You are a conscious consumer. You love to surround yourself with beautiful pieces that tell a story. You love quality over quantity, and each item in your house is intentional (or at least, that’s what you aspire to). We feel the exact same way at KIM+ONO. From our kimono patterns to our kimono store, we aspire to bring thoughtfulness through every design, every handcrafted good, and every interaction you have with us in store or online. So today in the journal, we’re celebrating the fact that going slow and taking the time to craft something beautiful can bring so much joy and comfort and peace to our lives.
KIM+ONO is a brand built on tradition. It’s been decades in the making. The Tam family has been sourcing traditional products from Asia for four decades. Co-founders and sisters Tiffany and Renee Tam have been with their parents every step of the way. Their parents started their business when their mother was pregnant with Tiffany. As children, the sisters and their parents spent weeks visiting silk villages, meeting with vendors, artisans, and other craftspeople who have been preserving the art of kimono-making for generations. That attention to detail and technique solidified their love for traditional kimono.
Not only did Tiffany and Renee travel with their parents when sourcing beautiful, handcrafted goods, but they went almost every day to help their parents at their store to see the reality behind running your own business. The neighborhood of Chinatown in San Francisco was like a second home to the girls and a generation later, community and family is still at the heart of this business.
The first evolution of the business was as a small boutique in Chinatown under the name Old Shanghai. The sisters brought Old Shanghai online and continued with the tradition of craftsmanship to create the brand’s recent transformation into KIM+ONO. The modern kimono robes they design for modern women are new, updated designs that draw on traditional techniques for a modern era.
All of our kimono patterns are designed in house in San Francisco by Tiffany and Renee. The sisters and co-founders design the original patterns, inspired by both history and modern life, and then each piece is handcrafted in China’s Silk Village by the same family of artisans the Tam family has been partnering with for decades. The process to create one handpainted silk kimono robe begins like this: the design is sketched by hand, the sketch is finalized, and the kimono is saturated in rich watercolors using a traditional paintbrush. From beginning to end, the entire process takes seven days. That means, your modern kimono robe is no fast fashion — but rather an intricate process and a work of art. Our Handpainted Kimono Robe Collection is a special one and you can see more of the behind the scenes footage of our entire handcrafted process here.
Because KIM+ONO is a small family-run business with a team of ten, we understand what it means to collaborate. Each and every step of our process is a team effort with different folks bringing different strengths to the table. And the same is true for the team of artisans we partner with in China’s Silk Village. These artisans are folks our founders’ family has partnered with for decades. When Renee and Tiffany were children, they would travel with their parents to Asia and see how artisans handcrafted these traditional goods and the different production processes needed to create a completely unique piece from beginning to end. Seeing that incredible skill applied to handcrafted work inspired the sisters to bring that craftsmanship and quality into their designs. The group of artisans we work with brings their extraordinary talent and timeless techniques to each and every handcrafted piece. They each work to make your kimono robe a timeless statement piece that can last you a lifetime and an heirloom that you can pass down from generation to generation. Read more about the craftsmen and craftswomen behind your favorite modern kimono robes from the design to the final product.
One of the things we love the most about kimono robes are their ability to help you slow down and take in the moment all throughout the day. From day to night, this lightweight layer is an easy piece to pull your favorite look together, especially when you’re looking for a little more inspiration. And what makes these pieces even more special: every time you notice the softness of the silk against your skin, take it as a reminder to take a deeper than normal breath. Four counts to inhale, four counts to hold your breath, and four counts to exhale is all you need to get a boost of oxygen to your brain, feel the calm, and stay grounded in the present moment.
At KIM+ONO, we know that taking time to take a breath, breathe deeply, stay in the moment, and set an intention for everyday mindfulness will always be a recipe for success. There is so much in your every day attempting to pull your attention away from what’s truly important, but making an intentional practice of slowing down can have a dramatically positive effect on your perspective. Without hustling all the time, or rushing to the next thing, or filling up your time, a little space (and yes, even sometimes, a little boredom!) can be a creative space to give you the mood boost you deserve. In fact, that’s the space in which each of your silk kimono robes are designed. Tiffany and Renee say, “Our creative juices flow best when we unwind to our favorite music, focus on serenity, take deep breaths and allow our minds to be free…”
Whatever is on your calendar this year, we hope you can find that same serenity and peace from purchasing items that bring you joy, are handcrafted so you can feel the intention within them, and make you feel more connected to yourself every single day.