At KIM+ONO, a family run business founded on decades of heritage and history, family is at the center of everything we do. It’s integral to our company culture and our personal values to strike the ever elusive work/life balance and that includes spending time with family and finding solace in traditions and heritage. Most of our small ten person team have young families, and we believe that traditions and heritage are part of the fabric of connection at home for all of us. Once that bond is strengthened, that connection grows outward into our communities. In fact, family is so important to us and such an integral way in which we see the world that it’s actually been the foundation on which this business has been built.
And at the center of those values and intentions are our co-founders, sisters Renee and Tiffany Tam. The Tam sisters have grown up in a family business and have been learning from their parents’ business acumen for basically their entire lives. Watching their parents run their storefronts in Chinatown, traveling with them to Asia to visit with craftspeople and vendors, and interacting with the loyal customers their parents’ San Francisco shops brought in created a lasting inspiration on the sisters. And when they were ready to set out on their own, with a modern vision of bringing the essence of the traditional Japanese kimono to the modern woman, they built KIM+ONO — a place founded on family, strengthened by community, and with a mission to elevate the everyday. Today in the journal, we’re sharing some background on sisters Renee and Tiffany Tam, and the women’s kimono robes they’ve created.
Renee Tam serves as CEO of KIM+ONO, as well as running online operations & overseas production management. When remembering back to her childhood, the image that resonates with her the most is her parents’ tenacity. “Our parents worked 12 hours a day to support the family. When my parents first opened their business in 1980, my mom was pregnant with Tiffany and she worked everyday until labor.” Renee witnessed the qualities that brought a successful business to fruition in her mother’s action and her father’s advice. He told her that when owning your own business, you need “dedication, persistence, hard work.”
To create the women’s kimono robes that have become a signature product for KIM+ONO, Renee took all she learned from her parents and poured it into the company. From working with artisans in China’s Silk Village on kimono fabric that you’ll fall in love with, to working with Tiffany on the newest designs that reflect upcoming trends and guiding principles, Renee has a strong sense of connection to her roots. She says, “I’m lucky to work with my best friend (Tiffany). We grew up sharing the highs and lows that come with running a family business. I’m so excited we decided to join together to run KIM+ONO as I couldn’t have found a more perfect partner.”
Tiffany Tam serves as CCO of KIM+ONO, as well as handling retail operations, overseeing social marketing and taking on the creative lead as they build this brand for the modern woman. From every detail of their flower kimono robes to the way we communicate our message of confidence and inclusivity, Tiffany is the engine of creativity at the company. Despite all the ups and downs that come from running their own business, Tiffany says, “[I think about] the partnership that I have with Renee - how grateful I am for this opportunity to run a business with my sister and best friend.”
The KIM+ONO brand may have started with the Tam family, but it’s built outward to see you, our customer, as part of our family too. Tiffany explains, “As this company is growing, these questions come to mind: What can we do to have a bigger impact in our community, on today’s society, to make this world a better place?” You are our inspiration and making you feel confident and beautiful in your own skin, without feeling the need to change anything about you, is our founders’ deepest mission. Tiffany explains, “If we can make you feel good about yourself with what we do, then that hits me right in the heart. That is our mission.”
One of the main inspirations behind the KIM+ONO brand, is Renee and Tiffany’s deep connection to their family heritage. Their families share both Chinese and Japanese heritage, and the traditions steeped in both histories have informed much of what the sisters value today. As mothers to young children, they know that tradition can bring a sense of stability when your world inevitably gets turned upside down. The traditions that have anchored them, anchor their plus size kimono robes, kimono wraps, and kimono robes as well. Renee and Tiffany were influenced from a young age by vintage Asian art from both China and Japan. The beautiful brushstrokes, the timeless techniques of craftsmanship, and the whimsical botanical scenes filled their minds from a young age and now, with KIM+ONO, they’re bringing that inspiration to kimono fabrics you love.
Resting on this heritage, Renee and Tiffany also understand that a sense of comfort can sometimes be hard to find. They also know how the modern woman, who takes on everything from work to family to caring for her community, deserves it more than ever. From a beautiful plus size kimono robe to bring you back into your softness and ease, to silk kimono robes to give your skin some luxurious love, they’ve designed every flower kimono robe with you in mind — to bring you a little luxury and a little comfort when you need it most.
With family as our foundation, and you, the modern woman, always at the forefront of our minds, we hope each kimono robe we create makes an impact on your life. Whether it reminds you of your strength and power or gives you a moment to slow down and take a deep breath, this, to us, is the biggest success.