To our lovely customers,
When we officially launched KIM+ONO in 2017, our mission was, and still is, to bring a little luxury to your everyday with our handcrafted kimono robes. It was important to us to use the most luxurious materials, that stood the test of time, and were handcrafted with care. We knew there would be challenges in producing handcrafted charmeuse and silk robes at the perfect price point, but we also knew the balance between our dream to make silk robes for women that would make them feel like queens and our guiding values was a balance worth striking.
Over the last five years, so much has changed in the world — and we certainly don’t need to list out all the ways, as we’re all acutely aware! — but especially since 2020, our small family business has shouldered an extra strain. This is why we’re sharing with you today that beginning on September 1, 2022, our prices will be changing. As we share this news with you, we also want to ground it in our guiding values so you can understand the ins and outs of why we have to make this decision, and you can understand the reason for a price change in our charmeuse and silk robes.
Transparency has always been one of our main guiding values. We know that when we are clear and communicative, most things can be figured out. So in the spirit of transparency, one of the biggest reasons for the price change to our short and long kimono robes is due to the surge in manufacturing and shipping fees that have massively affected our supply chain since the pandemic began in 2020. This has been an ongoing challenge for our small family business, and one where we hoped to shoulder most of the changes on our end before they got to our customers. The costs of global shipping have soared, as have the costs of the raw materials we use. Quality is important to us, and so is creating a charmeuse or silk robe that you will love for your whole lifetime.
Another vital principle that has guided us through building our small family business is a commitment to worker safety and security. In San Francisco, we are a small team of ten, many of us mothers and fathers of school age children, so we understand the importance of fair wages and equitable opportunities. It’s important that our team feels supported and we were so grateful to keep our entire team on board during the pandemic, so everyone could be secure in their jobs. We also work hand in hand with the same family of artisans in China’s Silk Village that our founders’ family has been partnering with for decades. To produce these beautiful handcrafted short and long kimono robes takes a skillset that is mostly unknown to the youngest generation of craftsman. It’s a detailed, seven day process to create each handpainted silk robe, and requires a large loom that needs a large space to be fully functional. On top of this, it’s important to us that the makers of our charmeuse and silk robes are well taken care of — that they can work in a clean, fume-free, healthy environment, and have all the resources they need to create these handcrafted pieces of art. As such, any time our producers send us a price increase to the actual production (beyond the costs of the raw materials), we always accept those increases. We have developed a long-standing relationship with our producers, dating back to when our founders’ parents started their partnership with them, and we all share the guiding value of producing high quality yet accessible products. So whenever the price of materials and production increase, we know it’s to ensure we can keep producing high quality pieces and take care of the people who are creating them.
As a brand founded by two women of color, inclusivity has always been a standard operating procedure. We wanted to create these beautiful handcrafted silk robes for every woman, man, and non-binary person who would enjoy them. We were thrilled to launch our Curve Collection of plus size kimono robes in 2020, and we keep expanding the collection in line with demand to make sure everyone who’s interested in draping themselves in a little bit of luxury can find something they love. Our plus size kimono robes are offered in Charmeuse, Washable Silk, and Printed Silk, and although our raw material costs have risen due to the nature of the plus size kimono robe sizing, we have shouldered most of that increase and only nominally increased the price point on the Curve Collection. Additionally, all of our pieces vary a bit in sizing from one style to the next. So even if you find yourself in between our ‘one size’ kimono robes and our plus size kimono robes, you should still be able to find a size that works for you. We’re always listening to feedback, so if there’s something you’d like to see in our Curve Collection, just drop us a line and we’ll consider it! We are a tiny team of ten, and we love hearing your feedback.
We always knew we wanted to connect with our customers — after all, we relate to you in so many ways, big and small. But we never knew the impact you, our customers, would have on us. You have come into our brick and mortar store in Chinatown or emailed us directly to share your stories with us — of when you found the perfect plus size kimono robe that made you feel confident in your own skin, or when you slipped into your silk robe after you gave birth to your first child, or how our silk robes for women helped you feel beautiful after a serious medical treatment. All of these stories have meant so much to us and have become a deeper reason for why we do what we do. While we’ve faced many challenges since we opened in 2017 — needing to temporarily close our store in San Francisco during the pandemic, and dealing with the repercussions of an ever-increasing cost in our supply chain — you have always stood by us and rooted for us. We cannot tell you how much that has meant, and how much we appreciate you. Our small family business is here because of you.
Please know that the price change in September will be as minimal as possible, so that we prioritize accessibility to these beautiful handcrafted pieces for as many folks as we can. And we wanted you to have a heads up so you can still get the current price points if you were looking to shop now!
As a small family business, we’re grateful to bring a part of our family heritage to yours, and hope to continue this for many years to come. We’re always happy to hear your feedback and answer any questions you may have, so feel free to reach out.
Renee and Tiffany Tam,
Co-founders of KIM+ONO