Shelfie of the Week: Athena


Welcome to the second week of our ‘Shelife of the week’ segment,  where I’ll chat with K-pop collectors with the most beautifully curated shelves and share their tips and tricks for displaying their goods. This week I turn the spotlight to Athena who has curated her shelves with over 46 BTS albums, TXT, and much more! If that wasn't enough her Instagram is beautifully curated and features a certain Park Jimin on the regular. I speak to Athena about her K-pop journey, her favorite piece of merch, and her photocard collection!

What was the first band that got you into K-pop?


Athena: The first band that got me into K-pop was BTS. Back in late 2016, one of my friends showed me one of their music videos in which the title of the song is ‘Dope’. She was pretty impressed by their looks so she wanted to share them with me and I completely fell in love with everything: their moves, their voices, their style, the concept of the music video, etc. From that moment, I wanted to know more about the band and so I started to do some research on my own about each member, their songs, and achievements, and with time, I became an official fan aka an A.R.M.Y that supports & loves them.


What was your first Kpop album purchase, and what's your favorite one to date?


Athena: My first Kpop album I purchased was ‘Love Yourself: Tear’ in 2018. It was the year when I started my collection and it was the only album displayed on my desk. However, my favorite one to date is ‘The Most Beautiful Moment In Life Pt.2’. This album is one of the most beautiful they have made so far because its story reflects the lives of seven people in their sadness & happiness moments when they are reunited together. It has a lot of theories that are still complex & incomplete, but it’s beautiful in the way that it is showing the real life of humans. It is also my favorite because it helps me in difficult times.


How many albums do you think you own? Do you have a checklist of the remaining ones to collect?


Athena: In total, I have 52 albums which include 46 BTS albums, 5 TXT albums & 1 Enhypen album. I used to have a checklist when I was collecting BTS albums but I do not anymore because I finally completed all of their albums with every version of it. For other groups, I am only collecting/ buying albums that I truly love because of their concept or songs.


Out of all the albums you have, which would you say has the most aesthetically pleasing packaging?
Athena: If I would need to choose the most aesthetically pleasing packaging, I would pick ‘The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Young Forever’ day ver. album (it has two versions: day & night). I was not a huge fan of collecting this one but once I got it on hand, my perception completely changes. The packaging is simple yet very beautiful with the balloon flying through the air, transporting seven beautiful men, and adding colors to the blank box. I would recommend buying this album as your first if you love rainbows!
Is there a particular piece of merch or a specific album you’re still hoping to purchase?
Athena: At the moment, it is more like a dream piece of merch to add to my collection but I am planning to purchase it when it will be the right time. In my HHYH era, I would love to purchase the “HYYH: on stage epilogue” DVD one day. The DVD contains a lot of precious moments that BTS has shared with army and a lot of their old songs/ performances are included in it. I do love all of their DVDs but this one really got my heart from the beginning and as an HYYH-era lover, I only need this piece of art to complete my wishlist.
How do you like to display all your shelves/albums? What's your favorite part of the process?
Athena: I usually display my albums by discography, it always gives me that serotonin boost to achieve my goals (even the craziest ones) or I used to display them by colors. Let’s also add one or two standing that makes your collection special & unique on its own. I also love adding some more touch such as displaying photo cards in a cute frame or little fake/ real plants and even figurines (for ex. my Jimin pop, perfumes, card standing, etc.)My favorite part of the whole process is cleaning my shelves and trying a new setup. The fun part is that I love doing this every time I receive a new piece of merch to add to my collection, it kinda becomes a ritual.
Your Instagram features a lot of Jimin (BTS) photocards which I’m guessing is one of your biases. Do you aim to collect Jimin the most, and do you like to display your photocards or keep them stored away?
Athena: As you have guessed, Jimin is one of my biases and so my top priority in collecting his photocards & merch. I have a checklist of what to collect for him such as albums or DVDs photocards, but I do buy others members sometimes. I like to display the photocards that mean a lot to me (in a penny sleeve to prevent any minor damages or dirt on it), but most of these are stored away in my Jimin binder that is always on my desk because I love flipping through it whenever what time it is.

For those who want to get creative with displaying their albums, what are the best things to have to start the process?
Athena: First of all, the most important thing is to have a white shelf. It plays a lot on the perception of space and it looks cleaner & aesthetic too. Once you have your cute shelf, it is important to imagine how you would set up/ display your albums: by colors, discography, groups, preferences & more. There are a lot of options out there so just let your imagination do the work & be creative.

More tips: If you cannot put your pickets, premium photos, or magazines on the wall, you can display them on your shelf and then add minimalist merch & plants to make it look pretty. In that case, I would recommend buying a small standee for it! If you also love collecting plushies but don’t have any space on your bed for them. You also can display them on your shelf. It gives a very cute vibe to the room and makes them look precious.
Who inspires your decor, and do you have any good tips for keeping shelves organized and aesthetically pretty?
Athena: There are a lot of k-pop collectors that keep me inspired every day, so it would be difficult to mention them all but the 3 who have a lot of impact on me are: @cloudmiin, @vivphoria, and @0613_seokjin on Instagram. For any good tips to keep your shelves organized and aesthetically pretty, I would give you my little routine of the month. So, I usually clean my shelf one or two times every month by swiping off any dust and replacing everything in its place. Also, I do sometimes try some new setup or add new things such as plants, frames, etc.

 Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Athena: I would like to wish a “happy collection” to everyone who is planning to start to collect or grow their collection more. The best advice I would give is to take your time. Do not get pressured because others have more than you, quantity is not important because collecting should be a fun & lovely hobby. The most important things you need to ask yourself are: “What do you want to collect?” and “Who do you want to collect specifically?” always write goals to avoid buying stuff that you were not planning to buy. Other than that, be free & love yourself. Do not let others tell you what you need or not to do, enjoy what you love the most in this beautiful life that is given to us.

Follow Athena Be sure to stick around @KpopWise for more updates on all of your favorite Kpop artists and idols!

Kirsty Bright

A UK freelance writer, who stumbled into the land of Kpop while studying Korean. Her bias groups are BTS and Seventeen, but she loves a range of groups and finding new artists to listen to! Contact on Insta: @kirstybright_ Portfolio:

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