Uplifting Breast Cancer Awareness and Sharing Our Personal Story

We know that sometimes life can feel like it’s hanging on by a thread. You are handling everything. From work to home to kids to community, you’re the one who keeps the train running on time. So when something suddenly happens, like receiving a cancer diagnosis or scare, it can feel like your whole world grinds to a halt. Suddenly, the person who cares for everyone else needs care. And that can feel like an overwhelming thing to accept. Slowing down to deal with your health can feel, at first, almost impossible, even though you know you need to do it. It can feel disquieting and kind of scary. It can feel unwanted, and perhaps you’d even rather stay busy to take your mind off your health.

At KIM+ONO, we understand how it feels. Our team has had our own ups and downs when it comes to health. We could easily keep that out of the business aspect of our lives, but our business is built around our community. It’s built around coming together and standing together in the light times and the dark. Transparency and authenticity are two of our guiding principles and two ways to build a strong community. That’s because those two principles connect us to you. We understand what you go through when you get a diagnosis because we’ve gotten those phone calls, too. And that’s why we are uplifting awareness for Breast Cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year, to say: you are not alone and we are with you, no matter what the journey looks like.

Silk Kiku Kimono Robe
Photo by Delbarr Moradi
Breast Cancer by the Numbers

An astounding one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, which is about 12% of the population. This year, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 49,290 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. That means that chances are you know someone who has or will battle the disease. But what does that have to do with women’s kimono robes?

Co-Founder Tiffany Tam
Photo by Augie Chang
Kimono Robes and Tiffany’s Story

By now, you’ve probably seen a blog post or Instagram story about our two co-founders, sisters Renee and Tiffany Tam. They are the visionaries behind KIM+ONO from operations and production to creativity and design. They have worked together on this business to build out its mission, craft, and community. So when Tiffany found lumps in both sides of her breasts a couple years ago, it was such a scary and stressful time leaving their family in a temporary state of uncertainty.

Tiffany recalls, “I felt my whole world spiraling out of control. As I sat in the hospital room awaiting my test results, stress and fear consumed me. I was wearing a crusty cotton gown over my body, and the thought that I could lose both of my breasts, made me feel alone and stripped of my identity. I wanted so badly to feel like myself again… it wouldn’t eliminate my pain but wrapping myself in a kimono robe would have at least brought me a sense of comfort and femininity.”

She goes on to say, “The depth of sadness felt by women going through this experience is so real, so raw. If I can help uplift you during this process, even just a little bit, then that is my mission. This has strengthened our vision of being more than just a kimono company. Our mission is to help make more women like you feel how you truly are — strong and beautiful.”

Coral Chrysanthemum Kimono Robe
Photo by Maria Del Rio
Kimono Fashion During Treatment

Because of Tiffany’s very personal experience, she was inspired to give back in a way she hoped would be impactful in women’s lives at the moment when they need the most tenderness and care: during their treatments. In the past couple of years, KIM+ONO teamed up with the American Cancer Society to donate a little kimono fashion to women going through treatment for breast cancer. The hope was to bring some ease, femininity, and comfort to a time that can feel overwhelming. While Tiffany’s breast cancer story ended up being a temporary scare, it didn’t change the period of not knowing and the way that a potential diagnosis shapes how you view what’s important. That’s why it’s important to our team every year to stand with women who are facing breast cancer head on, and say we love you, we are with you, and we see your strength.

Handpainted Silk Cherry Blossom Kimono Robe
Photo by Vanessa Hellman
The Bigger Mission for our Kimono Robes

Whether you’re going through your own health scare or feeling like you could use a little extra softness in general, our greatest hope is that each time you slip into one of our kimono robes for women, you feel a sense of wellbeing and peace. Our hope is that if you pick up a long sleeve floral kimono robe, with its silky texture and delicate flowers, you feel transported to a gentler, kinder state of mind. Kimono fashion can of course be a beautiful way to bring your sense of style out to play at an event, a date, or even at the office. It’s a fun way to bring interest and beauty to your everyday looks. But whether you’re wearing our pieces out on the town or at home to relax and unwind, our mission is always to bring you into the present moment with a sense of ease and beauty that you so deserve. 

From Kimono Robes to Community, We’re Grateful

We know that for many women, the idea of taking care of themselves usually doesn’t come to the forefront of their minds until it has to. But at KIM+ONO, you — the modern woman who does so much — are always on our mind and in our hearts. We are grateful for the community we’ve created both online and offline, and all the ways you bring your stories of resilience, strength, and beauty to each other and to us. We say it all the time because it’s true: you are a work of art. And to the women who are facing the challenge of breast cancer, we stand with you today and always. We hope that everything we do can remind you of just how beautiful and strong you are.

Kimono Store Silk Kimono Robes Wellness Women's Kimono

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  • Your story is bringing tears to my eyes, Mariza! It is so hard to watch loved ones go through it, because there is nothing we can do. I’m glad the kimono robe gave your mother some comfort after her operation, and hope that it is still offering some comfort right now. This really lights a fire within us to continue what we do!

    Tiffany on
  • I am so moved by your story, Melanie. It is a reflection of how brave you are to face the tests each year, and to make the decision to have the bilateral mastectomy. I am humbled and inspired by your courage, and it is stories like these that continue to fuel our mission — to make every women feel comfortable and confident no matter what they are facing.

    Tiffany on
  • When I was 38, I decided to get a full medical evaluation. I didn’t have a special reason, I just thought I should try to be more proactive with my health. I was too young for a mammo but my md offered if I wanted one and I accepted. They found precancerous cells. Since then, every year I’d get a mammo. Every year, they had to investigate further with ultrasound, biopsies etc. This year I had it, a small tumor, in one breast. I had enough of the scares and the testing, so I got the bilateral mastectomy.
    A week before the surgery, I decided I wanted a kimono, something nice and comforting to help me go through this and found your store on the net. I got my beautiful chrysanthemum kimono 4 days later. It help me feel prettier through these hard times. Thank you Kim+Ono ❤️

    Melanie on
  • This story hit a bit too close to home. The first time I purchased your beautiful robes was when my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt helpless as there was quite literally nothing I could do to help her cope with her diagnosis help alleviate her stress or quell her fears. So I bought her four robes. I knew hard times were coming ahead, surgeries and treatments. But if she could at least throw something on that made her feel fabulous and forget her diagnosis even for a nanosecond, if I could do that for her, then it was a no brainer really. She didn’t want to see anyone after her operation. She was shaken and in pain and had to wear those uncomfortable post surgery bras and couldn’t lift her arms to wear her normal clothes – that no longer fit like before. But the robe was easy. Silky soft. Glamorous even. So she started feeling a little bit more like herself and she felt comfortable enough to start seeing family again and friends. And that was the turning point. Ultimately, what I’m trying to say, in a rather long winded fashion, is a big, massive, THANK YOU.

    Mariza Mouskas on

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