk can mingle, learn about new and different ways to navigate creative industries, cultures, and businesses in Japan, and hopefully make genuine, meaningful connections that inspire.

The first event

Australian-born, long-term Tokyo resident Vaughan will helm the first edition. A passionate music promoter, writer, presenter, coffee personality, and the co-founder of cafe Mia Mia and gallery space I Am Tokyo, Vaughan is a natural community builder and felt like the most natural fit for this inaugural event. He’ll share his experience connecting people and culture through the power of coffee in an evening filled with stories about building supportive and loving networks.

The details

We’re keeping the nights small and cozy with an exclusive 15–20 people guest list; it’s totally free, everything will be bilingual (English + Japanese), and interested guests can sign up via the Google Form.

If numbers exceed 15–20 people, we’ll run it like a lottery system with balance checks (and diversity) in mind. Applicants will receive an email with all the details by Tuesday 14th November.

A big thank you to the team at JAU in Tomigaya for hosting the event, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.

To join, apply here — for questions, press, requests related to this event, contact hello@ylprojects.com with “event” in the subject line.

The quick run down

Topic: How to build and foster authentic communities” with Vaughan
Date: Thursday, Nov 17th
Time: 7:30pm — 10:00pm
Location: JAU Store, 2–12–18 Tomigaya 1F, Shibuya

This event is finished.